Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Haimish Line

A nice column by David Brooks in the NYT about how you often get more warmth and sociability in downscale places than elegant, upscale surroundings. "Haimish" (he says) is a Yiddish word meaning unpretentious conviviality.

Often, as we spend more on something, what we gain in privacy and elegance we lose in spontaneous sociability...

People are often bad at knowing how to spend their money — I’ve been at least as bad as everybody else in this regard. Lottery winners, for example, barely benefit from their new fortunes. When we get some extra income, we spend it on privacy, space and refinement. This has some obvious benefits: let’s not forget the nights at the Comfort Inn when we were trying to fall asleep while lacrosse teams partied in the hallways and the rooms next door. But suddenly we look around and we’re on the wrong side of the Haimish Line.

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