Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

10 February 2008

Malls of the Dead

A recent issue of the Economist magazine pointed out that George A. Romero's "Day of the Dead" was, among other things, a commentary on the shopping mall. It's in a mall that the last survivors take refuge.

The original, first shopping mall ever, Southdale Center, was opened in 1956 in Edina, Minnesota, near Minneapolis. The Wikipedia article claims the designer was a "socialist". But I don't think that's clear. Designing a hub of capitalism seems a funny way for such a person to spend his time.

Truly, the mall has been one of the big success stories of the last sixty years or so. They get bigger, they offer more shops, they host walking groups ...

Like these, but livelier...



("They came, they saw, they did a little shopping ...

"Sales! Saaaaales! Hruuughn! Saaales!")

But nature, red in tooth and claw, plays her part in the evolution of the mall as well. And in accordance with Darwin's theory, more or less, the fittest tend to survive.



Hence, the internet sites called DeadMalls dot com, and Labelscar.com. A site celebrating the rotting hulks of a dozen dozen commercial-sized dreams with ample parking, day or night.

[By the way, my picture quest took me to the blog of the nicely disturbed cakeyvoice. Of course "nicely disturbed". What else can one say about a person who has knitted Michael Meyers (not the nicely disturbed Canadian one), a buncha zombies, and Kraftwerk?]

4 Comments:

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Philipa said...

I hate shopping malls. We have a huge one near us that was sanctioned and subsidised by central government against local wishes (apart from the wishes of the two locals that built the thing) - the shops in it got a two year tax break and... all the shops were big nationals. Free parking too meant all the small independant traders in the local towns went out of business. All the quirky little stores, the grocer and butcher, in ghost towns full of charity shops and drunks.

 
At 3:05 AM, OpenID raincoaster said...

Is that Park Royal?

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Metro said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Metro said...

@Philipa:
As Hometown grows, we're accumulating crappy mega-stores. Our local Wal-Mart has already been rebuilt once. I assume it's to accomodate wider aisles to allow two chubby, croc-wearing, trailer-trash country-music fans, each pushing a loaded cart containing two kids, each eating a nice nourishing Twinkie, side-by-side.

I have nothing against chubby people, hell, I AM chubby people. I have nothing against trailer trash, I was that too, for a while.

Country fans, well I excuse them on the grounds that most of them simply don't know any better, they're like children, really ...

And crocs? Anyone who isn't actually standing in a carrot patch but is wearing crocs should be shot on sight, if not on principle.

But combining the above in one sweatsuit-staining package just freaks me out.

However, our local Wally World is actually free-standing. That is, it sucks business not only from the downtown core, but from the three kilometres of strip-and-enclosed malls erected along our main street.

Live by the megastore, die by the megastore, I guess.

@RC
It's part of the late lamented Dixie Square Mall in Illinois. Kinda looked like one of the T.O. malls to me, as well. "Park Royal" doesn't ring a bell. I used to park my truck out back of the place to get some rest when I was still running flat deck all over the landscape.

Here's more info:
http://eddie.kbx81.net/dsmall.html

 

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