The Recession Is Over

Forget housing starts, GDP and international durable goods orders.  Don’t worry about CD rates, or those pesky unemployment figures.  As 2009 ends, the news is good:  The recession is over.

Trust me.  I know.  I rely on a foolproof method:  Post Road traffic.

For decades, I’ve been able to tell when school is out.  Driving around town is a breeze.  I could roll a bowling ball down US1, and not hit a soul.  Christmas, February vacation, spring break — it was always the same.  Everyone was somewhere else.

A year ago, everything changed.  The Great Recession spooked us all.  Like endangered turtles, we retreated into our shells.  No one went anywhere.  People who had never not been elsewhere during a vacation learned to love Blockbuster and the Bow-Tie Cinema.

But at holiday parties this month, I sensed a change.  Folks talked eagerly of upcoming trips to Utah, Europe, Bonaire.

Well, Bonaire to you too.

They weren’t kidding.  Saturday — the day after Christmas — Westport was like a ghost town.  Just like 2007, I drove where I wanted, parked where I pleased, even went to the CVS lot and lived to tell the tale.

You heard it first on “06880”:  The recession is over.

And you can take that to the bank.

(Of course, the recession never slowed some people down.  Westporter Eileen Ogintz described some of her family’s best trips in 2009 — including Aspen, the Grand Canyon, California, Alaska, the Cayman Islands and (for her daughter’s Staples graduation gift) Tahiti.  It should be noted that Eileen is a professional travel writer who specializes in “taking the kids.”

4 responses to “The Recession Is Over

  1. That’s interesting. I have noticed the lack of traffic in town, but chalked it up to driving to nearby destinations. I’ve heard friends say “Oh we’re staying here this year” more often than not (from people who previously would never be caught at home for the holidays). I hope you’re right!

  2. This made me smile this morning, your writing is just so great. Bonair!

  3. Dick Lowenstein

    Dan, I have trouble understanding you when you say something with your tongue in your cheek!

  4. How right you are Dan.

    Of course it’s over, since 60 percent of Westport is made up of Wall Streeters and since they got back all the money they lost on their bad bets thanks to taxpayers they’re all singing ‘Happy Days Are Here Again!!’, and you thought those were Christmas carols you were hearing!

    If you read the Wall St. Journal, then you would know that bonuses are back to and beyond (see Goldman Sachs) their 2007 highs.

    So like everything else in this country, it all depends on what side of the Street you’re on to whether it’s over or not.

    Now if only I had a ‘rich’ Uncle to bail me out…