“Uh. Why would anyone choose to be homeless?”
- Karen, Will and Grace
I grabbed a the Dec/Jan issue of Budget Living last night and paging through it it seems to be a review of projects from a bunch of different places (vinyl record bowls, etched water glasses, marble magnets). Something which I know ReadyMade was criticised for over at Glitter. And they haven’t left this magazine alone either. But instead of a defensive mob outcry I find a thoughtful discussion on the nature of craft, DIY, money and political beliefs.
One of the points people are spinning off of is the description of the average Budget Living reader having a salary of $70K. I have to wonder if that should be amended with “if they happen to be living in Manhattan or LA”. The figure comes from a bit of copy which seems to be targeted toward prospective advertisers, who are probably sitting in a deluxe apartment in the sky in Manhattan or LA. Otherwise it makes me feel about as good about myself as the article Troutgirl is talking about here (under “money money money mon-nay!”). She ran the numbers and came up with one “saving the equivalent of $31,200 a year with 8% returns” in order to come out with the scenario in the Fortune article. In Cleveland, where I lived most of my life, the average salary at a good job for someone my age would leave about $5,000 a year for one to live on after saving $31,200, before taxes.
To the defense, Budget Living does list is as the “household” income of $70K, but it’s that figure which seems to be inspiring a lot of talk.
In a related note Budget Living has a little profile of Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood and how great it is. It’s true, the area is full of art galleries in old houses, trendy restaurants, cheap Victorian houses, and yes, good beer. But I wanted to relate this story: While still living in Cleveland Scott and I wandered into a restaurant while trying to find Johnny Mango’s, we got a table outside in the back. Everything was superb, the food, the wine, the service. We had managed to get a pre-rush table at an in demand place without realizing it. But. Just on the other side of the fence was a drunk old man in a wife beater holding a beer standing in his driveway shouting at his dogs to stop barking. Lovely.
And after all of that, I unabashedly adore the magazine.