Another stylish thing to do is to buy Apple products, of course. In front of the enormous underground Apple Store, we saw yet another group of people recording some video footage. Look in the center rear of this photo:
I couldn't help but think of that novel frequently, strolling around "White Manhattan" (as author Tom Wolfe calls it).
Bonfire of the Vanities is a clear allegory, as I read it, for the dispossession of the once-dominant WASPs of New York City (Wolfe usually renders the word as 'Wasp'). Sherman McCoy represents WASP-New-York, or WASP-America. Wolfe makes clear, in the novel, that their 'dispossession' is partly their own fault, as Sherman is a flawed man, too.
Walking around Manhattan in the 2010s, one sees of ethnic assertiveness all around. From all groups, it really seems, except any White-Protestants. Just like in Sherman McCoy's universe, they are a group disallowed from collective identity, only defined in negative terms!
One could be forgiven for thinking there are no "WASPs" left.
The 2010 Census has it that Manhattan is 48% White Non-Hispanic, a rate that been steady for decades. Manhattan is probably only 5-10% White-Protestant [Whites of at-least-nominal Protestant affiliation/background). (Wiki says Manhattan is 20% Jewish alone; there must be at least an equal number of White-Catholics there, and 48-20-20=8).
This low 'WASP'-share must rise substantially in certain neighborhoods, including ol' Sherman's Park Avenue. Likewise, it must plummet in the "outer boroughs" of today (except Staten Island, where my mother went to college many years ago). I see that New York City as a whole, all boroughs, is down to 33% White today, of which a large share are Jewish, and so on. NYC as a whole is probably <5% WASP, then.
My friend T.A. (from Kazakhstan) described to meriding subway trains in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx and his surprise at the trains being bereft of a single stereotypical 'White-American' face.
Next Post: Part VII, Modern Art