Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Mall

Cloverleaf Mall, Richmond, VA. Photo courtesy of the fantastic, and currently inactive, Vintage Richmond website. I hope that the webmaster, a guy named "Jon" whom I  used to see in the mall a lot, gets back to doing his thing again soon.
There was a time when I loved that bastion of social activity known as "the mall." It didn't necessarily matter WHAT mall (although it sort of did*), but it had to be a mall.

*No, it did matter: you would take the Danbury Fair Mall over the Jefferson Valley Mall or - yikes - the Baldwin Place Mall. Or the Westchester Mall (and not the fancy Westchester that sits in White Plains, but the rag-tag one that was in Mohegan Lake).

Yet, still, it was the mall. It beat being at home.

So when I saw a friend post a link to this on the dreaded evil known as Facebook (such a double-edged saw FB is), I clicked with interest.

Pictures of in the late 80's and early 90's? Oh yeah.

Let's face it: I was one. On Senior Cut Day (December 12, 1986), my crew and I gathered for breakfast. Then we went to Danbury. Of course, a guard asked if we were supposed to be in school and, I, as the oldest-looking and, generally, more mature of the group (scary as that sounds) replied: "They're with me. I'm in college."

"Where do you go?"


Such was life at the mall. We dated there. We made friends there. We had our own language. 

It was also fun to walk around malls - not just in my area, but in other areas. It was part of how I discovered what life was like. Sure there were a lot of the chains, but there was also a certain amount of local flavor to be found - stores that we didn't see back home.

I've walked so many, from Maine to Florida to Nevada to California.

This book, Malls Across America, looks pretty interesting.

Heck, I even worked in the retail publishing industry at one time, for two years, at Directory of Major Malls in the late-90's.

So, yeah.

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