See each of the submitted stories below.
dinner with the ladies
I play sometimes with a NJ big band that features 6 dancing girls on a few numbers throughout the evening. Most of the guys in the band are 50 or older, the girls are in their mid-20s to early 30s. In the past, the band was served pizza after the gig in the bar, and we never saw the girls, except onstage. Now we all eat dinner together between sets downstairs.
I can't tell if this new coed policy is to save money on the dinner for the employees, or to entice the band to come and play for the recently reduced paycheck!
Garden State Parkway toll increase
Driving south today on the GSP (2/18/2010) from Rockland county, NY into New Jersey there was an electronic billboard to inform drivers of a toll increase from .50 to $1.00. If memory serves, this increase will go into effect this Saturday at 10PM. Apparently the new governor has decided to double some of the tolls. I wonder if any other listeners have noticed toll increases on other sections of the parkway, especially where the tolls are now under one dollar. (There are many exits/entrances that are .35 or .50).
Pascack Valley Tolls (Milepost 166.1)
Overbuilding again already?
We have a friend at a payroll service. One client didn't run payroll for 10 months, then ran 2 employees, and this month paid 20. He builds steel fences around construction sites.
Groucho Marx and Hope
Please visit this title on my blog:
My lease expires this March, so I re-negotiated a 10% reduction on my UWS 2-bedroom. I gathered information about the current market in my neighborhood, pitched it to the landlord, and got a significant reduction.
West 83rd Street
Mary Catherine Graziano
Doing Less with Less
There is a lot of talk about "doing more with less" but I believe that this is a fallacy. When you have fewer staff, less gets done. For example, I was at a hotel in Poughkeepsie, and I noticed that the christmas ornaments were still up. Most likely no one had time to take them down. There were also only two wait staff serving over 120 people...loss of potential revenue, as customers decide not to go through the hassle of ordering drinks.
Bananas Comedy Club, Poughkeepsie, NY
the pledge drive
my most worrisome economic indicator is the matching grants during wnyc pledge drives. it used to be that a regular matching grant was 1 for 1 and that the really good matching grants were $2 for every $1 donated. (do i remember a 3 for 1 drive?).
now i hear only .50 for $1 and rarely a match of 1 for 1.
when you can't support wnyc to the same level of generosity, times must be hard.
Vacant storefronts become artist spaces
I just heard learned about an underground movement to take advantage of the many buildings left behind by businesses that have closed in the Recession. A nonprofit group called No Longer Empty turns the vacant storefronts in NYC into art spaces. On Monday they are holding a CD release party/concert for a local orchestra, Metropolis Ensemble, in the old Tower Records building.
14 E Broadway (at 4th St.)
Expanding to help more people in financial trouble
CWCID is a nonprofit located inside the George Washington bus station, this year we are expanding and hiring more financial counselors to give free help to New Yorkers in need.
4211 Broadway, New York, NY 10033
Landlord Prefers Souvenir Shops
I couldn't help but notice this sign under the register of JAM paper goods shop when I ran in for some last-minute gift wrap.
Store Manager Josie Ramirez is behind the counter. She is incredulous that the landlord wants them out just to bring in another souvenir shop. "There are two next door!" she exclaimed. But, she added that those shops are willing to pay three times the rent.
43rd St., 5th Avenue
Going Postal (I might!)
I have lived opposite the Lenox Hill Post Office on E 70th St. Manhattan for the last 35 years. Around 6 months ago the post office decided to park all of their trucks on the block evenings and all weekend long. The block is now a truck parking lot. After contacting the postmaster general's office via Carolyn Maloney's office I am told they are trying to save gas, time and money. This is a fine concept except if you live here there is no longer any quality of life....we cannot see a lovely garden directly opposite, cannot curb a car with visitors on the wkend and the trucks are so large they seem like an invitation to criminals hiding between. For 35 years they parked in a lot 15 blocks away....doesn't seem like so much of a saving to me. (We are also contending with the construction of the 2nd Ave subway here which is supposed to be ready in 10 years!
east 70th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave
Maplewood and South Orange, in Essex County are highly desirable communities for people moving from New York City. Close, easy commute for NYC workers, but these towns are victims of NJ home rule issues. I've been showing homes in Maplewood and South Orange...every single one of them is involved in a tax appeal. It is impossible to counsel my buyers regarding price. And all but a very few are either short sales or bank owned or impossible to show. It's just completely crazy now. I have never seen anything like this.
event baths less eventful
the "event bath" at spa castle out in college point, queens [http://nyspacastle.com] is a square jacuzzi tub. it formerly featured a daily rotation of scent/herb/flavoring "events," but now the bath is only eventful, ie, flavored, on the weekends.
economic downturn/crisis/ = an eventless baths m-f.
this report is on the ladies event bath; according to my boyfriend the men's side has suffered the same loss.
131-10 11th ave, college point, ny
Wanted to point out toall who were not aware that the City of NY has frozen all Section 8 vouchers. In other words no New claims will be processed. Will we start seeing more homeless people?
Disappointed with Media Coverage on Economy
The media including wnyc are almost completely disconnected from the public and their economic concerns.
Thats why i stopped listening to WNYC about 7 years ago.
Thom Hartmann does a good job of addressing the economic problems that have developed as a result of the 30 year class war against everyone that is not rich.
Reagan started it all. He was probably the worst president ever.
Can't Give It Away
I am a professional photographer. I regularly photograph a trade show over five days for a major trade magazine . The editors decided to forgo the coverage last year because they did not have the budget. I usually enjoy this work and I have shot this show with them for years. I decided to volunteer to shoot the show for free one day to help out during hard times. However, the editors aid they could not use my free pictures anyway -- there were not enough pages in the magazine to run the photos. There is not enough advertising to support it! I can't give my services away in this economy!
New York, New York
It's amazing how much money you can save by using coupons! Watch for your fave items to go on sale and clip coupons from the paper, magazines, or even the Internet (if your store accepts them). This is a great way to make you income last longer.
Fall of Journalism
My grandmother grew up during the depression, and although she's financially stable, she's always kind of pinched her pennies. She likes to read the paper every day, but she doesn't see why she should pay the fifty cents or whatever it costs when she can get it for free. Lately, she's taken to picking up the newspaper after her sister-in-law down the street is done with it. My grandmother will read it, and then she'll pass it along to a friend of hers. I half-jokingly told her that she's the reason the newspapers are going out of business!
1025 Rt. 10, Hanover, NJ
On my commute to work, I noticed a traffic backup leading into a mall at 6am on Wednesday.
I have opened a free account on mint.com and have been checking where the money is going every day. For the first time in a decade I have a clear picture of our budget and understand that after all bills are paid we only have a couple of hundred dollars left on everything else. So I discontinued subscriptions to TV, cell phone, gym and stopped mindless purchases from Amazon, Home Shopping Network, QVC as well as stopped visiting restaurants, and became friends with free NPR Radio, Skype, Facebook, Netflix and our local library. By saving money I was able to sponsor of NPR ($10 a month) and find many new friends and affiliates. It did not cost me a dime. My life had never been better!
42 Berkely lane, Syosset NY 11791