Sunday, August 8, 2010

What Recession?

A Field Report

Called 2 Vine late last week for a Saturday reservation.   Nothing available between 6pm and 8:00.   Took the 8:00.   Parking lot crammed to the gills at 7:30.   Desperate would-be parkers circle the lot, waiting for any space to open.

Two-hour wait at Mr. Dominic’s the week before, on Friday.

Hour wait for table at Hose 22 in Charlotte.   Three deep at the bar at Jojo’s in Pittsford.   Standing-room only for a drink at Pelican’s; 45 minutes for a table.   Ditto at Salena’s in Village Gate, Joey B’s in Fairport and Mario's.   No parking in sight in vicinity of Bistro 135 and Lemoncello in East Rochester.   Hour wait for a table at The Cottage in Mendon.   Same at Good Luck, Veneto, Henry B’s in the City, the Next Door Bar and Grill.   At every venue a jam-packed parking lot.

Saturday nights in the chain-restaurant corridors of Henrietta, Greece, Pittsford, Irondequoit, Webster:   queues of the gullible, sweltering in the heat, snake from restaurant entrances deep into choked car parks, waiting to overpay for a pile of salted fat on a plate at the Obese Garden, the Slopcake Factory, the International House of Lard, and others of the type of place that advertises on TV.

Observing this, and thinking of the experiences of the past year and more, recounted above, I turn to Venus and ask, “Recession? What recession? Where is it?

Yet unemployment sticks stubbornly to just under 10%.   Can people afford to go out to eat because they have the money, yet unemployment stays high because, as Kudlow suggests, "cash-rich businesses are mostly avoiding new hires in the face of the Obamacare regulatory threats and the uncertainty about future tax burdens"?

What’s your explanation?


AllanBlockhead said...

It's becoming a "have" or "have not" world...those who can afford 2 Vine and those who cannot.

Perhaps 10% unemployment is the "new normal". With the offshoring of jobs and new efficiencies found in the manufacturing and services sectors, additional workers might not be needed once demand picks up.

Philbrick said...

Steve, I thought you've been looking a little chunky lately. You need to eat at home more.