Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New York's Rainy Day Market Economy

It has rained in New York nearly non-stop for the last month. And unfortunately I have been carrying around a broken umbrella that entire time.

Cheap umbrellas are easy to come by in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Stop by any 99-cent store or knick-knack bodega and there's usually a pile of them somewhere near the door.

But while they're always cheap, at some times they're cheaper than others. Specifically, when it's not raining.

Umbrellas are $2 or $3 on sunny days when no one needs them. Those are the days to whip out a tenner and stock up.

But when it's pouring and the garbage cans outside are stuffed with inside-out umbrellas, that's when prices double or triple. Still not expensive, true, but enough more to make me think my own rapidly deteriorating umbrella can last just a little bit longer.

With so few sunny days breaking up the clouds, however, neither Paul nor I have gotten replacements. Paul's went past the point of no return last week and is now lining a trash bin somewhere in Brooklyn.

Mine's fading quickly. And the way this summer's going, I might just pull out a $20 bill the next time I replenish my stock of umbrellas.

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