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Found 10 results

  1. @2nd Amendment Brony's status update got me thinking... Does anybody here still go to shopping malls? Are they pretty much empty or do a decent amount of people still go there? It's sad that they're a dying breed nowadays, since online shopping has exploded in popularity. I'm glad people still go to the mall in my college town, even though it's clear that it is nowhere near as popular as it was when it was originally built. Much of the parking lot around the complex is now empty space. But there are some neat shops in there, like a retro gaming store and two stores that are basically Hot Topic under different names. There's an arcade, and the food court has some great pizza + pretzels.
  2. The Schuylkill Mall: 1980 to 2017. The doors can be closed any day now, so if you're near Frackville, PA, I suggest you visit as soon as possible. This mall is symptomatic of the economic decline of the Pennsylvania coal region more than the current trend away from mall shopping. The mall was one of several planned and built by Crown American in largely rural areas near Interstate highway exits. Another one, the Shippensburg Mall, is also along I-81. That mall is very weak and possibly dying as well, but that one isn't in imminent danger of closing. The same can't be said of the Schuylkill Mall. The previous owner of the Schuylkill Mall declared bankruptcy last year due to declining sales. Subsequently, the property was auctioned off and purchased by NorthPoint development, a company which specializes in building logistical facilities. At that point, the writing was on the wall. In May the tenants were given 60-90 days to vacate. We're now beyond the end of that period and the mall's website was taken down. I don't know if any inline stores are left. But it was announced that demolition will start from the Bon-Ton (already closed) to the Pearl Theater side, allowing the movie theater to remain until the end of the year. Anyway, that's the condensed version of what's happening now. So, why is the Schuylkill Mall cool and why should anyone care? Because it's one of the best examples of vintage 1970s and 80s retail architecture. There are now a number of good videos on Youtube featuring this mall which will help preserve the memory of this place and this chapter in the Frackville area's history. The first one is from Dan Bell which includes an old school commercial that I could have sworn I saw first hand back in the day. This was recorded in 2015. The thumbnail highlights a vintage Spencer's storefront and the video goes on to show the distinctive tile and fountains seen throughout. It's a shame almost none of this will be preserved. But I am happy to say that the coal miner statue has found a new home at a nearby mining museum and amusement park. And just for giggles, here's another walk though the mall. This one is from February of this year and you can already see how much deader it is. UPDATE: The Schuylkill Mall closed its doors for the last time on August 31, 2017.
  3. Baltimore is an interesting city I started visiting back in the 1990s. It had a relatively new rail transit system with a subway line and a light rail service reaching out from the center of the city. Two of those lines terminated near enclosed malls. Those were Owings Mills and Hunt Valley and today both are defunct. Hunt Valley has long since been replaced with a lifestyle and power center and this article focuses solely on Owings Mills. It opened in 1986 to great success and included upscale stores like Saks and Williams Sonoma. But as the years went on competing malls underwent renovations and began to draw those shoppers away. Several well publicized crimes also scared away shoppers including the murder of a mall employee as she was walking between her job and the Baltimore Metro subway station in 1992. By the 2000s the mall had a higher than average vacancy rate and the Great Recession ended any hope of a comeback. During my 2014 trip to Bronycon, I spent most of my time hanging out with fellow forum members. But for several hours on Sunday, I was nowhere near the convention. Instead, I was taking what would be my last trip to Owings Mills Mall. The end had already been announced for that property. The landlord was going to demolish it and replace it with an open air mixed use development of apartments, office, and retail space. By then the place was almost a total ghost town with just a handful of stores and, I think, one vendor left in the food court which was presumptuously called the Conservatory. About a year later in September of 2015 the doors closed for the last time. Here is one of Dan Bell's first Dead Mall Series entries. It lacks the vaporware music and thoroughly produced introductions that his later videos are known for. But it's still a great overview of the mall in its final months. Dan did a second video of this mall after dark and with the limited light the place looks strikingly different. Now here's a rare peek into Owings Mills after it was formally closed. Fixtures and items were being auctioned off and thus the public was allowed in on one final occasion. Be sure to check out how it looks now. That's it for this month. In September, I will be taking a break from dead malls to talk about another famous edifice that will soon be meeting its fate. See ya then!
  4. For July's entry I've decided to stay in the Keystone state. Century III Mall is in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin. It was built on a former slag pile and opened its doors in 1979 and it was an immediate success. But the good times didn't really carry over into this century. By 2010 the mall was in a downward spiral of declining sales and stores. Other malls like South Hills Village or brand new outdoor shopping centers like the Waterfront were siphoning away shoppers. After several years of diminishing returns, Simon Property Group turned in the keys on this property just like they did with Granite Run. It was ultimately sold to Moonbeam Investments which has bought several distressed retail for rock bottom prices in recent years with intentions of fixing them up. It is believed Moonbeam plans to partially demall this building but no concrete details have been released as far as I can tell. Anyway I had the pleasure of visiting Century III during my trip to Pittsburgh in 2013. I already read a thorough write up on the mall at Labelscar's website seen here and it also has an entry at Dead Malls Century III was indeed a dead mall and delightfully so. The thing I enjoyed the most about the place was the unorthodox angles the various wings of the mall went off in. Also the mall is split level in some locations and it's all connected by a cool series of ramps and stairways. But one thing they didn't have yet was the carousel. Yup, if you've got nothing else to draw people to your mall, put amusement rides in there. Century III has gotten extensive coverage on Youtube and here are two of my favorite videos. The first is another Dan Bell entry: And this is from another Youtuber who is closely following in Dan's footsteps with a number of mall videos of his own: I almost forgot about that enormous but empty parking garage. It almost gave me the creeps as I walked past it. I don't think the food court was that abandoned either. In closing, Century III is one mall I'd love to visit again but chances it will close before I get the opportunity to do so. :/
  5. I've done a topic about the best and worst transportation system. Now I'm doing one about shopping malls. Here's my best and worst so far. Best: - Westfield Valley Fair, San Jose: This was a hard one to pick but I went with this one. Why? Because the atmosphere is good and it's big. - Lloyd Center, Portland: Same as above except it has an ice rink. - Westfield San Francisco Centre: Good location; in the downtown area. Worst: - Hilltop Mall, Richmond: This mall is a dump. Not many good stores and I don't really feel safe in it. I know this happens in every mall, but this was the only mall I've witnessed a fight in it.
  6. I found this rather interesting article about abandoned malls in the US. When I scrolled through the pictures, I was shocked that they reminded me of The Last of Us so strongly, I bet they used some of these photos to design certain parts of the game. (inside malls) Back to the topic at hand... Malls are declining... and not just small, no-town malls. Large malls with over hundreds of stores... I don't know if this will continue on in our current time of financial events, but I certainly hope not. It fascinates me though. The feel you get when looking at these pictures is so... surreal yet disturbing. It kinda makes me want to go abandon-mall hunting. XD As if these places are historical landmarks... which I kinda guess they are since they once did serve a purpose on our planet. Another thing that I found interesting was this specific quote, "That all changed in the 1990s. Cloverleaf’s best customers, women, began staying away from the mall, fearful of the youth who were beginning to congregate there. People started seeing kids with huge baggy pants and chains hanging off their belts, and people were intimidated, and they would say there were gangs.” ^ That right there personally relates to me. (not the mall though) Back in the day, we were all known as skaters.. goths.. punks. We wore trip pants with chains, mostly all black. We did look intimidating but as far as my group of friends go, we were completely harmless. We actually supported the mall by spending tons of money at the arcades due to that place being our hang out spot. We also ate in the food court like NO tomorrow. We were just as much as a customer as the next guy. That seems pretty spiteful.. But just out of curiosity, anyone else on here use to be a part of that group? Here's some of the pictures:
  7. I went to the mall today, with my mom and my little brother. I brought my wallet with a shitload of money in it, and I ended up not buying anything. I wanted to buy a band t-shirt or some patches and buttons but, they didn't have any. They had plenty of sports jerseys and Obey shirts, multiple stores that sell them but no band shirts (of bands that I like). I ordered a band shirt EXACTLY two weeks ago from today and it hasen't came in the mail. WTF? My brother got charged for it, they said it would take 2-14 days and it hasen't came in the mail. I want my fucking shirt Dx They didn't have much MLP stuff either, I wanted to buy a blind bag pony but they didn't have any. There weren't any trading card either. My little brother was also being really annoying, he kept on whining because he wanted a puzzle. Eventully he did get his puzzle, so he did shut up for a while. Then, we finally went home. I knew from the very start that I should've just stayed home but, I got optimistic. I have too much money that I've been saving up from my daily allowence and I want to blow it on something. Who knew that two dollars a day could add up to so much?
  8. Greetings, everyone. I just wanted to tell you a few interesting stories I have dug up about retail history. I've done some work in the field, but only in the past year have I begun to understand what a simple store can reveal about a community, and the stories it can tell--even after it's gone. Take shopping malls, for example. When I was growing up we went to Maplewood Mall, a vibrant and healthy shopping center that's still going strong. Back then I thought malls were these big, unstoppable superstores that would never go away. But now I know better. (Made by me on Youtube:) Since the 1970s, and especially the 90s and 2000s, malls have been closing down all over the U.S. Many lose their anchor stores (like Sears or Dillard's) and starve from lack of business. Others can't compete with other malls that are newer, bigger or more conveniently located. Some lose all their traffic because of rising crime rates and their communities changing around them (the famous Dixie Square Mall in IL and the subject of my video). And still others just never should have been built (Forest Fair Mall in Cincinnati). On top of all that, there is the growing shadow of Internet merchants and big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Costco that have sprung up all over the country and cut into their profits. Public shopping centers go as far back as ancient Rome with Trajan's Forum. The first enclosed mall ever built in the U.S. was Rhode Island's Westminster Arcade in 1828, but they did not become common here until the 1950s and 60s, thanks to the visions of Austrian-born architect Victor Gruen. Gruen originally wanted malls to be not only shopping centers, but community centers complete with residential areas, medical facilities, and schools. He believed they would centralize towns and cities and change civilization for the better. In fact, his most celebrated creation was built here in Minnesota: the Southdale Center in Edina. It was the first mall to be fully enclosed and climate-controlled, and thousands of similar malls were soon constructed all over the nation. "Fifty years ago," wrote Malcolm Gladwell in a 2004 article for The New Yorker, "Victor Gruen designed a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant shopping complex with a garden court under a skylight—and today virtually every regional shopping center in America is a fully enclosed, introverted, multitiered, double-anchor-tenant complex with a garden court under a skylight. Victor Gruen didn’t design a building; he designed an archetype." However, the grandest elements of Gruen's vision were never to be. "He didn’t appreciate that it made a lot more sense, for his client, to save civilization at a hundred and fifty thousand square feet than at six hundred thousand square feet. The lesson of America was that the grandest of visions could be derailed by the most banal of details, like the size of the retail footprint, or whether Congress set the depreciation allowance at forty years or twenty years. When, late in life, Gruen came to realize this, it was a powerfully disillusioning experience. He revisited one of his old shopping centers, and saw all the sprawling development around it, and pronounced himself in “severe emotional shock.” Malls, he said, had been disfigured by “the ugliness and discomfort of the land-wasting seas of parking” around them. Developers were interested only in profit. “I refuse to pay alimony for those bastard developments,” he said in a speech in London, in 1978." The Southdale Center still stands today, but as the retail climate changed in the 21st century, many of its successors have not been so lucky. Some malls have quietly died and been revamped as libraries, schools or storehouses. Others have sat empty and abandoned for years, like Dixie Square, or been quickly demolished as smaller strip malls and open-air shopping centers take their place. But they all have a story to tell, and I believe these stories are worth remembering. You can read them at by people who shopped there and grew up in the region. In some places, malls were criticized as invaders, profit machines bereft of culture that were an eyesore in their cities and choked the life out of the downtown areas. But in the long run, these places were just another stage of the country's economic development. Now the malls themselves are slowly but surely being phased out. Today I look at the nasty urban sprawl that is taking their place, jump-started by national chain stores racing to keep up with 'white flight' and the country's unstable demographics. They have fled the shopping centers and instead are camping out all over the highways and the outskirts of our cities--"smearing their logo feces all over the landscape," as George Carlin once said. Today I see that sorry display and wonder, "Is this any better? Maybe it's worse." Thanks for reading. And any TL;DR comments will be deleted with extreme prejudice. Cheers!
  9. Pre-write: Wow, I've made these store stories into a series! I wanna thank all the Bronies/Pegasisters out there for inspiring me to tell more. All my newer stories will have this sort of layout, so they are much more explanatory, not just a conversation line and a backstory. OK, as we know, I've met several crazy mother about their daughters, but today, I tell you about the Crazy Father I met at a Big K-Mart Mall. Story: I'm browsing a humongous, pink, My Little Pony ailse looking for the latest set with Luna in it. along the way, I see a nine-year-old kid there, and Ask him what he's doing. (bold italics - me, italics - him.) "Hey, are you a brony, too?" "Nah, I'm just picking out a toy for my sister..." "Oh, Just wondering. Kinda rare to see bronies in pony ailses these days, trying to find one to talk with... ya know." "Yeah. Well, since you mention it, I am a brony, too..." *blushes as if he is embarrassed* "Oh, cool! I've came across a lot of people who don't like bronies, but it's good to see a confident one much younger than me." "Yeah... Who is the best pony?" "Rainbow Dash, of course!" "YES! I don't know why people like the others so much." *So, we ramble on about Rainbow for a bit, talk about bronydom, brohoof (A lot), so on, so forth... Until his father shows up... - his father is in italics now, but I'll signal whe his son steps up. "Hey, you! What are you doing with my son!" "Talking about My Little Pony... I heard he was a brony himself." "What!?" -As it turns out, he was a closet brony about to onfess to his father- a choice I made with my mom a while ago... "Yeah, he was talking about Ponies, how he watches the show, ya know?" "He likes Ponies? *Grumbles*" Son: "Dad, I've been watching it for a while, I just didn't tell you because I didn't know how you'd feel... I'm sorry..." Dad: "Put the pony back, we are going home to talk about this! I will not tolerate my son liking stupid technicolor ponies (He's inteligent enough to know that? Wow.)" "Sir, I don't think there's anything wrong with liking ponies, it's just a fanchise." "Look, kid, I don't know who you are, but don't talk about my son. I will not have him liking My Little Ponies. ESPECIALLY rainbow ones!" "Again, there's nothing wrong with it..." "Yes there is! I will not have a future man disgrace masculinity with ponies! nobody likes My Little Ponies who is a guy! You homosexual Pr k! "sir, please watch the language! I've went through this before, I don't want to again!" "aww, did I make you sad? Get out, Homo!" "sir, I hope you very well realize that by calling me a homo because I like ponies means you are calling your son one, and my Girlfriend is here with me right now. I can go get her, if you'd wish." "Go get her, prove you aren't homo." *about 1 or 2 minutes later* Now, this time I brought her into it, which was probably not a good idea, but it's for the sake of the language. "oh, so you DO have a mate, or is it just a hoax?!" "Are you joking?" "No! You could be lying! Kiss." "I won't kiss just to satisfy you, that's not only wrong, but just rude. Especially since I have to kiss in front of a child!" "Looks like you're homo after all! why don't you go and (Censored, because of the man's privacy, and his sad life)" *SWAG.MOV time, again (I love doing this) * "Ha, yeah, why don't you go screw yourself, you sad redneck b tch! HURHURHURHURHUR! *me and her together*, Su-WAG!" "OH, so you're secretly gay? knew it." "Heh, SWAG." Of course, Walking away wasn't easy, but it was fun. It's always good to Swag it out. Especially on these idiots I come across. By the way, about me and her-- We don't kiss. it seems stupid, instead we just hug. You may think that's weird, but it's lighthearted. I mean, really, I'm not a masculine person. Showin' of the Swag is Fun, especially in front of stupid parents. I hope his kid Bronies on, and doesn't worry about pressure. that's the future of bronies right there, ya know? Anyways, Keep calm and brony on. Don't let old homosexual insults get you, they are just unclever and unoriginal, not to mention immature. If I was gay, it really wouldn't matter, right? Brohoof /) Top number of people reading at 1 time - 16 -Want more of my life stories? I've got 9 more.
  10. ok so today i went to the mall with my parents to get a new dishwasher well we didn't get one but we walked the mall and i saw a hot topic so i walk in looking for a you tuber shirt and i looked up and there was a grey shirt with a black rainbow dash on it with the only color on the shirt was her cutie mark and it said bronie on it then i looked around the room there was 20% cooler shirts everywhere and it killed me cause i wanted the bronie 1 but my parents don't know I'm a bronie and god did i want that fucking shirt but i got 2 hoodies and a chum lee shirt