Cupcake Barometer Points to Deeper Recession

Magnolia Bakery, Greenwich Village, New York City, famous for cupcakesI have never seen such a sullen holiday season in New York. Prices are slashed 35%-50% all over town and still the stores are empty. People are in spending lockdown as the idle crain’s atop hulking abandoned high-rise condos attest to the deep impact of a recession that promises to be prolonged and painful. It seems almost obscene to shop this holiday season.

Alas, this being New York we could always eat our way to some measure of happiness. You may gain a few pounds but you stave off the recession malaise.

The Magnolia Bakery at Bleecker and W. 11th street, Greenwich Village, New York City is a major spot for tourists and impressionable locals The Magnolia Bakery, Greenwich Village, New York City, famous for cupcakes, is suffering in the recessionto gorge on mediocre cupcakes, cakes, and pies and marginally acceptable coffee. The lines at Magnolia are always ridiculously long – I was not willing to waste an hour to get a cupcake (besides, real New Yorkers eschew such obviously touristy behavior).

Then something remarkable happened. In the middle of a nice Sunday, at the height of holiday shopping season, there was no line. I walked in unaccosted, picked out a couple of cupcakes, paid without waiting and was out in a couple of minutes. If people are cutting back on their cupcake consumption we must really be heading for the skids.


  1. Thanks for the interesting post. When people are saving money they ain’t spending it. If they’re not spending it, then there’s less stuff being made. That’s obvious. Here in the UK, our Prime Minister has sussed out finally that it’s better to put money towards training and stimulating job creation than bailing out the banks a second time (the first bailout is failing). Definitely a feeling that the proverbial horse already bolted a while ago …

    All the best from the UK

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