Latest palpable sign of tough economic times ahead: The considerable amount of vacant storefronts around town. I've always been aware of the turnover in retail, restaurants, and bars, but it doesn't seem like there's been this many closings since I moved here in spring 2004.
Frown-inducing closings in recent memory: Mary's Dairy on West Fourth and the Baggot Inn on West Third. Zen Palate on Union Square. Cafe Figaro on Bleecker. Ivy's Books (Broadway) and Monsoon (Amsterdam) on the Upper West Side. Les Deux Gamins in the West Village.
What's the future? Total daily nutrition -- a la the Axiom from Wall-E -- delivered through cups and cones hawked by any one of the proliferating high-end frozen dessert purveyors.