Showing posts with label the recession. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the recession. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Vanessa's Effect: The recession is over!

Since the fall of 2008, Vanessa's, the dumpling house on East 14th Street near Third Avenue, has advertised a recession special.

We figured when that sign came down, it would be Party Time again!

Well, light those cigars, fellas! No more "recession special!" (WOO!)

One Vanessa's insider told me that the dumpling patrons have a risk tolerance that is lower or unchanged compared to one year ago — even with the recent equity market rally. "That doesn’t mean all patrons are cashing in stocks, and hunkering down with bonds," the insider explained.


Meanwhile — Buns All Day for everyone!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We're still in a recession

This and the dumplings special at Vanessa's confirms it.

Oh, and $2,100 for a one bedroom apartment? Hate to see it we weren't in a recession...

At 10th Street and Avenue A.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recession not over until Vanessa's says it is

The big news yesterday... those party animals at The National Bureau of Economic Research said that the recession ended in June 2009.

My ass.

It's not over. You know why? Because the "recession special" sign is still up at Vanessa's Dumplings on 14th Street near Third Avenue....

The Vanessa's sign has been up since the fall of 2008... when it comes down, then we'll know the recession is really over.

I suggest that the fine folks at The National Bureau of Economic Research start eating some dumplings in the meantime.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

In case you were feeling good about things...

Crain's New York has the story.

To Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the recession may be over. But in Queens, Anthony Fodera isn't buying it. The president of 80-year-old bakery-goods distributor Fodera Foods says checks are being returned from customers who had pristine payment histories and orders are off by nearly 25% compared with this time last year.

I don't see the recession being over, especially in New York City, where so much of business revolves around Wall Street,” Mr. Fodera says. “It's my gut [feeling] from what I'm seeing.”

For the city, Mr. Fodera's gut appears to be a better indicator than Mr. Bernanke's statement last week that “the recession is very likely over at this point.” With tax receipts, office and hotel room rentals and Broadway ticket sales all tumbling and unemployment continuing to rise, the city's economy has further to fall before the impact of this epic downturn finally subsides. Even the most optimistic economists' estimates have the five boroughs losing about 150,000 more jobs, on top of the nearly 100,000 jettisoned since August 2008. Experts, drawing on past experience, say the bottom could be more than a year away.

Recovery in the city traditionally lags the nation. For example, in 1991, the national recession ended in March, but the city's jobless rate rose for another 18 months. And unemployment in the city didn't peak until 14 months after the national downturn ended in November 2001.

If the recession is ending now, we're probably looking at the end of next year before peak unemployment arrives,” says James Brown, principal economist at the state Department of Labor.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More reasons why we all should LOVE the recession! (Alternative headline: Enough already with listicles telling us how we should enjoy a recession)

From the Post:

Enough already with the food recession blues. Believe it or not, there are actually some good things the econopocalypse hath wrought — the demise of water sommeliers, gold-flecked sundaes and reservation scalpers chief among them.

So let's get back to basics and toast an end to bloat. Check out our Top 10 reasons for loving the recession.

Among the reasons? An end to Velvet ropes!

While the Meatpacking District is still fueled by models and bottles, there are signs that the trend is waning. We were happy to see the uber swank of Level V recently replaced by 675 Bar. The honest-to-goodness joint is billing itself as a local's hangout ("because the Meatpacking District is a neighborhood, too") offering "a casual, no bottle, no guest list vibe."

And here's the photo the Post uses to illustrate their point on 675 Bar:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Without the fancy job or the big nut, it gets harder to hang around"

In The New Yorker this week, Nick Paumgarten writes a piece titled "The Death of Kings -- Notes from a meltdown." The story is online, though you need to be a registered New Yorker user for access.

An excerpt:

"As for the co-op classes, the Wall Street set, it can seem that the loss they fear most is the loss of face. No one seems to want anyone to know. In one sense, there is less shame in failure now, because it is widespread and undiscerning. Still, it smarts. There are successful circles in which success (to say nothing of money) isn't everything, but without it you'd better bring something else. Charm, wit, talent, kindness and generosity certainly help, but only if they complement characteristics that could be more readily converted into social or professional capital. Without the fancy job or the big nut, it gets harder to hang around."

Monday, May 11, 2009

How the recession may change New York City

New York magazine's cover story this week is titled "Recession Culture." And it begins:

It’s a truism now that money was an engulfing, distorting force of the boom years, particularly in New York. At the level of urban development, it skewed our economy; at the level of culture, it misshaped values; at the level of individual behavior, it corrupted habits and discolored thoughts: This is your brain on money.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


"You know times are tough when the tony cafe at a prestigious Manhattan bank gets turned into a thrift store." (New York Post)

Oh, and anything good?

There were no Rolex watches or Gucci bags on hand to be picked from the tables in the Midtown cafe, on Third Avenue at 58th Street. A Versace jacket was spotted among the items, although it was at least a decade old.

And most of the other odds and ends were just old hand-me-downs, such as a can opener from the 1970s, a coffee maker with its lid missing, a book on ancient Indian head massage and a goblet in the shape of the comic-book villain the Joker.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More signs from the recession

Spotted on Avenue A and Third Street.

On the Bowery.

Second Avenue near Second Street.

Think everyone has seen this already, right? At Eighth Street and Sixth Avenue. Gray's Papaya.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Though somehow, this still seems really expensive (call me when it drops to $29,999)

From the Times:

Bargain seekers, nostalgists and ascetics, take heart: the $200,000 apartment has returned to Manhattan.

And breathe easy: the location is not Yorkville or bust. At these prices, you’d be excused for imagining a box perched on the West Side Highway — or at the very least, a treacherous trek to the subway. Instead, you’ll find properties in Carnegie Hill; Avenue B in the East Village; Tudor City; and the East 50s, 70s and 80s.

Brokers and sellers expressed mild shock — and in some cases outright chagrin — that prime Manhattan property can now be had for a fraction of an A.I.G. bonus.

“When was the last time I saw these prices?” said Dan Danielli, a broker at Halstead Property. “Not in a long time. Let’s put it that way.”

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Manhattan home sales: Worse than the decline in the auto industry

"Manhattan co-op prices dropped the most since 1995 and transactions for all apartments plummeted 48 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as the recession and Wall Street unemployment cut demand." (Bloomberg)

"The drop in sales was worse than the decline in the auto industry. In March, sales at General Motors were off 45 percent from March 2008." (The New York Times)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

At the 2009 Unemployment Olympics

The Unemployment Olympics are under way now in Tompkins Square Park. Hard to say whether there are more contestants (athletes?) or reporters on the scene.

After waiting in line to sign up, you waited in line to take part in the first activity of the day, Pin the Blame on the Boss.

Organizer Nick Goddard had to ask the assembled reporters to move back several times...the media kept inching closer to the Pin the Tail sign, and there wasn't enough room for the participants to spin and pin.

There are other activities planned, including the Fax Machine Toss (which looks suspiciously like a phone), the You're Fired Race and a stress-relieving piñata.

All of this got old pretty quickly. The reporters got their cutesy, "aw, we're-having-fun-in the-recession!" soft news bit and started to leave. Curiosity seekers had time to gawk.

Some Pin the Blame on the Boss video:

Our entrepreneurial spirit

"In the biggest jump in a single month on record, New York City’s unemployment rate leapt to 8.1 percent from 6.9 percent in February, the State Labor Department reported on Thursday.

That rate matched the national unemployment rate for the month and reflected an unprecedented one-year rise from 4.4 percent a year earlier. The rapid deterioration of the city’s job market has erased the notion that the region could be insulated from the wave of job losses sweeping across America.

All told, there were about 335,000 unemployed people in the city, a number reached only once — briefly — in more than a decade. It is almost double the 175,000 city residents who were unemployed a year ago. Over the same period, the number of private-sector jobs in the city has dropped by almost 77,000, to 3.13 million, the report showed."
(The New York Times, March 26)

Today at 1:30 Tompkins Square Park hosts the Unemployment Olympics, which includes events such as Pin the Blame on the Bosses and the Fax Machine Toss.

Hmm, OK. The organizers seem to have good intentions here. Still, I'm not a big fan of "hey, it's a recession, let's have some fun"-type events and stories. And the Olympics seem a little -- this will get me in trouble with the EV Grieve HR Department -- youthful. And collegiate. And! It seems to weigh heavily toward the white collar, 9-to-5 crowd.

I know too many people -- particularly in the food-service industry and construction (the off-the-books types) -- who are reeling from the economy. I don't think they'll be in the mood to throw a fax machine.

Actually, everyone I know is suffering in some way. If these people I know didn't get laid off (such as someone in the EV Grieve household), their salary was cut. Or their hours/shifts/benefits were cut. You've all heard the horror stories.

In any event, throughout all this, I continue to see more and more fliers go up around the neighborhood in which people -- looking to supplement their incomes -- are offering their professional services. I appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit. At one point, I started noting all the different services that I saw being offered. But it just got to be too many. Yoga and pilates instruction. Personal trainer. Dog walker. Carpenter. Tax preparation. Photography. Break dancing(!). Magic. Apartment cleaning. Language lessons. Guitar lessons. (Mrs. Grieve swears that she saw an ad for Guitar Hero instructions.) Drum lessons. Piano lessons. Moving men with vans. Flier distribution. Home theater installation. Bicycle messenger. Personal safety. Gardening. Personal attendant. Etc., etc.

I could use some shelves in the apartment. And I'd like to improve my Spanish. And maybe learn to play the guitar. Of course, I can't afford it now.

Meanwhile, just a few of the fliers...(the chocolate and roses facial doesn't really count...I left it in for the hell of it...)


No one needs any more signs that the economy is in miserable shape. Nonetheless, one particular sign caught our attention. It was taped to the front window of a no-name clothing outlet store in Greenwich Village, on Bleecker Street just east of Seventh Avenue South. A clothing store in Greenwich Village advertised 20 percent off for customers whose names 'made the Madoff’s List.' Few have taken advantage of it. 'Madoff’s Victims Sale,' it said. 'Take an extra 20 percent off if your name made the Madoff’s list." (The New York Times)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Unemployment Olympics coming to Tompkins Square Park

From the Daily News:

A laid-off computer programmer is putting on the Unemployment Olympics next week at Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.

The jobless can take a break from scanning the classifieds and updating their résumés to compete in events like the Fax Machine Toss and the You're Fired Race.

Nick Goddard, 26, came up with the idea when he lost his position last month, and he got a permit to stage the Olympiad at the ballfields at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. "Maybe it will lift everyone's spirits a little," Goddard said yesterday. "Originally, my thought was just to make people laugh."

There will be four events, including Pin the Blame on the Bosses featuring blindfolded competitors - and a stress-relieving piñata.

And there's a Web site.