Tuesday, August 10, 2010

at the mall

after seeing my dad off at the airport--the flight out to the rim was the 1st he'd been on a plane in nearly 20 years--I swung around to the mall of america for my semi-annual pilgrimage. I'm not much of a shopper but I like the mall, the opportunity to walk unimpeded for as long as I like, to people-watch, and to see what the zeitgeist is up to. today there were a few surprises:

  • it took me 45 minutes to walk the 4 floors at a brisk pace. I seem to remember it used to take me an hour, so I may have sped up or the mall may have hunched in;

  • who knew franklin covey still has a store? I was sure they'd gone belly up;

  • the stores are less interesting than I remember, all clothes and smoke machines now.

  • there are fewer interactive games: the rides of nickelodeon universe and the store games by james, devoted to monopoly and darts, are still there, but gone are minigolf, the virtual golf course, and lasertag;

  • gone also is the store pain is good, the only store I've ever known that catered to the hot pepper fan;

  • the number of good-looking, well-dressed sales associates is infinitely greater than the number of good-looking, well-dressed customers (at least late morning on a tuesday);

  • there are also fewer (obvious) hookers working the floors that time of day;

  • similarly, there were also no roving packs of suburban tweens on this schooless day;

  • all the comfortable chairs that have been removed from the b&ns and borders in the area have been taken to the mall to be used in various lobbies. I counted at least 3 such lobbies, all of them settled into by elderly men, on each floor;

  • there is no other way to put it but that the mall is an assault on all the senses--visual, aural, tactile, taste and esthetic--but I like the way it smells. it is a jumble of spices, cleansing chemicals, baking odors, perfumes, body odor and sweaty hair and the obnoxious tang of recycled air, with occasional and delightful whiffs of cinnamon, coriander, lilac, fir, balsam and soap and wax. I could remain a full day with my eyes open in the butterfly garden, but I could remain with my eyes closed in the mall.

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