This is an update Jan. 9, 2009:
So far the first reports are that this fair is bordering on a bust for many artisans. As expected the economy is one of the reasons. The second being that a number of artisans were not invited. One of the reasons, from what I have been told is that a number of store object to their being artisans in front of their areas. Rumor has it that some of these stores are actually corporations and each have swallowed up the areas where 3 stores used to be. Furthermore other smaller shops are being forced to leave and from what I was told there is a whole line of small shops on the first floor that will close down within the week. The art kiosk that used to be at the end just east of borders is already gone and I was told that it had been paying something like $15,000.00 a month! That was not even a store just a kiosk in the passage way. I dread to think what it is that the actual stores are paying.
On a positive note I was told that the guy who had the art kiosk is doing rather well selling on the streets by way of the contacts he had acquired. He is now saving by not having to pay $15,000.00 ( if in fact that figure is correct) and that is money Plaza is not getting. Three Cheers for the little guy!!! As for the artisans things are not looking good. I recall that not too long ago many of these artisans would rake in good sums of money. Now things are not the same and from the word on the street is things are going to get a lot worse now that the new administration is officially in. There is already talk about new taxes on a whole bunch of things from gasoline to liquor and cigarettes as well as property not to mention cell phone calls. At this moment I am unable to verify this as I am rather busy but I will be checking into all of this by the early part of next week.
I had already estimated that things would not be good so it was no surprise to me. Many continue to be optimistic (?) but two days of dismal sales have passed and there are only two (really one and a half as Sunday is only half a day ) left. So unless Moses comes and parts the passage way in the Mall and floods it with buyers tomorrow may prove to be a repeat of the past two days which have been dismal at best!
I will be keeping an eye on the next one and a half days and give another update at the end of that.