Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A mixed message about our economy

The Pierini DIET - click here to learn more

Last Friday evening after another long day of work, my wife and I took a "passeggiata" in our neighborhood. A passeggiata is the Italian “art”, social ritual and tradition of taking a walk – actually a gentle stroll – in the evening. We learned of this daily pastime and joined the crowds during our many trips to Italy.

We live in an eclectic and gentrified neighborhood referred to as “midtown” that is two blocks from Sutter’s Fort - a pivotal point in California and Sacramento history – and one mile from the State Capitol. It’s a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with many eating and drinking establishments, hair style salons, boutique retail stores, tattoo parlors and the latest trend in business establishments of medicinal marijuana dispensaries (that’ll be the topic of a blogflection on a different day). Young and middle-age people of all socio-economic circles like to come and hang out or loiter in midtown on the weekends because there’s more action to be had than in the sleepy suburbs where many of them reside.

People watching is an integral part of my passeggiata and I couldn’t help but notice how festive everyone seemed to be as we walked past restaurants with outdoor seating. I’ve been there and done that and know the power of a TGIF-mindset with an alcoholic drink in hand. Some had their other hand occupied with a cigarette smoke in progress. Money was definitely being spent and a good time appeared to being had by all.

Taking it all in perspective made me wonder if these people represented but a small privileged slice of my community who had all their bills and taxes paid, health insurance policy cards in their wallets, and “rainy day slush fund accounts” fully funded. Or perhaps this crowd was a representative cross-section of my community that is struggling economically but out, nonetheless, for an evening of drowning their sorrowful plight with some Friday evening food and spirits.

What I saw that evening gave me a mixed message about our economy.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

No comments: