Monday, February 2, 2009

An afternoon at the museum

I had occasion to meet a friend for lunch today. We decided to take our chances and try to get in at a favorite restaurant in the local museum. This particular museum is the best in the area and full of lots of lovely displays that they change with the seasons.

Frankly, because it's such a beautiful place as well as a yummy restaurant, I was shocked shocked shocked at how empty both were. Yes, it was midday during the week, but come on. We weren't just seated immediately, we were seated in a really empty section, our food arrived really quickly, and the place stayed fairly empty the entire time we were there.

I suppose the economy has a lot to do with that. Heck, the economy had a lot to do with the museum becoming what it is today. Just last year, I remember when this museum changed its displays because they old ones had been sold out instead of them just being shipped off to the discount liquidators. And it was just last year when that restaurant had an hour long wait at almost anytime of day. But last year consumers had credit cards, they had investment portfolios, the economy was going just fine (or so we thought) and consumers were spending like drunken sailors. Ahh, the good ol' days.

It's just so sad to see such a fabulous, high end museum mall so bereft of shoppers. And I love love love the Cheesecake Factory, but if the place stays that easy to get into, it'll quickly be impossible to get a table since they'll be closed.

If anyone out there has insight as to how this could reverse itself quickly, please do tell! My inbox in open, and I'd love some reason to be more positive on both the stock market in general as well as retail stocks in particular. But today Macy's cut 7,000 jobs, which is a pretty clear indicator that they're not looking for a quick turnaround either.

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