Now that the economy has rebounded—for people who make their living on Wall Street, at least!—and big bonuses have returned, how are residents of fancy schmancy Greenwich faring? Life is "slowly returning to normal," apparently. "The Greenwich version of normal, anyway," which means people are once again turning up to the local Ferrari dealership:
Caterers' cell phones are ringing again. Luxury car dealers are sending the Porsches out for test drives. An architect is booking multimillion-dollar jobs for his "masters of the universe" clients, titans of Wall Street who've made this leafy Connecticut suburb of New York one of the wealthiest towns in the country.
When the financial industry tumbled, Greenwich's fortunes fell with it. Now, as the federal bailout has helped lift investment banks to surprisingly robust profits, the news that major financial firms will dole out billions of dollars in salaries and bonuses this year came as welcome relief here, even though the rest of the country is still grappling with 10 percent unemployment.
Don't think that residents of the tony suburb haven't learned a thing or two from the events of the past year. They have. "Modesty is in, for the first time in a while," says one store owner, who explains that one of his clients recently forced his wife to accept a $90,000 Mercedes S550 sedan this year, instead of her customary Rolls-Royce. And just look at how some homeowners have been forced to scale back, according to the owner of a architecture firm:
In a sign of Greenwich's new restraint, one client chose to build his tennis court on level ground rather than recessing it, which saved about $75,000 in stones, drainage and other construction costs.
A non-recessed tennis court? It's almost too much to bear!