Music and Money
Westchester is hopping.
My late father-in-law, Bernie, once asked his immigrant father for a quarter to see the Yankees. His father wasn’t ready to “waste” 25 cents on a silly game, but my father-in-law noted: “Babe Ruth is playing.” He got the quarter.
Even those of us whose appreciation for classical music is as slim as Bernie’s father’s was for baseball understand the enormity of the announcement made as we were going to press. Itzhak Perlman has been appointed Artistic Director of the Westchester Philharmonic, beginning with the 2008-2009 season. Perlman, who replaces Paul Lustig Dunkel, will conduct the orchestra at three of its five programs for each of the next three seasons; he will also perform occasionally as a soloist. Mark your calendar: his debut performance as leader of the orchestra is scheduled for October 11, 2008.
We will have more on the arrival in Westchester of Perlman—Babe Ruth, if you will, of the violin—in a later issue.
I was born in Israel (where many of those oranges in our supermarkets are from) and in Israel asking someone—anyone—“How much do you make?” is no big deal. It’s like asking, “How many children do you have?” Inquiring about one’s salary isn’t seen as intrusive, rude.
Here, not even those who ask us about our most personal feelings, our most intimate experiences, are comfortable inquiring about our salaries. Friends recently told me that their marriage counselor seemed genuinely glad—relieved?—when he learned that the couple had gotten significant financial help from their in-laws. It turns out he had been trying to figure out how the two—she a graphic designer; he a teacher—could afford their nice lifestyle. Apparently he didn’t have the gumption to ask, yet, my friends noted, he never hesitates asking about their sex lives.
Lucky you—we have gumption. We didn’t hesitate to ask scores and scores and scores of our neighbors how much they earn. Some even told us. Indeed, in this issue, we present the salaries of 137 Westchesterites. You may want to arm yourself with it when next you want a raise.
And, of course, we here wish you and your family sufficient salaries and Happy Holidays.