March 08, 2009

It's the Economy Stupid....or Maybe Not

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.

1 comment:

Kathy G said...

"Choose hope not fear"
Namaste to you for that my friend. Needed that kick-up today, bizarre interview yesterday that left me kicked-down...been too easy to go there lately. March over the years has been a month of sadnesses...grandfather died suddenly, father died after just over a half-year struggle. As I may have mentioned my father was raised amidst the Roman Catholic rituals. He especially loved the rosary. It is a continuing comfort to me to remember those days of his illness when I'd pray it with him. My Mom would be doing the “work as prayer thing” out in the kitchen, yet be present right there along with us. Flip forward to Kirtan's comfort, my spiritual drumming and energy movement comforts. Giving, receiving. It sparks again, that rosary chanting, that time spent in communion with Mom and Dad and Spirit. It was not some empty ritual but some conveyance of him to me in the now. There was a little booklet he had that put forth a choice of intents. He would look to me, sending Spirit thoughts, a questioning and confirming wrapped up in one. What is it that we pray for? / we know what we pray for, right? / we will know what we prayed for / we will get the answer we didn’t know we needed when we need it. Sometimes he would blessedly take a quick little nap, wake and look to me for…had I noticed and for rejoining. I’d give a reassuring glance to say…ah but you were really here all along, even in sleep. We are Always right here together.
At our little family thing before the funeral, instead of the funeral director I did the prayers and the rosary. A brief yikes, leading here, on the spot for the intent, Hmm.....Faith in the Answer presenting itself…Love, the certainty of that was there for us, but there’s something else circling around me. Reel it in, reel it in…Oh, I got it! Choose hope he sent then, choose hope he sent today. A giant nearly 10 year rewind…. Quite a big fish Dad. As we’d chorus after being treated to a meal out – “Thanks Dad!”
“And the greatest of these is…hope”