Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Departed

This is Nancy, sitting in the middle. She's been giving me pedicures for as long as I can remember. She and her 3 sisters have been working in Hollywood for 23 years. Their small salon's rent in a strip mall went from $3,000 a month to $5,000 a month. These hard working sisters came from Vietnam many, many years ago and put in 16 hour days. Their children are all A students and do not have cell phones. They also do not watch a lot of TV and speak flawless English, even though their parents don't. Nancy's nephew, in back of her, was mad that there is no summer school because Arnold S. canceled it all.

They always had their shrine up with different fruits for different seasons and good fortune but even that couldn't protect them from the recession. Everyone is sad to see them go.

They did not accept credit cards. The Thais in my neighborhood don't accept them either. They save and don't reward VISA, Mastercard or AMEX with their hard-earned 2 or 3%. They are unfailingly polite and kind in a country that tried to wipe them out, a war their families remember well. End of Nancy.


  1. That is so unfortunate! More unfortunate are these are exactly the businesses that are going to be crushed by this administration.

    So sad!


  2. It's just sad to see so many hardworking people struggling in this economy. It shouldn't have to be this way, and the people who caused this crash are relaxing somewhere on a beach and still have plenty of money in their kids' college funds.

  3. That's so sad. Not only are small business owners closing their doors, but individuals wanting to open new businesses cannot because of the current economy.

    And who is that mall landlord going to find as a new tenant?

  4. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Here in Hawaii we had a wonderful restaurant called Alfred's. They did the same thing. Alfred's rent was doubled, and two weeks later he died (heart attack). Then, after the place was empty for 2 years (and no rent being paid), they rented it to new people. It was called "The Bistro." It was great. There was a guy playing Cole Porter on the piano, and you could wander in and get an incredible eggplant souffle (believe me, unbelievable) for like $6 and then, they doubled the Bistro's rent. The place has been empty for over 2 years again. They should all rot. Or maybe they needed the extra cash to invest w/Bernie Madoff...just a thought.
    Martha Jane

  5. Anonymous6:12 PM

    So better the space should remain empty with no rent coming in. The leasing company are run by fools. Not only do they lose, but they destroyed a business that this family worked hard to build. This economy/recession is taking its toll on everyone.

  6. Suzy,
    I'm sorry to hear about this for them. Your description has honored them in such a way that we should never take our freedom or blessings for granted.
    What a hard thing to have happen to wonderful people who have truly worked to make themselves the trustworthy, honest Americans they are. I wish more kids were raised like Nancy's family has raised theirs. Our future just might look brighter!

  7. Wonderful family. I understand the son's stress over no summer school. My boys are also high achievers. We take silly things like health or gym in the summer to leave more room for computer classes during the school year.

    Shame on Arnold cutting back on educational opportunities for the kids.

    I think this family will do great! They are very hard workers. I pray that they land on their feet very soon.

  8. That is sad but I believe they will be fine, because they stick together as a family; they'll put their minds, talents and money together and create something even better. We can all take a lesson from them and learn to thrive as community. The time of "flying solo" is coming to an end, I think.

  9. Sad, and I am afraid it will only get worse before it gets better! esp with a President that takes a plane to take his wife out on the town!

  10. I blame George. Perhaps we can send them to live with him.

    He should be supporting ALL that have lost their jobs in this *&$@ economy.

  11. Sad to see. :o(

  12. So sad. I can totally feel their pain. ;o( This economy can bite me. Wait. It already did.

  13. How frustrating. As if a new tenant will be able to afford the higher rent.... and these folks had probably been paying promptly for years and years.

    I am guessing the landlord actually wanted them (and probably all the other shops) out, so he could sell the place to a new investor without having to worry about honoring the remaining leases.

  14. That's just so very heartbreaking.
    I hope they can start a new shop elsewhere.
    I heard about Arnolds cutting of summer school and I really couldn't believe it. I should have.
    Of course as a teenager,I would have loved that!

  15. Oh Suzy that is just wrong. We have some commercial property and we have cut our rent back to 1989 prices. We just couldn't in good conscience raise rents in this time of life.

    Our son works for UCSB and he has been told they will be furloughed 13 days in the next semester.

    I don't think this is all Arnie's fault. (Although he is the convenient one to slap) I think it's too many years of too much greed.

  16. How is it even legal that their rent can be almost doubled like that?

    I blame rampant unchecked capitalism.

  17. That does suck.
    I hope maybe they can find a new place and re-establish themselves. Awesome on the "no credit cards" too.

    Good luck to them and a great post, very touching.

  18. there is no respite anywhere...

  19. I think you have a heart of gold under that bitchy exterior.

  20. Anonymous12:50 PM

    End of this chapter in Nancy and her family's life, and beginning
    of a new chapter. What a darn shame to have rent raised, and I applaud them not giving that 3 percent to Visa, etc.

    I am a business owner who surprisingly was only trounced on
    in Jan/Feb - but the rebound has
    been unbelievable, especially when
    our products include mainly granite!

    I understand the hard work philosophy and the long hours they have put in, not to mention back
    breaking work (imo)
    That's what makes this so so sad.

    Work harder and longer, and get your rent raised-has to be something more to this one - even
    in selling the building, I would prefer to buy it with each stall
    taken. hmmmm, I do wish I could
    help Nancy and their family.

    They have that much more business
    experience not to mention great
    ethics, so I'll bet on Nancy and
    her family.

    Would love to know what this landlord is really up to...go
    get 'em Nancyfamily!