Suits not dead, just stranded on the island of Park Avenue

As I strolled through the New York City streets to the next appointment I came to cross 51st & Park Avenue, and like the whiff of a strong perfume, I was suddenly surrounded by men in suits and ties hurriedly moving all around me. Living in Cali and being an Internet company executive for so long, has jaded my view of men in suits and ties. Generally relegated to attorneys (some) and investment bankers (most), from my perspective, it was strange to see the minions of suit clad young & old guys moving through the streets here. Even in my recent visit to the venerable institution of Reuters, not a suit & tie to be found in the lot.

This harkened me back to the days when I was one of them, these suits & ties, awaiting the word from the chairman of Coke (I believe) as to what color the year’s power tie would be. Crazy.

In this sea of suit-n-tie-ness, I remained the exception even with a suit but no tie. Like clouds dissipating to unveil a warming sun, so it was with the suits the more westward I walked. The expressions of wealth were still abound, minus the pretentiousness that the suits, ties and slicked back hair carry with them. You know, that Gordon Gecko look. It was like flying through a patch of self-righteous turbulence before reaching the smooth skies on the other side.

I guess my discomfort in seeing this lies with the fact that so many of these folks work for financial services firms, but seemed to lack humility in their demeanor. Something just felt wrong about that, but I wasn’t passing judgment, just had a desire to see this uptight looking crew chill out a bit.

This brought up memories of the “go go 80s”, where movies like “Wall Street” hit a note. The lesson on why greed was bad was totally lost to the slick characters, fancy clothes, expensive penthouses and memorable one-liners that made greed seem good. It feels like not much has changed except that perhaps the island within the Island of Manhattan I just passed, has gotten a tad smaller, noticeably so.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on November 4, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    “Men In Full”, eh? no more, when even the social commentators can’t be distinguished from their literary lab-rats. Tom Wolfe knew all about being “A Man In Full”, so I guess he decided he was best equipped to expose them. What a crock, eh?”take your job seriously, and yourself a little bit less so, and you’ll be on a far better path than before…” tV


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