By Maria Gorshin

The economy is rallying, plunging, rebounding or in freefall. The news changes moment to moment and each statistic is analyzed to the edge of confusion, madness or maybe just comedy. All the news is good on the one hand yet bad on another but could be worse and might get better soon unless we’re headed for disaster. It’s enough to drive you to head-smacking mind-bogglement.

As news about the market and our economic future see-sawed on Monday, Paul Krugman at the New York Times put it most eloquently: “Aaauuuggghhh…they really are trying to make my head explode, aren’t they?”

Even as I write, headlines about S&P downgrades are being continually updated, changing, this time from bad to definitely worse. The fonts over at MSNBC and CNN are getting bigger, bolder. All an Upper West Sider can do in the face of all of this is eat drink and be merry (on a newly-tightened budget) knowing doom may be drawing closer…maybe.

Here are a few ideas for Upper West Side life on the cheap. Read, then add your own ideas to the list via comments:

Stay home, read and watch Hulu. Life outside is expensive.

Stop grocery shopping until everything in your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator is gone. Macaroni with butter. Nutella on everything. Ask yourself, “Does cream of wheat go bad? What about grape jelly?”

Don’t go out for drinks. Everyone has loose bottles of non-favorite beers, cheap champagnes and re-gifted wines lurking in their apartments. Have a BYOUB (bring your own unwanted bottles) party because your friends are broke too.

Dare to go outdoors but leave ALL your money at home. Experience the discipline of walking when you would rather ride and drinking tap water when you’d rather have gelato.

Get spiritual. Learn to let go of Iced Coffee envy as you stroll beverage-less. Send love and joy energy to diners at sidewalk cafes as you carry your Trader Joe’s budget carbs back to your apartment.

Buy a scratch off lottery ticket for a weekly rush of hope. Daydream about paid bills and vacations for the two minutes you have between buying the ticket and finding out it’s another dud.

Attend every free event in the city.

Become a master of wine and cocktail disguise to make the aforementioned free events even more festive.

Picnic in parks. Workout in parks. Meet, entertain, study in parks. Who knows, you might decide to live in the park. Get to know the best spots.

Ok neighbors…your turn.

Photo by Ed Yourdon via flickr.

Maria Gorshin, who runs the blog City Girl Writes, is a West Side Rag columnist and native Upper West Sider.

ABSURDITY, COLUMNS | 2 comments | permalink
    1. mary jones says:

      good ideas except for buying a lottery ticket

    2. Mitch Broder says:

      I suggest hiking to Hell’s Kitchen and visiting Rudy’s Bar and Grill. They serve free hot dogs. That would take care of at least two meals a day.