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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