March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009
Even The Plaza is in Trouble

It is great to have you join me to see what is going on in my life. I hope you have had a great week. We are almost to the weekend.

We are almost to the end of our latest cold front which left us with nightly below freezing temperatures for several days. BRRRRRR I live in the South so I do not have to tolerate temperature below freezing very often. This year we have had 19 days at or below freezing which is above average for where I live in Florida.

But talk about below average, even the Plaza Hotel in New York City is having problems. I have had the pleasure of staying at the Plaza a couple of times while in NYC on business when I was still in the corporate world. Great hotel but then it should be for what it costs.

But in this depression our economy is in even the Plaza is in trouble.

The upscale shops in the mall under the Plaza Hotel are demanding lower rent since business is so poor. We could have guessed as much. We stumbled upon the mall for the first time recently whilst wandering, confused, around the Upper East Side and went into the Plaza to look at the pretty ceilings and warm up. No one was in the stores, which include Nokia's luxury cell phone brand Vertu, Parisian bookseller Assouline, and handbag maker Ghurka. And why would they be? There are no markings outside to draw the public in, and who aside from maybe Kimora Lee Simmons is interested in visiting a luxury cell phone boutique these days?

Plaza owner Elad Properties is refusing to let the stores renegotiate their multiyear leases. A source close to the situation said if Elad doesn't give a little within the next 90 days, tenants will start moving out, spurring a domino effect, since no one wants to be next to an empty space. Elad is also having trouble marketing the shops and turning it into a place people actually want to spend time in, since they do not want to build things like restaurants to attract shoppers. I would not mind if it quietly closed down, since it is one of the sorriest, most awkward malls I have ever visited. It feels like a suburban mall at 8 a.m. before the stores open when the speed walkers are there. Minus the speed walkers.

My day mainly consisted of working out after my protein shake. Today was chest and bicep day. Still doing three sets of twelve to fifteen reps of four to five exercises per body part. Getting firmer but not where I want to be quite yet.

Planning a lazy weekend around the house. I need to get everything packed up for the Positive Living 12 HIV convention in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida March 13 - 15th. This year since I was on the planning committee, my project is doing our HIV/AIDS awareness table with info geared towards those already HIV positive. Plus PL12 attendees can have their picture taken with Dab the AIDS Bear and/or tell their story about living with HIV/AIDS. But more about that after next weekend.

I hope you have a safe and great weekend. Remember to make a special memory.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab