There is a catchphrase out there - "...in this economy". Not a day goes by when I do not hear it or say it. How's work? someone will ask me. Busy, I reply. That's something in this economy, they will say. And yes it is.
I am a bit dubious of the economic downturn, if the local restaurants are any judge. Last Tuesday, I went out to dinner with my studio owner (I figured I was about get fired or something, bu she just wanted to touch base). Since she is a fairly restricted food person (clean food, whole food, vegetarian leaning), and I am a gastronomic goat (I will eat pretty much anything), I let her pick a venue. Max's Oyster Bar. A Tuesday night around 6:30 - how bad could it be?
An hour wait; that's how bad. We crossed the street for Arugala, not quite so crowded but still relatively busy on a Tuesday night.
Last night, my friend Audrey was in town for a movie and wanted to go out to dinner. I let her choose - and she chose Plan B over on New Park. I was dubious (Saturday night and all) but it was early, 5:30, so I drove over there. We never got out of the car - the queue to get in was spilling out onto the sidewalk. Not unexpected (Plan B is a smallish place and popular) so I suggested Element's Bistro over on New Britain in Elmwood. Things looked good - the parking lot was pretty empty (I've seen it full), no visible line - but when we got in there, a 50 minute wait.
We ended up over at Bombay Olive. Which was also doing a nice business, with a number of tables marked Reserved, although there was room for us.
I dunno, it seems to me that if times are really all that dire, these reasonably upscale restaurants would be struggling a little bit. I know that lots of people are losing jobs, companies are downsizing, times are fraught with fear and paralysis. But so much of this economic panic seems to be based on emotion, on expecting the worst, on waiting for the bottom and the hoped for uptick. When I look around and see these restaurants still full, still a hot ticket, well, it's hard to not be just a little hopeful.
As a coda, you know I teach and practice yoga. Friday at noon, I had 25 people in my class. Granted, it was a low cost, $5 class, but it's nice to teach to a room full of people. And yesterday, I took a class with Nykki that was filled up with 60 bodies. People are still spending time and money. So I'll choose hope over fear, and maybe my economic optimism will float another boat or two.