I grew up in malls, as they began to sprout in the big city where I rezzed up as a cube.
They were a cross between an extended living room (cuz it became familiar as me and my mom went there on a daily basis on weekdays) and a carnival, with all the lights, the statues spewing water, the coin fountains, the small trees and park spaces therein.
My stroller memories are basically a mismash of rolling across the garish windowed displays and smiling folks (most adults smile when you're a kid), headed for the Toy Store, the one and only goal of all these trips.
Since you don't buy your kid a toy every day, I ended up getting ten-cent Letraset rub-on transfers as a reward for my patience during clothing runs, hair styling salon sittings and general non-toystore activities.
And I loved getting 'em soooooo much!
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Malls were a home-away-from-home, but in the late 60s, early 70s, the economy seemed to match the budget on a run to the mall anyday.
Nowadays, plans need to be made to afford purchases of the random nature which were then the malls' bread and butter (imho).
You could head out, meet teen friends and go for a soda, pick clothes or records (those big platter-like discs with groovy grooves in 'em, they swirl and you can scratch 'em if not careful and...well, they left the malls early on to go solo). Those were the 80s hey-days.
I dunno what happened in the 90s...
(Chopping Mall - I'm looking at you!)
Love this thread, Prof.
Have to resist popping out the zombie memes cuz Dawn of the Dead is one of my favorite movies (possibly *the* main one) for reasons of a+ horror and the best tutorial/intro on malls ever.
I think we're lucky (?) around here that the big city I grew up in (and moved back into) has enough business deals that dead or dying malls get co-opted or torn down before they get all ghost town.
And my smaller teen-years-city has not enough space for that kind of landscape.
Two malls there, one still going (but stores closing regularly) and another outside/inside mall combo that is much smaller (and had a porn/grindhouse cinema stashed within at one time) that got rejiggered into chain names stores, but I think is just plain half-dead now (restaurant on one side, cardboarded windowed doors on the other).
Too sad for spookiness, old barhounds still keep it alive at the front booze spot, but you won't find much inside. Like justin's area, mostly thrift shops temporarily set up there.
Big dollar store booming out front.
Video store out front is...still going? Dunno, gotta find out...maybe.
Looking forward to more posts here.
It's great to read the impressions of others on this subject!