How is everyone recovering?

I mentioned yesterday that I’m in trial.  The trial is in San Jose and I’ve spent a lot of time in the last three weeks walking the six blocks or so between the state superior courthouse and the federal courthouse (my boss is staying at the hotel right across the street from the federal building).  This is the business district of San Jose, not at all the “inner city” we talked about a few posts ago.  But strolling these six blocks up First Street and down Second Street I’ve noticed that nearly half of the storefronts sit empty.  No signs of economic recovery here.

Similarly, the shopping mall in Newark, CA, across the freeway from where I live, has several more vacancies than it has had in recent years.  This area at least has an excuse.  A large automobile factory (commonly called the NUMMI plant) recently shut down, throwing thousands of employees out of work. 

Anyway, I know the Bookwormroom has readers from around the country, indeed, around the world.  This seems like a great time and place to compare notes about what we are seeing in our various communities.  How’s business in your area?  Are there signs of recovery or are things worse than ever?  Let’s see how many areas we can get reports on.