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Around the Corner From St. Mark’s Bookshop, Prices Inch Up at Zaiya

Cafe ZaiyaDaniel Maurer

While we have our lens trained on Cooper Square today: The Local was shocked to see that the price of a spicy chicken sandwich went up by 25 cents at Cafe Zaiya — a sign that even one of the neighborhood’s cheapest eateries isn’t recession-proof.

Yesterday, the Japanese cafe raised the price of a pre-packaged onigiri with salmon (a triangle-shaped rice cake) by 25 cents to a whopping $1.75. And the spicy chicken sandwich — a favorite around the Local office — is now $4.25, up from $3.95.

“Gas is up. We have to pay tolls a lot,” said Fabian Lima, an employee at the cafe. “We haven’t raised the price since 2003.”
Read more…

First Person | East Village Newsboy

M_Post-1A-vS-crop-FINAL-V2Tim Milk

With the threat of another recession looming large in the markets, I can’t help but recall another steep downturn, long ago; a terrible time when work was nearly nonexistent. By the summer of 1979 most young people were broke as a joke. But this was not true of a friend of mine, who will hereafter go by the name of “M”

Until M busted a move to help me out, I didn’t have a single prospect. But I had been told, in hushed and reverent tones, that M possessed a secret method of raising cash. M by and by revealed what it was, an absurdly simple scheme, diabolically clever. It involved selling all the joys and sorrows of the world for nothing more than pocket change.

It was the world of the newsboy. Read more…

On St. Marks, Feeling The Recession

Some employees of the souvenir shops on St. Marks Place near Cooper Square say they are relying on Christmas sales to boost their revenue before the end of the year.

Business at Village Tattoo is so bad, says one employee, that the store might have to close its doors after 15 years.

Jason Smith, an employee at First Rich Gift Shop across the street tells The Local that revenue so far this December is less than half of what it was at the same time last year.

Vendors say the stores traditionally do well around the holidays and they hope that a break in the weather will bring shoppers into the streets – and maybe even motivate them to spend.

NYU Journalism’s Liz Wagner reports.

Is The Recession Over?

The students of NYU Journalism’s Reporting New York and Reporting the Nation graduate concentration took to the streets of the East Village to ask a simple question: Do you think the recession is over?

Are you doing better this year than last? What do you think when you hear people say that the recession is over?