the social construction of taste, vol xxvii


Last year it was mud floors and outhouses in your condo. This year, the status-aware Manhattanite pays attention to the type of ice the hostess is serving:

“Maybe the cubes were the wrong shape or they didn’t taste that good, I’m not sure,” Ms. Polk said last week. “But it got to the point where people came for cocktails, and they were bringing different bags of ice.”

“B.Y.O.I. was a turning point for me,” Ms. Polk said of the moment at which she exited the world of generic ice use and entered another. It is one where a cube, formerly a common and readily available commodity heaved out of supermarket freezers or convenience store cases, is transformed into a symbol of yet another type of consumer connoisseurship — not ice but “ice.”


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the social construction of taste, vol xxvii

  1. Without looking I knew this article about bobos and their ice requirements could only be from the NY Times. I have long wondered if these are serious stories or are they done in a serious manner but meant to mock the people they mention.

  2. You could pretty much ask that question about New York City as a whole. Is it serious, or just one big put-on?

  3. Wow, I think I’m doing a good job making sure I make my ice with filtered water and not tap.

    But I’ve always said: “where there is no ice, there is no civilization” so I am in no position to criticize these knobs and their snobsicles.

    I think it was Von Mises who observed that in wealthy societies, things that begin as luxuries for the rich eventually become common to the middle class.

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