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New York: The city of only resort

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Can't afford to stay, can't afford to leave--that sounds like a typical NYC apartment dilemma. But according to the NY Observer's Dana Rubenstein, it also increasingly defines New York life itself.

"The conventional wisdom is that the ... pros are here because they choose to be: because they picked professions that find their apotheoses in New York, like media, publishing, finance, real estate, certain types of law," he writes. "When the pace, the limitations, the expense, the loneliness sets in, you're free to leave. Unless you're not. When you've reached a certain point, what other city will have you? A $400,000 house with two acres in Decatur sounds lovely, but where's the demand for a $300,000-a-year banker there? (And it's not just a hunch, either—New York really is a solid place to ride out the recession: More than 10 percent of new private-sector jobs created in the U.S. this year have been here.)"

Besides the gas masks, go money and 3 (expired) gallons of water tucked away in what passes for your closet, what compromises do you make to live here? Are you dogged by dreams of backyards and 35-hour work weeks?

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