This is What a Recession Looks Like

This is what a recession looks like. It’s 3:15 on a Friday afternoon at Newark Liberty airport and there’s nobody here. There should be the weekly mass exodus of business travellers fleeing New York for their homeland, but instead the airport feels more like a very lonely convention center.

I can’t help but wonder what the airport in Washington is like…

Ironic Sign of the Times

You may have read recently about the death of print – especially the newspaper.  It seems like every day there is a story about a newspaper going bankrupt, advertising shrinking and companies canceling print ads.  I therefore found a recent New Yorker cover quite ironic:

New Yorker Cover - The End is NearOstensibly, it’s a comment on the fact that all we’re hearing about is the collapse of economic life as we know it, and that it’s reflected in the fact that everything in New York is for sale right now.  However, it could equally be a plea by the New Yorker’s editors to have someone – anyone – please buy some ads in the paper or they’re going under (the New Yorker is owned by Conde Nast, which is in turn owned by the private Advance Publications, so they can probably sustain a loss for a long time before going bankrupt).

The entire issue was 76 pages long (79 potential pages of advertising including front & back covers) and had only 6 (!) paid full-page ads and 8 single column paid ads (it’s a 3 column layout).  To masquerade this, they added 2 full-page house ads and 4 single column house ads.  Subtracting out the 4 pages of ads associated with the front cover/first page, that’s only 4 full-page ads in 75 pages – or about 5% ads.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a magazine with less advertising in my life.

Hard Times A’Coming?

I’ve noticed three interesting things in New York over the past few weeks.

1) I don’t get nearly as much junk mail as I used to.  In fact, a few days this week I’ve had no mail at all (don’t know if that should make me happy or sad).  My guess is that the credit card companies are cutting down on their marketing budgets to keep profits high.

2) There are a bunch of billboards for rent near me – including a couple down in the meatpacking district that are about as good as they get for location.

3) They just can’t seem to lease space in Chelsea Market right now.  There are a bunch of shops that have gone under and not been replaced.

These are anecdotes, and the plural of anecdote is not data, but is America’s “recession that isn’t” finally coming to NYC?