I used to say it cost $20 to leave the house in New York (and that's a cheapo estimate). Back during my reporter days, I lived on the Upper East Side and worked in Jersey City. Just getting there cost fortunes. Pre-911, it meant Subway ride to Fulton Street ($2); a walk past (and into) Century 21 (which, depending on how much I hated my outfit that day could cost anywhere from $20-$100...(I only did this a few times, but it still scared me in retrospect)); $2 PATH ride to Jersey City; coffee, $4. Post-911, Century 21 was taken out of the equation, replaced by some very good international magazine shops (~$15 for Italian Vogue). These days, I limit myself to coffee on the way to the job, but the weekends remain deadly.
Recent Friday-Sunday impulse buys include: Bodum 8-cup Eileen coffee maker (acquired at the organic deli down the street on a trip out for Greek yogurt); Chinese vases (acquired at Junk, after exercising when left alone by Porter for 10 minutes); Crystal Head Vodka ("Oh, Port, that was a fun movie. Let's just pop over to Astor Wines & Spirits. You know, just to look!"); TAR Magazine (on the way HOME from work on Friday...(It's incredible. INCREDIBLE! Damien Hirst dissects Kate Moss on the second issue's cover)); Gabriel Boudier Saffron Gin (tried it at my friends' apartment, and, yes, sort of the reason I wanted to go to Astor Wines); Restoration Hardware Allaire Fan (ordered at work on that steamer of a day last week after receiving a memo that we wouldn't have A/C until May 15. The A/C went on the next day as the temps dropped 30 degrees)).