Thursday, June 29, 2006

Hangin' Out At the Mall

I went to the local mall this afternoon on the forced march my son makes me take. OK, I'll be fair. He doesn't really force me. It's worse than that. If I tell him I'm not going, he gives me the old pouty, I'm so disappointed in you look. I can only fight that so long.

So, there I was, at the "Fashion Mall". It is probably the most pathetic excuse for a mall anyone has ever seen. Many, many empty spaces. For as long as I can remember, it has been owned by various groups from as far away as California. It sold a couple of years ago, and the owners went in a cleaned it up, repainted it, and put a bunch of kiddie toys in the middle and down one aisle. Even when there are no kids in sight (and, usually there aren't), the toys have kiddie laugh-tracks that you can hear all over the place.

I have not seen more than half a dozen people in the mall in a long time. At the front end, there is a Penney's, a Goodies, and behind them, West's and Maurice's. You can go into any of these stores on any given day (except during Christmas), and not see another customer. In fact, you might not see any sales people, either.

And, yet, our newspaper editor urges us to shop at home. Maybe if we had a REAL mall, more people would find a reason to shop there. In the meantime, there is a steady stream of cars heading for the Branson malls. They're only 30 minutes away, after all, and you can get your lottery tickets while you're up there. And have dinner at a restaurant where you get waited on, and you can have a glass of wine if you want to.

I'll go as soon as the tourist season is over in the fall.


saz said...

I live close to a mall built in the 50's - Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo CA. It's always been a busy place - still crowded and has the best stores and restaurants. Also Stanford Shopping Center is an oldie but now a very "trendy" place - a little too rich for me. We do have a mega mall in Milpitas that is exactly like the one you describe. It's newer - huge and has constantly changing stores that never have a soul in them.

Your post made me go back and look up the history of the Hillsdale Mall. Found a "Malls Of America" blog which shows some of the vintage malls. Brought back memories.....

Kell said...

A kiddie laugh-track at toys for when there aren't kids there? That's just so scary. Maybe they read about that in a Stephen King novel. Or a Twilight Zone episode.