Tuesday I didn't feel well, so I left the office early and walked to Union Square. On the way, I saw multiple storefronts and office space seeking tenants. You wouldn't notice the trend unless you were looking for the signs.
So many buildings are under construction and repair right now that the city still looks like it's humming along. For the past several years, there has been scaffolding everywhere...so much so that it's useless to cross the street to avoid it, since the buildings across the street have scaffolding, too.
When I arrived in Union Square, I was struck by how many vendors were selling posters, t-shirts and other items with Obama's likeness. The contrast between the empty storefronts and the images of hope struck me in a deep way.
It's been months since the economic downturn has taken hold. Companies are struggling, and many people I know are out of work. If there is any a time that we need hope, it's now. And these emblems and images are it.
There were no tables full of Yankees insignias, images of 9/11 or even New York City. Instead, tables were filled with images of the President of the United States and the First Family.
How surprising and appropriate and moving is that?
Related posts: Union Square in Black and White, The Guy with a Cat on His Head and The Markets in Union Square.