The financial foot rub.


Things got a little hectic during my New York trip last week. Too much to do, poor air quality, my inability to score at the lottery for “The Book of Mormon” tickets, heat and humidity, dueling deadlines and general exhaustion laid me low on Thursday evening.

(How many times do you get to use word “Mormon” and “lottery” in the same sentence? Not enough, if you ask me.)

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Last week I was invited to a party affiliated with the BlogHer conference in New York City. Since it took place the night I arrived and since I met the entrance criteria (blogger, 45 or older) I accepted. The sponsor was Boombox Network, an “online social media collective” for Baby Boomers.

(It’s always a surprise to realize that yes, I am a Boomer even though I never really associate myself with that group.)

Boombox throws a nice party and I met some very interesting women. Afterward the organizers told us to help ourselves to the lovely snacks that had been set out. Some of these were unopened and will remain so — until this week’s giveaway receives them.

Does the photo of Lavender Pecan Brittle hold any appeal? If not (or if so), there’s always the New Mexico Red Chile Caramel Corn?

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Bagels – Baked and Ready to Eat © by Syrenmuse

Let me say up front that it’s not as though I’ve never been to a big city before. I’ve lived in or visited quite a few.

But there’s nowhere like New York — especially for someone who’s spent eight years in a city where Scandinavian reticence mingles with progressive politics and hipster irony.

Allow me to share a few gawking-tourist observations, then. You’re likely in New York if….

You can walk out the door, cross the street and buy hot-from-the-oven bagels.

You pay $3.99 for cream cheese at the corner store. (Which is actually 50 cents cheaper than the bagel store was charging.)

The Sunday paper costs $5, and it has only one coupon insert and no color comics.

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Pic: Political parties

Thanks to the support of friends, readers and business associates I made it into the finals of the PF Olympics. Each of the finalists were given the same topic to write for the final judging:

“Which golden rule of personal finance have you abandoned since the recession, and why?”

For some reason I thought these would be judged by a panel of experts. I was wrong. Once more, it’s Internet voting. Argh. And once more, I’m asking for your help.

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Megabus © by wrestlingentropy

The Megabus died within spitting distance of the Lincoln Tunnel exit of the New Jersey Turnpike, close enough to see (and yearn after) the Empire State Building. We filed outside and stood or sat under a couple of trees, breathing in vehicle fumes mixed with air as humid as most oceans.

“It’s my birthday,” moaned one of the young women who was heading to the Big Apple with two friends to celebrate.

A skinny red-haired guy pulled out an equally skinny, almost triangular guitar and began strumming under his breath. One of the trio of young women noticed.

“Play us some music,” she ordered. “Do you know ‘Wobble Wobble’?”

Her friends snickered. The young man said, “No, I don’t know that one.” Instead, he launched into Bob Marley’s “Is This Love.” The birthday girl began to dance, one of her friends began filming with her smartphone, and other passengers stopped kvetching and began to listen.

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