I didn't realize that a few posts ago was #1,500 on this blog... a fitting number for the content of this post.
I plan on continuing a few promised series over the next few days, when I have the time to sit down and actually figure them out a bit; this includes the How I Met Serach series, the Jewish Economics series, and some other good stuff, like Elianna pictures. :)
A quick taste of some of the economics, since I was just discussing this with a friend: My paycheck, which isn't too bad, even with all the federal, state, and of course special NYC taxes coming off, barely covers our rent and babysitter for Elianna during the day. Rent in Kew Gardens Hills is not cheap - a two-bedroom like ours will run you about the $1,500 a month that we pay. This is substantially better than other common NYC areas such as Washington Heights, similar to areas such as Flatbush, and slightly higher than Kew Gardens, Teaneck or Passaic. Baltimore you can get something similar for about 60% of that; in Cleveland, a slightly smaller place is about half the price. This is just to rent - rent which is money down the tubes, and which is never going to be seen again.
Oh, before I forget - interest is the root of all evil. Argh.