Sunday, December 30, 2018

Dollars and Sense

I’m staring at a blank page this morning. And how are you today?

It isn’t that the ideas are lacking. In fact, I’ve got scads of them. But all of them require a bit more research and fleshing out before they are ready for prime time. Funny how that works.

I was walking down the sidewalk at the Lakefront yesterday headed to the Elevate Maryland podcast taping/brunch at Lupa. It was a beautiful day. Almost Spring-like. A young couple was behind me.

He: Actually, I was here yesterday, walking around the Lake.
She: Walking around the Lake? Aren’t you the Hipster!

And there you have it. I thought walking around the Lake was for retirees and Pioneers. Now it’s for Hipsters. Wow, the Howard Hughes Corporation moves fast.

About Lupa. The service is excellent. And their willingness to host a local podcast and its assorted fans (hangers-on?) is admirable. I’m not used to the cost of eating there, though. I spent $45.00, including tip, on brunch yesterday.

Yes, I had one cocktail. Yes, I could have ordered more frugally but I did not order the most expensive things on the menu. Later in the day I did an Instacart order and spent the same amount of money on several days worth of food. And Instacart is a luxury, I know. But the experience got me thinking about money and how we spend it.

Who is the intended audience for Lupa?

Are they folks who absorb $45.00 for one meal and don’t raise an eyebrow? Are they one-off, having a splurge visitors? Who are the Lakefront establishments hoping to draw? And are there enough of them to keep places like Lupa in business?

This has quite a bit to do with how much money you make combined with your attitudes about how you spend that money. It’s easy for me to look at this experience and say, “Will the Lakefront belong to the rich and the rest of us eat at Panera in the Mall?”

Yes, it would be easy but somehow I think it would be intellectually lazy and ignore the greater subtleties involved. I know I have friends out there who have opinions to share on this. I hope I’ll hear from them.

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