The inspirational journal of rising NYC jewelry designer, entrepreneur, violinist, and pastry chef, Yumi Chen.

NYC Jewelry Designer, Violinist, Pastry Chef, Small Business Owner, Free-Spirit, Positive Thinker!

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Posts Tagged ‘recession’

THE GREAT RECESSION

Friday, February 27th, 2009

recession_special
photo credit: www.blogadilla.com

Do you ever wonder if we are living in a time that will one day be the fodder of great art and literature and history books? It’s the little things that tip me off. Like when I went into my coffee shop to order my latte yesterday. I always grab a packet of honey to sweeten it up, but I was told “Sorry, out of honey”. Really? Not quite the life of Ma and Pa Joad, I realize, but it’s just far enough away from the norm that it makes you stop and think.

I bumped into my superintendent the other day as he was hauling a used refrigerator into my neighbor’s apartment. He told me that my neighbor’s gorgeous stainless steel refrigerator’s compressor broke and due to the recession, they were unable to get the parts to fix it. The company apparently told them that they would be shipping out the parts in a few months, so for the meantime, they were placing a temporary refrigerator in the apartment. Seriously?

Maybe I’m hyper-aware of the situation since I’m reading Ayn Rand’s “We The Living” which takes place during the Communist Revolution in Russia. The words are beautiful, but it is almost too depressing and frightening to read. It makes me so grateful that we, in modern day America, are only standing in lines at the change counting machines in banks (I had over $70 in change! Yippee!) rather than spending hours in line hoping to score some stale bread or sour millet. Sheesh.

But you can’t help but notice the “Recession Special” signs adorning shops and cafes (Gray’s Papaya neon signs are probably the most obvious), the special bargain menus popping up at restaurants everywhere, even at Jean Georges! Conversations everywhere are about money and work. At least people seem to be maintaining a certain sense of humor about it all: the windows of a store on Broadway are covered in papers saying: “The ‘We’re Not Closing’ Sale- Up To 70% Off!”

I read somewhere yesterday that hard times don’t build character, they reveal it. If there’s one thing I’m sure of it is the resilience of this city and its people. It is definitely an interesting time, but I do feel confident that we won’t be faced with the struggles depicted in the photos and stories from the 1930s.

I can do without honey for a while.