This week, I walked through one mall (the Oculus) to get to another mall (Brookfield Place) to arrive at New York Magazine’s office (which is in a mall but suspiciously not a mall). It was only the third time I had been inside an office in the last two years. That afternoon, as I wandered aimlessly through the food court of Brookfield Place, gently clutching my individually sized box of pizza, it felt like nothing had changed. Later, as I left the office for the day, I realized why — it wasn’t just the free breakroom coffee coursing through my veins or the ambient stress of intra-office social interactions. It was the men in puffy vests, some traveling in packs while others wandered alone, the scent of cologne wafting gently behind them. It was the hour where the sun sets quietly on the soft faces of nondescript bankers. It was, as TikTok once coined it, Goldman Hour.
They are back because they were ordered out of their condos by CEO David Solomon, who last month reopened the investment bank’s New York offices to its employees — not just five days a week, as Fortune pointed out, but sometimes six or seven. The sustainability of such work schedules is one question, but I have another: Does this mean Goldman Hour is back?
I’m working from home today because I don’t work for Goldman Sachs (yet), but I asked a few of my colleagues who frequent our office, which is across the street from Goldman’s headquarters, if they’ve noticed an increase in banker sightings. One co-worker said she had noticed “so many Patagonias yesterday” but wasn’t sure if they were tech bros or finance guys. (As for how to feel about their resurgence, Goldman Hour is in the eye of the beholder — for some, it’s an hour of disgust, but for others, it’s a lucrative opportunity where one might pick up a husband but not necessarily be able to tell him apart from other potential husbands.)
The return of Goldman Hour is likely just the beginning of the banker and banker-adjacent man renaissance. While Goldman Sachs has been particularly early and adamant about returning to work (it has a 43-story headquarters and a hotel in Battery Park City to keep occupied, after all), other financial institutions in the neighborhood are also in the process of reopening their offices, some with hybrid models. (Eric Adams is grinning from ear to ear.) As one stands amid a slowly growing sea of gray slacks and brown loafers, the concept of time both speeds up and slows down, forcing one to contemplate how we were somehow all put on the same Earth together — and how we are spending our precious waking moments roasting in the flames of Goldman Hour.