02 February 2009

Death of the Mall (again)

In the New York Times, yesterday.
...There are roughly 1,500 malls in the United States, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, many of them ailing, some of them being converted into office buildings, and others closing their doors for good.
...
We have changed, not the mall.
...
The economic crisis has caused shoppers to go into an essentials-only mode. But the mall has never trafficked in essentials. You can’t, for instance, fill a prescription at the Mall of America, because it doesn’t have a pharmacy. You can, however, buy a vanilla hazelnut fragrance candle in the shape of a miniature cooking skillet. Or a $13 baseball hat that looks as though it’s made of cheddar cheese. A store called Corda-Roy’s sells a variety of bean bags that convert into beds. Magnet Max sells a battery-operated guinea pig that runs continuously on a spinning exercise wheel.

And, as ever, the Mall of America is filled with I-dare-you combinations of fast food and entertainment. You can nibble on a carton of Long John Silver’s buttered lobster bites, then ride the SpongeBob SquarePants roller coaster. You can grab an A & W Coney cheese dog and barbecue fries and then take a virtual submarine ride. You can treat yourself to Mama’s Cinnamon Bread Pudding at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and try the flight simulator at A.C.E.S.
...
“There are days now when I make $160 and think I had a good day,” says Mark Classen, co-owner of Just Dogs! Gourmet, a store in the mall that sells, among other items, signs that say “My Labrador retriever is smarter than your honor roll student” and dog treats shaped like fire hydrants.
....
.. a kiosk that sells hermit crabs as recession-friendly pets.

3 comments:

distracted by shiny objects said...

I smell a road trip...!

N O R T O N said...

I smell those buttered lobster bites!!!

5chw4r7z said...

And in the same paper a full page story about Cincinnati's own Heartless Bastards.