See each of the submitted stories below.
Bye-Bye Cherry Garcia
Ben & Jerry's on 3rd ave. is closing after 20 years due to difficult financial times. Right in the heart of NYU dormville, it's kind of shocking that those many kids with means can't keep it going.
41 Third Avenue, NY, NY 10003
Some things are looking up
A friend who, among other things, does computer training as an independent consultant had a prolonged dry spell in 2009 (perhaps a gig a month). She's recently been getting one to two assignments a week.
Quite a change.
Fewer Summer Camp Jobs
As a 15 year old, I was lucky to be hired for one of the few paying positions left at a town camp this year in New Canaan, CT. The number of unpaid Assistants-In-Training expanded vastly this year, at the expense of Assistants. However, good news has been coming, a few AIT's were hired back as full time assistants, in our highly volatile market, this is a sign that something is picking up in the economy.
South Avenue, New Canaan, CT
A flood of collection calls
I have recently established a new office for my company and had four new phone lines installed. Two of the "new" numbers are constantly flooded with collection calls from credit cards, mortgage companies, etc. Clearly, my numbers were recycled from people with financial difficulties. Too bad there's not a cooling off period before they reissue phone numbers.
Priced out of the bagel market
Two weeks ago, First Avenue and 22nd St.. A bagel with Nova salmon and cream cheese (no extras). $11.18 after tax.
First Ave, 22nd Street
Source of employment opportunities
I am a subscriber to the Philanthropy News Digest (free on email.) The PND publishes open jobs at nonprofits all over the City every day. Most seem to be fairly low level, but some are administrative.
Probably low salaries, of course, but I noticed a small increase recently in the number of daily posted jobs.
The jobs web site URL is: <www.foundationcenter.org/PND/jobs>
The northeast corner of Saint Patrick's Cathedral has an altar for Saint Jude, the patron saint of the impossible or hopeless causes. Every few weeks I go to the cathedral to inspect the altar, as I find it an uncommon indicator on the economy. In late 2008 into the beginning of the second half of 2009, the altar was ablaze with candles with five to six boxes of candles adjacent to the altar, waiting to take their place. Recently activity--although still somewhat brisk and above normal--has abated from this highpoint, and continues to decrease slowly.
During 2007, there were few candles lighted, which suggests this indicator works when irrational exuberance is present as well
ST. Patricks Cathedral, 50th Street and 5th Avenue
I recently noticed that the Dollar Store on 10th Ave between 51st & 52nd has changed it's name to Dollar Grocery and now sells primarily food and household items like toilet paper and paper towels. This store used to have more clothing and toys for sale. There is also a much larger grocery section on the Jack's 99 cent stores as more folks are doing their food shopping in these stores.
10th Avenue, 51st Street
It began to drizzle lightly in Providence yesterday afternoon and the forecast called for more. I returned to my old and junky Toyota Corolla after a day of slaving over my masters thesis to find that someone had neatly removed my windshield wipers. I hope that it suggests a safety-conscious sort of desperation to steal windshield wipers, I can't imagine they'd have much resale value.
130 Bowen St., Providence, RI
People are participating in charitable events!
In March of 2009, Whippany Rotary had our 3rd biggest fundraiser Beefsteak Dinner), and we were way off the year before. Then, in June, we had our biggest fundraiser, our duck races and were off about 20% compared to the year before. In November, we had our Casino Night, and it was just so well run, and it was great! The year before, we raised about $6,000, and in November we raised about $10,000! We've had our Beefsteak Dinner and were up over last year, though we won't know how much until the board meeting at the end of the month. Tonight, I went to the Gift of Life Gala, and the organizer told me that we had over 100 more people there than we did last year! He expects the proceeds to be up by 20%! Perhaps people are spending their entertainment dollars in ways that a community conscious?
Housing Seminar with Jobs Spillover news
So, I went to this seminar today, and it was all about housing in NJ (I'm a real estate agent) but there was a real focus on jobs. NJ has been losing jobs hand over fist for many (10+) years. Companies move out of the state because of the unfavorable tax situations. The real job growth in the state has only been government jobs for about 10 years. (With their odious healthcare and pension responsibilities.) On the other hand, high end corporate jobs that have left the state are being replaced with lower-pay jobs. So, in reality, the net job loss is about 14,000 over the last 10 years, but the high end jobs are not being replaced at the high end.
This means that homes priced at a million dollars or more and especially at 2.5 million dollars or more may never sell. So what do you do with them? Interesting question.
I went to a seminar today about housing trends in NJ, and how these trends affects housing prices. (I'm a realtor.) In NJ, we believe in "home rule" which is a totally different discussion, but right now, here, 2/3 of the buyers have no school-aged children. Soon, 3/4 of the buyers will have no school-aged children. The Boomers have lost their school-aged children, and their children are not having children at a significant rate. So, school quality is becoming a less significant issue. So interesting when the state is totally cutting school funding to the schools that have always been regarded as some of the best, including in my town, where the state funding will go to zero. At the same time that the town's major employer has moved out. Yet, the town is one where all of the statistics show prices have at least bottomed out, and may be increasing.
Man in pin-striped suit, handing out copies of his resume as a flier to passerby's.
51st St & Park Ave, New York, NY
Discount Fine Dining
A sizable discount was being offered at the upscale restaurant in Prague's Obecní dům last September 17th, but there were no takers in sight that evening.
Obecní dům, Prague, Czech Republic
Come in, Relax, SHOP!
A handwritten sign saying "Massage Inside" in a computer store on 8th Ave by the Port Authority is certainly a sign of the times to me.
8th Avenue and 44th Street
Who Wins in the State Lottery
In my local store on Columbus & 94th selling papers, cards, school supplies, candy, etc, the people buying lottery, megaball, numbers tickets have almost crowded out anyone else shopping there. Ever since they had a big winner, the lines are practically out the door, filled with hopefuls buying fistfuls of the ever- increasing permutations of lottery and numbers tickets. 99% are minority, and many look aged and probably on assistance. Some pop for $40-$50 worth of tickets at a time. Where is their money coming from, and more importantly Brian where is all this money going in the state coffers? Can you please investigate where the lottery income winds up? Shouldn't it be helping to help defray the deficit? How come there is so much state financial trouble when the state takes in fortunes from these lottery gamblers?
Columbus between 93-94 east side
katherine M. Horejsi
dollar for 50 cent match
Listening to WNYC during the pledge drives, I've become accustomed to the phrase "Dollar for Dollar Match". But this year I've only heard the offer to "match a dollar for every two dollars that you pledge".
Commute time Indicator
I live in LA, not NYC. Perhaps in LA, street/freeway traffic intensity, hence commute time may serve as an indicator of real economic robustness, or lack thereof. Heavy traffic, long commutes, so good economic times. Light traffic, short commutes, hence bad economy and high unemployment.
Could some analog of this phenomenon (conjectured to apply to automobile-dominated LA) be relevant to subway-dominated NYC?
For examples: park attendance, library attendance, grocery/restaurant waiting queue length, sidewalk population density during rush hour, rush hour/late morning sidewalk density ratio, etcetera.
These prospective indicators should be openly visible and easily monitored.
Sprucing up a smaller office
I work for a solo practitioner atty on Court St in Downtown Brooklyn. There are about a dozen such attorneys in this office suite. Things have slowed a bit for all of them. So we are reshuffling the rooms and the central open area: my boss is moving into a smaller office, I am moving to a smaller desk outside his room; the others are moving around. Building management has approved and is taking this chance to do new carpet, some painting, incl. reception space, cleaning outside of windows, etc., as they u/stand the importance of appearance. We are all doing masses of discarding/shredding of old files to also improve appearances. My boss & I are same generation, he a couple of years older, we have similar memory problems,so the only danger to me of becoming unemployed is if he decides finally to work at home, coming Downtown only when strictly necessary to meet clients. Several of the other attys do the same. He might keep me on for a couple of days a week, to keep the paperwork under control. Most of his contact w/clients has for some time nw been by email, & the courts decided a couple of years ago to accept ems as acceptabe legal records, and fax signatures as originals. Can't attach photo, don't have capability on my computer. GL
26 Court Street, Booklyn, 11242
Medicare HMO coxt
We live in NJ and are members of Horizon Medicare Blue Access w/ Rx Standard (HMO-POS).
The monthly fee in 2009 was $65.30 and in 2010 is $127.10. This is more than the 29 % or so levied in California. It is actually 194 %.
This increase affects mainly to people on a fixed income, which are the least able to afford it.
We are going to hell in a hand basket. A very expensive one.
46 Hudson Ave, Edgewater, NJ 07020