Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I actually love Wall Street

Distraction is key in the battle waged on the dark, narrow walkways placed awkwardly between architecture on Wall Street. Jumbles of colored signage, garish in their attempt to out-sign their discount neighbors, do not coax so much as jabber all-time-low selling points. While the Exchange patriotically and grimly bears its financial woes, and the statue of George Washington silently bespeaks good sense, the dollars and cents racket deteriorates to outlet trash around the next corner.

Those who have chosen careers that do not lead to managing hedges or any other kind of botanical funds keep their eyes to the ground as they hurry down the dank alleys between major thoroughfares. The Espresso Café is book-ended by Vivi Vixen and Cents-able Fashion, where even a nearly-empty wallet can purchase enough spandex and hole-y jeans to successfully transition into the marginally more profitable field of street whore.

That’s not to say that it’s all knock-ups and knock-offs in the Financial District. True love occasionally flowers in a rejected pair of Nine West sandals or an Italian leather boot wasting away on a dusty shelf. More often, though, it’s marketed infatuation for the luckless blue-collar worker who glanced up from the trash on the pavement to try to find the sky above the ramparts of capitalism. Instead of air and space it’s a banner for Bernie’s falafel with free coffee or tea. Not that there’s anything wrong with a deal, but can a fellow ever get a break that doesn’t cost him more money?

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