June 19, 2009


Jan is teaching summer school now, which means she gets home around noon time.  Rather than sit around and stare at each other all afternoon, we like to go out on small errands and stare at each other. The other day, I made up some lame-ass excuse about wanting to look for something at the local mall, when I actually just wanted to go to Bass Pro Shops and look at the giant fish tank.

The big mall in my area is named Gurnee Mills.  When this eyesore was designed, it was supposed to fit into the landscape of the area, which some fucktard thought was a farming community, even though it hasn't been that for 50 years.  So, it was meant to look like a bunch of farm outbuildings kind of fused together.  The resulting structure was horrifying, but fit right in with other trashy venues in the immediate area like a rip-off water park and Six Flags.

The place was an immediate success when it opened 15 years ago, and I can remember Jan and I being pushed around by the crowds inside during it's opening week.  We hadn't been there for a while, and I wasn't very surprised to see what had happened to it.

It's dying.

At least a quarter of the stores inside are shuttered.  And while the stores are closed, they've been replaced by trashy kiosks cluttering the corridors selling anything from t-shirts to oily cake-like substances. And the kiosks are doubly annoying because their occupants aren't satisfied to just sit by their cheap-shit wares.  They roam outside of them and shout at you like carnival barkers on the midway, trying to lure you over to look at their crap.

The stores that are left open sell a bizarre range of products.  One store has nothing but polished rocks.  And at the other end of the spectrum is a place called Neiman Marcus Last Stop, where I guess all top end designer clothes go to die.  We went in on a whim and saw a woman's jacket marked down from $4,500 to the low-low price of only $1,750.  Judging by the women we saw "shopping" in this store, the new look for all high society dames is rubber flip-flops, baggy shorts, tank tops with bra straps showing and to top off the look, their hair pulled back in a greasy pony tail.

Over the last several years, articles on the subject have indicated that indoor malls are losing popularity at an exponential rate, and will eventually crumble back into the farmland or swamps on which they were originally built.  Judging by Gurnee Mills, I can believe this, yet malls are still being built.  Including this hideous monstrosity in the Meadowlands of New Jersey, named Xanadu.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm about "malled" out.  But I'll have to admit that I'll probably visit ours again, simply because I can't get enough of that fish tank at Bass Pro Shops.

1 comment:

  1. The mall here is going bankrupt after a total remodel that I'm sure cost a fortune. Our area (Columbia County-- the suburbs of Augusta, Ga) is growing exponentially, but leaving lots of closed down shopping centers in it's shadow. My husband calls it urban sprawl and hates it-- it doesn't seem like progress to build so many shopping centers only to close them down after a few years to move to the next hot location.