What’s in your neighborhood?

Via Naked Capitalism comes this question about comparing economic data for a successful area in the aggregate with contrasting signs of things being not so good for some.

Puzzling Economic Sightings

Now and again I ask readers for input on what they are seeing locally, a sort of regional check on the statistics and media reports on how the economy is faring.

I’ve seen some things in my backyard that have me puzzled and wondered if readers see similar patterns.

On the one hand, New York City should be faring better than the country overall. It’s dominated by finance, which benefits from ZIRP. Wall Street had a decent bonus year last year and both bonuses and staffing levels are forecast to rise this year. The real estate market here is smoking, due at least in part, I’m told, to Russians and other foreign buyers being leery of property markets in the Eurozone, and so New York is high on a shorter-than-ever list of places to buy.

Yet…I have never seen so many vacant retail stores in my neighborhood, even in the worst of the crisis. And the pattern isn’t the “all storefronts for one building vacant” sort, which means a building is slotted for demolition or a major makeover. And some long-established local mini-chains have gone bankrupt.

Do you see any local cross currents? Can you make sense of them?