The Power of the Purse

Solomon with purse One of the great joys of video journalism is the diversity of assignments. My work with the New York Times, for instance, would have me interviewing rock stars and rock star wannabes at a major music festival one week, discussing a scientific curiosity the next, then moving on to tackle a thorny constitutional issue with an investigative reporter.

So it comes as no surprise to me that the first assignment back in New York is quite different from the most recent stories I did for the web [pieces about the political tensions and literal gun battles going on in war-torn Lebanon]. Last week, I joined New York Times magazine Questions For columnist Deborah Solomon as she queried New Yorkers on their handbag purchases.

Why do people pay thousands of dollars for a designer handbag?

In five minutes of video, no one could completely solve the mystery behind the power of the purse, but the answers Deborah gets from people on the sidewalks, peering into luxury store windows, offer some insight and were a lot of fun (and if you listen closely, you can hear me laughing in the background after some of her quips).

It was immersion therapy for my culture shock after a year in Cairo. (Though I don’t think you’ll see me sporting a thousand dollar Prada “man purse” any time soon.)

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