07 February, 2009

Decline of America blogging

One of the interesting and amusing aspects of inauguration week here in DC was the explosion of the informal sector. With the huge influx of crowds and the skyrocketing-but-temporary demand they represented, some parts of the city took on an aspect usually reserved for Bangkok or Beijing. The sidewalks were lined with vendors selling hats, t-shirts, books, posters, layed out on blankets for easy roll-up if the popo van came patrolling around. You were constantly accosted by entrepreneurs hawking their homemade CDs, or buttons, or whatever. And given the dearth of taxis and the insanity of the metro, you even saw a fair amount of rickshaws (!) buzzing around.

Most all of this dried up the day after the 'naug. But lately as I walk home from the bus stop, I've been noticing that the rickshaws haven't disappeared, at least around the U Street/ Shaw neighborhood. I haven't actually flagged one down to see how much a ride home would be, but it would seem that the mix of growing unemployment and people wanting to save money has led to informal rickshaws finding a stable (if small) niche in the market. Rickshaws.

I for one, welcome America's slide into the third world. Perhaps now we can actually get some decent street food.

1 comment:

Eremita said...

Check out some (ironic) commentary on America, the third world, and street food. And immigrants.