Thursday, March 12, 2009
Trickle Down Economics ~ Even the Trickle has Dried Up
NYC is putting on a brave face. After all, we're the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, we have chutzpah, cojones and moxy. But as I walk around the city, it's getting depressing. Chain stores are consolidating, small stores are closing altogether. Restaurants are empty. You can even walk around Times Square. The foreign tourists who helped to keep this city going at the beginning of the downturn are no longer visiting.
Construction projects are frozen in time. When real estate was very valuable, developers bought up three or four adjacent small buildings, tore them down and put up luxury hi rises. Now, the small buildings are gone, but the hi rises have not been started. I think of all those people forced to move out of affordable housing to make way for something that is not even being built!
Each of those shops that is closing represents new people out of work. I haven't seen more homeless people on the streets yet, but I fear it is coming. With so many more people in need of basic services, it won't take much to make NYC fall off the fine line we usually walk! But Bloomingdale's continues to change their window displays even though the Spring merchandise is already marked down and there are bank branches everywhere! But they don't have many customers either. Business as usual without the business!