Barely Legally

Confessions of a Moot Court Bailiff

Complete With Monocle Holder

The New York Times on opulent land barges in cargo van form:

As the economy limps along and more attention is paid to the so-called 1 percent, some of the richest New Yorkers have taken to driving around in vehicles that ooze neither wealth nor privilege. But on the inside, the vans may be as lavishly decorated as the private railroad cars owned by turn-of-the-century industrialists.

The most popular model is made by Mercedes: a stripped-down, basic version of the van, the Sprinter, starts at $41,315; Mr. Kantor’s version, which Mercedes-Benz Manhattan arranged to have customized, is fitted with satellite television, a Wi-Fi network and flat-screen monitors, and sells for $189,000. Even that is not quite enough for some New Yorkers, who employ designers to install even pricier custom details that easily drive up the total cost to $500,000.

I actually saw one of those on the Upper West Side the other day. It looked like a limo inside, but outside it was a boring old black cargo van. Fascinating.