I have been out of town for a few days, and yesterday I took a long walk and was once more amazed at the number of stores that have closed. In the course of being away for a week one of the Village's long established pizza parlors closed, leaving nearly an entire block of Hudson Street with for rent signs. In all my years in New York I have never seen anything like this. New York is on a down swing and things now look very bleak. Although there are numbers suggesting the national economy is turning around, you sure can't tell it by walking around the city.