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10 Photos That Tell the Story of Our Economy Right Now


If you're looking for an obvious narrative arc, you may be disappointed.


There are a myriad of tools available to market watchers looking for a reading on the economy, but sometimes the best indicators are observations from everyday life. Recently we asked our contributors to send us original photos that would tell the story of our economy right now. As you'll see from the results, there's no dominate theme in what our writers picked out from the environment, except perhaps a feeling of uncertainty and indecisiveness.

1. A "fugly" house in San Francisco.


This home is in the Inner Mission, one of the San Francisco neighborhoods popular with programmers, developers, and other young professionals. It was listed in April as a fixer-upper. The property received 32 offers after nine days on the market. The sale closed in early June at 96% above asking, inspiring the following haiku:

Fugly from the front
But location can't be beat
A feeding frenzy.

Text and photo: Andrew Jeffery, Minyanville contributor and owner of Cirios Real Estate. Follow him on Twitter at @schnageler. Find his recent articles for Minyanville here.

2. Nah, we're not in denial.


Interesting how even as Facebook's (FB) stock is falling, it continues to expand. It's as if there is a disconnect between Main Street and Wall Street.....

Three thousand miles east
Numbers flicker on a screen
Irrelevant price

Text and photo: Andrew Jeffery, Minyanville contributor and owner of Cirios Real Estate.

(See also: 10 Takes on the Facebook IPO From Investing Experts)

3. "I've got a delivery here for exposed filament bulbs and an espresso bar."


We're living in an age of transition, and here in Atlanta, nothing is more emblematic of that transition than the almost $200 million that Jamestown is putting into what will become Ponce City Market. Built in the 1920s, it was originally a hub for Sears (SHLD), abandoned in the late 1980s, and sold to the city of Atlanta, where it remained mostly dormant until 2010. As part of the nationwide trend of gentrifying urban cores, Jamestown's vision for the building is to turn it into Atlanta's version of Manhattan's trendy Chelsea Market. It's scheduled to open in early 2014.

Text and photo: Conor Sen. Sen is currently a private investor, and recently spent more than four years at a multi-billion-dollar West Coast-based hedge fund. Follow him on Twitter at @conorsen. Find his recent articles for Minyanville here.

4. Can't afford to be picky.


It's not clear what the message is here. One sign on this empty lot offers "affordable town homes" in a prime location, across from Mamaroneck Harbor on Route 1 in Mamaroneck, New York. The other sign advertises the same property as a "commercial lot" for sale. Maybe the possibilities are endless, or will be when the real estate market shows signs of life. Mamaroneck is a suburb of New York City.

Text and photo: Carol Kopp, Minyanville contributor and freelance journalist. Find her recent articles for Minyanville here.

5. Double happiness? Why not.

Here's a small ray of optimism, in the village of Mamaroneck, New York. An old-fashioned luncheonette and a hair salon next door both appear to have new owners, and are holding their "Grand Opening" events.

Text and photo: Carol Kopp, Minyanville contributor and freelance journalist.

6. Nothing rented, nothing gained.

Somebody's ready to take a chance. The real estate agency's sign on an empty Mamaroneck storefront says, "Rented."

Text and photo: Carol Kopp, Minyanville contributor and freelance journalist.

7. One dollar note. (Two photos)



The U-Haul station where I rented a cargo van last month operates out of a little trailer in the back of a junkyard in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood. Christmas lights and ornaments were strung around the perimeter of the inside, and the owner's young son was playing an old video game on a desktop computer as I filled out paperwork. This dollar bill was posted on the wall, along with pictures of Obama on the campaign trail. The owner told me he found the pictures in a returned U-Haul truck and decided to post them in his office. If you look closely at the bill, the stamp includes The Aaron Burr Society website, "Progressive Libertarians working for the Commonwealth of The People."

Text and photos: Lisa Caccioppoli, Minyanville Copy Chief.

8. Hiring.


The US job market remains enormously challenged, as evidenced by consistently weak non-farm payroll numbers. So it's no surprise that hard-on-their-luck folks are grasping for every available opportunity, tearing up this flyer for security guards in the process.

Text and photo: Michael Comeau, Minyanville Columnist and Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @Michael Comeau. Find his recent articles for Minyanville here.

9. Gold bubble, anyone?


Some folks have been talking about a gold (GLD) bubble for years. Could a Brooklyn barber shop buying gold mean that they're right? What you don't see in this photo: a newly-opened "We Buy Gold" store, right across the street.

Text and photo: Michael Comeau, Minyanville Columnist and Editor.

10. Green Mountain in the streets.


Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR), maker of the Keurig single-serve coffee machine, has struggled due to big earnings misses, competition from Starbucks (SBUX), and an assault from noted short-seller David Einhorn. In one baby step toward coming back, the Keurig marketing team was pushing their machines straight to the public in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.

Text and photo: Michael Comeau, Minyanville Columnist and Editor.

Have your own photo you'd like to share? Send your original images to Don't forget to include a caption.

Twitter: @Minyanville

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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