|From New Album 9/4/08 10:01 PM|
Looks can be deceiving. While I was walking through the Financial District yesterday, chasing down the Nooks and Corners of Old New York, I came across this festive scene outside the Stock Exchange. Often a celebration is afoot on the steps of the building, and yesterday looked more fun than usual. The National Football League was kicking off its season, and all the New York Giants fans were anticipating the game last night with the Washington Redskins. The Giants won, 16-7, over the Redskins, apparent victims of the incessant Washington bashing at the Republican Party national convention. (Walking Off the Big Apple happens to like Washington, D.C., a great pedestrian-friendly city of fine restaurants, historic architecture, and clean metro system, and will not sit quietly on the sidelines while the city is demeaned this way.) Back to the steps of the Exchange, an inflatable ketchup bottle and beer can contributed to the overall American tableau.
Inside, however, traders engaged in a vigorous sell-off, the result of poor showings of the national's retail sector and concerns with the number of workers filing for unemployment. Early this morning, more figures were released that indicated a higher than expected number of job losses for the summer. In addition, many more people seem to be behind in their mortgage payments, and the number of foreclosures grows alarmingly. In turn, these trends damper any enthusiasm that an end-of-year economic recovery is in sight. Maybe next year. As I've written about before, it's hard to visualize the overall economy from just the looks of things on Wall Street.
Image by Walking Off the Big Apple, September 4, 2008. The New York Stock Exchange actually sits on Broad Street. Classical Revival building designed by George B. Post, built in 1903. Tours of the interior and the trading floor were suspended after 9/11.
See New York 1900: Edith Wharton and The House of Mirth, A Walk and a Map for the several related posts.