Somehow I forgot to bring my book this morning. And so from the bus to and from work, I had the chance to see the changes in and around the neighborhood. Apart from what had been obvious before the holidays - places to shop closing down, I have never realized that there had been so much changes in the span of 2 months since Nicole returned to Manila. Tthe noodle house on 3rd and 88this no more. Circuit City on 86th has closed as part of the bankruptcy filing of the company. A series of stores along Second Avenue on 86th have also been bordered up: Cold Stone Creamery, Gothic Cabinets, Go Sushi. The Laytner's Store on 86th has clearance sale and so does Pier 1 on Third Ave, making me wonder if they are also on the way to closing down.
The only good news: the new high rise residential building on 86th and Lexington will house a new branch of H&M which will open in Spring 2009.
A sign of the times? Sadly, all financial forecasts state that things will not go on the uptrend until the end of the year and still, many businesses may not be able to sustain lack-luster operations til then. And the repercussion of the negative crisis in the USA and Europe won't affect Asia's manufacturing income until the middle of the year when businesses start reducing order volumes due for fall/winter 2009 (spring and summer orders have already been placed by September 2008 when the Wall Street sh*t hit the fan).
A grim forecast for 2009 but you have to be familiar with the old adage: hope for the best but expect the worst.