Mod Note (Andy): Best of Eddie, this was originally was posted on 12/15/10.
Monty09 may have gotten the best plug yet for his Energy Rodeo in Houston next month, and it came from none other than the New York Daily News. The Daily News piece on the ridiculous cost of living in New York pointed out that it takes six figures just to make it into the middle class in the city, and a New Yorker has to earn $123,322 a year just to match the lifestyle $50,000 a year buys in you Houston. On top of that, $60,000 a year in Manhattan is the equivalent of just $26,000 a year in Atlanta - just over the poverty line.
What the article doesn't mention, however, is perhaps the most compelling reason to choose Houston or another southern city over the Big Apple: GRITS.
No, I'm not talking about the delicious breakfast staple. I'm talking about Girls Raised In The South.
I'm here to tell you. Southern girls are the best women in the country, and I've lived everywhere. No woman from anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line or west of Texas will ever treat you as well as a Southern girl. It's in their DNA. You won't find the angry species of uptight doctoral-candidate-in-Women's-Studies-at-Brown with a two-ton chip on her shoulder and a disapproving gaze in the South. Southern women actually enjoy being women.
Don't get me wrong. If uptight, career-focused chicks under five layers of winter clothing are your thing, New York's gonna be tough to beat. It's certainly a lot easier to pull an all-nighter at work when you know you've got a mirthless harpy waiting to emasculate you at home. It just doesn't work for me.
If you want a girl who is laid back and knows how to party, who can go beer-for-beer with you, who will cook circles around any restaurant, and who will kick your ass if you make her late for the big game, there's only one place to find her. And it ain't Brooklyn.
The lifestyle in the South is so much better as well, especially if you're an energy trader or investment banker. The lower cost of living means you'll probably be living in a sweet McMansion instead of a third floor walk-up with roommates. And you'll be at the top of the food chain, instead of being just another face in the crowd. Be warned though: there are steep social penalties in the South for brazen douchebaggery. You don't want to be that guy down there.
If you're making $150,000 a year in Houston, Atlanta, New Orleans (especially New Orleans), or Charlotte, you are absolutely killing it. That kind of dough in Manhattan means you're still working ramen into the rotation one night a week. It's no contest in my mind.
One other thing that blew my mind about the survey was the fact that in New York, it can cost up to $25,000 a year for childcare for one kid. Are you shitting me? Here's a novel idea: why not move to the South where the child can actually be raised by a parent? Wow. Hadn't considered that.
Seriously, guys. I know New York is the center of our little universe. But it's by no means the only place there's opportunity, and the lifestyle in most other places is going to blow New York out of the water. If I were a young trader, or someone looking to become one, lifestyle considerations would weigh heavily in my decision-making process. And when it comes to lifestyle, it's Houston over New York without breaking a sweat.