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Suddenly, free time--

Weirdly, Whines and my shopping biorhythms synched up perfectly last night, as we both independently developed a strange urge to wander around in a mall. So, we did.

Mall scene, kind of strange. A lot of stores are consolidated, so the various wings tend to have dark, "mug me" ends with boarded up storefronts, or the big-box department stores have been changed into "conference centers" or "fun rooms," which are both euphamisms for "empty space."

There's also a lot of cheapy-cheap places - crappy snack shops, discount "everything must go" clothing stores with names nobody's ever heard of like "PYM" and "Qual" (well, no, but same principle).

Northcross--my childhood mall--briefly became a refuge for weird businesses that couldn't afford an actual storefront--paint-it-yourself crafts, fly-by-night decorating stores and "your money or your coif" type salons.

I'm wondering if malls might become a refuge for local businesses? The Big Box stores aren't doing too well right now - maaaybe people are realizing that you don't actually need three "Bed Bath and Beyonds" in a five-mile radius. (Do you actually need *one* Bed, Bath and Beyond?") and chain stores are shutting down, this leaves a lot of space for enterprising shops. However, if malls are no longer a *destination*, this makes the noble passtime of mall-walking less relevant, and while a space-saver over a strip center, malls still have a lot of empty space to fill, and the utilies must be high.

Dunno. I miss the mall-walking days, though. Got hooked on D&D at the local mall B Dalton Booksellers, back when there were TWO bookstores in Northcross Mall. And an ice-skating rink, AND an arcade. I think there's a wal-mart there now, but at least they kept the ice-skating rink...

[edit: I think I'm pleased by "your money or your coif." I'll suggest that the next time someone's looking for a "clever" name for a salon.]

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
chrisloy
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
Did the Walmart actually go in? I noticed a new Walgreens over there, but no Mart. Am I just looking in the wrong place?
spottylogic
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Actually, I don't think it did, yet. I was mostly stream-of-conscious-ing.
jrollercoasterd
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
I dunno, I've never been a fan of the mall scene. When we first got into town, I got a job at Hallmark and Jake at LensCrafters for a few months. Felt like every waking minute I was at that mall (well, or gaming, but I view that more fondly :) ). If I have to shop, I'd much rather know was I was going to buy and just go and do it.
spottylogic
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC)
Well, I certainly wouldn't want to *work* there--though I did work at Northcross for a few months, it's kind of depressing!--but I grew up near the mall when it was cool, and I've got a lot of misguided nostalgia for it.
(Deleted comment)
spottylogic
Oct. 1st, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
I like to make one trip through a mall just before Christmas, like the first week in December or so, because you can usually find at least one interesting thing. Other than that, though, I guess I go once every two months or so? Not because I need anything, just because it's a nice place to go for an air-conditioned walk, and Hot Topic calls to me from my goth days.

They're just kind of seedy, though. Except for the big mall in the ritzy part of Austin - it's no fun because it's just a bunch of yuppie stores, though the Sharper Image is kind of fun :)
zanaki
Oct. 1st, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
HEY! Northcross was -my- childhood mall!

I remember falling on my ass trying to ice skate countless times. =]
spottylogic
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Hee hee--I promise, I was there first :) Did you smack into the side of the ice rink at top speed, too? That was my favorite!
kt_kat
Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
Refuge for local business?
Eugh, it depends on the mall, half the retail areas in Austin are owned by Simon and they just host the slew of mainstream stores that are in every mall (Abercrombit, GAP, Gamestop, Rave, Hot Topic, 5.7.9, etc) A lot of local stores get squeezed out. Northcross and Highland aren't owned by Simon as far as I know, so they are definitely funkier(in a good-ish way). Simon just tore all the fun silly stuff out of Lakeline and its all sterile and modern now. No more whimsical hot-air balloon food court, or funky capital building elevator with the real stuffed dancing 'dilloes anymore. :(

I like a mall with fountains(its not a mall to me unless there's that constant running water sound :p) and funky layout, and maybe an arcade. But those are pretty rare nowadays. Northcross and Lakeline lost their arcades years and years ago.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )