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Friday, February 23, 2018

Shopping malls, consumerism, suburbia

I came across an interesting article from the Atlantic magazine written by Ian Bogost.

It offers one take on the history of shopping malls.

Over the last 50 or so years, the shopping mall has gone from the go-to place for shopping, for teenagers to hang out and get away from their parents before pagers, cell phones, computers, texting and drivers licenses and to mature a bit in a safe environment. Today, consumers purchasing habits are rapidly going online although millions of people still like to go to the mall to buy something, a gift for a family member, special gift for a friend or even a pick-me-up gift for themselves.

 (The Garden Court, Southdale Shopping Center, Edina, MN, 1965)

For those of you that have experiences about being younger, growing up or visiting valley malls, please make a comment below.

For example, I was at the birth of the Northridge Fashion Center.  As a new teenager, my friends and I could walk to the mall or be dropped off at the mall and hang for hours.  We would hang out at the Bob's Big Boy Jr. or at Spencer's Gifts looking at all sorts of new games and odd things. We would walk in the Broadway store, in the Sears store to check out all of the Craftsman tools and grab a drink at Orange Julius.

Older brothers worked in the movie theatre, now where Old Navy is located, and we would pay to go to a movie and sometimes receive a neighbor's special discount to come and watch one or two.

Some employees actually rode their mini-bike (what's a mini-bike??) in the mall before the security guard come come and kick them out.

This 1970s photo is so classic - this contraption is a glorified lawn mower with two wheels, a makeshift seat encased in tubular steel. It has going too fast, unable to steer and careening off the street and into the neighbor's ivy written all over it.

Some of the kids in Northridge had mini-bikes.  Some would ride around at all hours. Some kids from several blocks away would scream down the street, at a whopping 12 mph, and look pretty cool. Then you would see the kid having trouble pushing the mini-bike up the street because the chain busted. Not so cool now.

To read this article, please click HERE.

Again, please do not be bashful to send us a note, make a comment and bring your past experiences, funny and or painful back to life.

1 comment:

Maryley said...

It would be nice if the author signed their name on the post.