But, last night, that reality became very clear to me as I stood on East 1st Street on NYC's Lower East Side. I had just left a political fundraiser in a condo building that looked normal on the outside but was amazing on the inside. The fundraiser was in a tony apartment boasting a huge kitchen (by NYC apartment standards) and what was likely several millions of dollars worth of artwork on the walls. (A set of four Marilyn Monroe silkscreens by Andy Warhol -- said to be real -- graced one wall.)
The fundraiser had been headlined by the majority leader of the New York State Senate along with another state senator and four members of the State Assembly. Edward Cox, President Nixon's son-in-law and the head of the McCain campaign in New York, was there too.
When I came outside, I paused for a moment only to see that this building was literally next door to the Catholic Worker "House of Hospitality" for many of the city's hungry and homeless. It was founded in the 1930s by Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and the other pioneers of the Catholic Worker movement.
I felt guilty for passing it without notice as I had arrived. I felt guilty for never having been there to volunteer. My first visit (in recent memory, anyway) to that block shouldn't have been for a cocktail party.
But, the maxim proved true: immense wealth and the homeless, next door neighbors. Although, I must say, seemingly co-existing peacefully.
The photo above is from here.