Tuesday, February 06, 2007

When Local Malls Come Tumbling Down

I’m lucky to be in one of the largest cities in the world. I’ve been in small no-name towns, and they don’t come close in terms of resources.

There are two major shopping malls within 15-minutes from my home, 24-hour grocery stores a walk away, and a conveyance store just across the street from my apartment.

In small towns, often all the stores close around the same time at night, and many are scattered great distances from each other – means a lot of planned out traveling.

One of my local malls is changing – possibly for the worse.

Fairview Mall has been one of my favorite local malls since – well since forever. When I was a kid, my parents took me there. Through my teens, I’d go with my friends – we’d buy pop and candy bars at the Bulk Barn and sneak them in with us at the movie theatres. As an adult, I have gone to Fairview Mall many times, on my own and with friends, to shop.

Fairview Mall is under construction – all the good stores are gone or relocated elsewhere. The ceiling is a mess with scaffolding girders holding up patches here and there. There are fenced off areas with yellow tape and wooden planks, as construction workers do whatever it is they have been told to do.

I was talking with one of the sales staff in one of the stores at Fairview Mall. She tells me she’s not quite sure what is going on, but rumor has it that mall management is trying to make the place more like Yorkdale Mall.

Ah, Yorkdale Mall – one of the largest malls in Canada. But also one of the most expensive. I actually feel uncomfortable going to Yorkdale, because I don’t drive a Porsche, Hummer, ‘Beemer’ or any other vehicle that spells rich-man-a-walking.

Yorkdale Mall is mostly overpriced, high-end women’s clothing stores. There is a decent food court, and they have a great big movie theatre complex, and a handful of restaurants. But even though I can easily go to Yorkdale Mall, I don’t. I don’t like it – most of the stores cater to women, and there really isn’t much of interest to me – or my pocketbook at Yorkdale Mall.

I really hope this rumor about Fairview Mall is false. Fairview Mall used to have a good selection of stores to cater to average shoppers like me. They had some sports clothing stores, mens casual and dress stores, womens casual and dress stores, toy stores, bookstores – they had it all.

If Fairview Mall becomes another Yorkdale Mall, where will I go for a nice pair of pants?

I know where I’ll go – and it won’t be Fairview Mall.

And that really is sad in a way, because Fairview Mall has been a part of my life since I can remember. It is tragic when some 18-year-old whiz kid with an MBA tells someone what will make their mall a better mall.

Although that 18-year-old whiz kid probably has a great education in his field, he probably hasn’t ever been to a real mall. Probably never gone on a date – too busy reading and studying is my hunch. So, this 18-year-old whiz kid probably gave the best advice he could dig up in his books and other research materials.

Reality is so very different from what they teach in school these days. Textbooks are often as old, if not older than the professors spewing their aged words of wisdom.

And that’s why my local mall has come tumbling down.

Thanks -- you pimple-faced freak!

You ruined an amazingly good thing, by trying to make it better.

F*cking freak.

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