The Way We Live Now: together, as a nation, bracing for the bitter winter that's descended upon us. Some of us are "bracing" in our pricey Manhattan condos; others are bracing against a brick wall. But we're all bracing, united.

Calm down: the Manhattan luxury real estate market is making a solid comeback. Sighs of relief all around! Some special Americans had their Christmas dreams of a 3BR/ 2BA duplex in Tribeca answered by Santa after all. And if they can do it, why can't you?

Of course, that's a "rhetorical" question. The reason you, the average Schmoe, can't just pop off and buy a multimillion-dollar condo is very simple: the millionaire's tax. How can anyone be expected to spend millions when they know that it'll raise a red flag for the jackbooted taxmen to come smashing in their door, waving forms and grabbing every last unearned simoleon they can snag? Andrew Cuomo wants to getrid of the tax, sure, but who knows how long our fellow millionaires will have to wait. A week? A month? A month and a half?

A single second would be too long to tolerate injustice.

It's just like Martin Luther King said, in one of his many Republican-friendly out-of-context quotes: "I have a dream." A dream that one day, the mere existence of 1.5 million bankruptcy filings in 2010 and a level of public desperation that causes 123 people to "like" a story about psychic predictions of lottery numbers would not cause we proud Americans to assault our fellow, richer proud American with punitive taxes in a Class War that no one can win.

Mainstream Americans are all busy bracing for winter in their own unique ways, whether by ordering the doorman to keep an eye out for packages arriving from Barney's or otherwise. No reason to upset the apple cart. It's too cold out there!

[Photo: Espen Klem]