Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The pall of malls

We watched Seth Rogen's Observe and Report last weekend, and I saw in the credits that it was filmed at Winrock Mall in Albuquerque. That's a mall that was close to my heart because I was living there when it was built in 1961. It was the first enclosed mall in New Mexico, and it was so absolutely high-tech, modern, beautiful, and so downright cooooel. As an 8-year old who was not too fond of the parents' hobby of driving out into the middle of the desert to look for rocks, it was infinitely more interesting than anything else. Of course, in retrospect it must have been magnified by my kid imagination, very much like so many other things that it's best not to revisit as an adult because you will ruin your memories.

I went out to ABQ when my mother died in the early 90s, and visited Winrock with some relatives. Of course, 30+ years made a heck of a difference and I didn't really recognize it, but it didn't just look different, it was like one of those discount outlet malls. They had a J. C Penney and forgot what else but mostly kind of junky, a few notches above a roadside kiosk. After seeing the movie I did a google search, and discovered that Winrock was chosen because it was a dead mall, only 3 tenants remaining! Practically deserted.

I am not about to weep over a shopping mall, but it IS one of main early teen hangouts so it kind of strange to see its birth and death. I never really go to malls anymore. There is nothing of interest there. Maybe it's time for them to die so we can get back some greenspace and maybe some community gardens. Wouldn't that sound better?

mall hall of fame
malls of america
Winrock wiki
Dead malls.com

1 comment:

Ptelea said...

Yes, malls are part of my growing up, too. I remember the time before malls and how they were such a hangout as I grew up in various suburbia. There is something kind of creepy about the big old nearly abandoned ones. Now, I hate malls and shopping in general. Since my kids are grown, I don't go very often. Yeah to more green space and community gardens - a much better use of the land and your energy!