Things are kind of quiet here on Cape Cod in contrast to the traffic and lines from years past.

I'm able to walk into many restaurants that had hour waits and lines out the door in previous years. Some of the better restaurants now offer nightly takeout dinners that feed six people for $29.95. The special includes entrees like grilled salmon or chicken piccata, a vegetable, a starch, salad and bread. How are they making money?

There are also lots of $5-$25 off coupons for restaurants trying to get a bigger piece of a smaller pie. There are many empty storefronts in most of the towns, something that I have never seen on the Cape. It's very easy now to get a parking spot in the quaint town of Chatham-before you had to drive around like you were looking for a spot in Manhattan. The Cape Cod Mall is a ghost town. There are empty stores, and many stores with no customers inside. It's easy to get a parking spot right near the entrance, and it's easy to find a table at the food court.

There are plenty of For Sale signs in front of homes, many of them still on the market from a year or two ago. Home prices appear to be down about 20% from last summer, no matter what price range or location. Many homeowners seem unwilling to lower their prices and are just sitting and waiting for a recovery that may never come.

How does it look where you are?