Sticker shock in the Big Apple

It was just a few years ago that the price of a Jim Beam Manhattan hit $14 in New York City. Shocking enough to make me call home from a comfy chair in the Library Bar at the trendy Hudson hotel on West 58th Street to share the astounding development with my wife.

Admittedly, it was a great Manhattan, but $14 seemed very steep even for New York.

Since then cocktail prices -- and even beer and wine prices in some places -- have been skyrocketing. Absurdly so, in the opinions of many.

The iconoclastic Village Voice newspaper has launched a campaign to out the overchargers, asking for anecdotes from readers. Even people from other publications are writing in. The latest roundup of outrage makes for excellent reading -- as well as being a good consumer guide.

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