Plus! Neighborhood Name Names!! Items of Interest!!!
"walking around like a dumbass"! DYING! So dang funny. And I love that Cats subscribed! He won't regret it. xo
When I learned of this mall, the first thing that came to mind was its incompatibility with the times. An air-conditioned monstrosity with 33,000 parking spaces!? But OK, this is America. And also, despite just opening, it was conceived in the early 2000s, which may as well have been a hundred years ago. "The American Dream mall will get far more interesting in ways that no one currently is planning" is a great perspective. I reckon it'll get interesting as a sort of relic of misguided progress.
The strangest part to me is that it's in Bergen County which still maintains Blue Laws. No shopping on Sunday! One of the strange but enjoyable quirks about Bergen County. I'm also pumped that they recently opened a H-Mart in the mall. Because, why not?!
Love this article and your honesty. Also, lesson for a planner: what makes the world most interesting is the things that we couldn’t or wouldn’t have planned.
Best three sentences ever:
"It had an odd feel. While the glass-vaulted atrium was beautiful, the retail space looked to be roughly 80% vacant. The place felt like heaven might feel if you were the only person on earth who’d been good."
"I'm not a monster after all!" ❤️❤️❤️
Hah! I love this piece. And I know that feeling well of earnestly wanting to be awed and not being able to find anything awesome. Favorite line of many favorite lines: "The place felt like heaven might feel if you were the only person on earth who’d been good." Finally: I want the Oreo Shake! Yum!!
Malls are so weird! And I say this as a child of the 90s who met her friends “at the mall”. Just the concept of stuffing a bunch of stores together along with an amusent park and a food court! And no windows. Still, I loved your line about about how YOU were the weirdest attraction there. Haha
For the old-timers: I always like to know if they think the world's truly crazier now, or if every generation just thinks they're living through "unprecedented" times.
best thing about open heart surgery at the Nickelodeon Amusement Park would be proximity to vast mall food courts, no?
I think ALL malls are weird -- being the epitome of artificiality 😅. And you inspired some research: As a fierce animal lover, I'm asking myself: Kangaroo and ostrich jerky -- they import the creatures from Australia? Who exports them? And as always: thank you for introducing me to strange and fascinating places, without having to go myself 😉.
Don't you wonder how a mall like this manages to stay in business? While the primary focus is real estate, the underlying shops have little to offer and eventually cycle out because they can't make rent. Seriously, the Oreo store? Are there that many fans willing to buy Oreo merchandise?
I prefer to think of them as fronts, seedy underworld businesses that are laundering cash... because it's more interesting than a guy who loved beef jerky enough to start a beef jerky outlet. If I ever see a paper store in one of these malls I'm calling those shenanigans.
‘Varick’ has a nice ring to it.
As an Aussie (Australian), I’m learning a lot about America from your posts. I was born in Sydney and remember when we all flocked to ‘Roselands’ when it opened in 1965. Traffic jams as everyone tried to check out this new experience. So amusing to see that it currently only has 3187 parking spaces. It seemed enormous to me at the time. Thanks for all the fun reads. A very different world.
What did you have for lunch???
Anne, your columns are so delightful. Love what you are doing!!!!!!!