DailyDirt: Decaying Bricks And Mortar

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Big shopping malls were really popular in the US, but it’s getting harder and harder to compete with online shopping and free shipping. The result is a lot of depressing, empty malls just about everywhere. Obviously, some shopping centers are thriving and doing well. But unfortunately, it’s not too hard to find an old mall that used to be a great place to hang out — and now there’s not much reason to go there anymore. Here are just a few notable shopping malls from around the world.

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We got our first mall in the middle 1970s. It was a cool place for a while, and saved a lot of driving… but it kept getting harder and harder to get around inside, as the once-generous walkways filled up with booths, vendor carts, fountains, etc. The pedestrian traffic jam was so bad we started just driving somewhere else if we could.

Later, the “youths” (gangbangers) pretty much took it over, walking with arms interlocked, six or eight abreast, and shoving people into the wall as they passed by. I decided I’d had enough.

The closest mall is still technically open. The next two, further away, got the gangbanger problem bad, stores moved out, and both were demolished a few years ago.


I’m not exactly gonna cry over the death of the mall. Or its brother, suburbia.

For the record, I’m cool with living on a big plot of land in a rural/country environment. And while I’m not completely anti-suburb, I don’t like the craptastic urban “planning” that has led to how they’ve developed for the past 60+ years.


I can’t say that I am sorry to see the “cookie cutter” malls crumbling. They all sold pretty much the same things, 3 months ahead of the season. If you wanted a swimsuit in July, or a snowblower in January, you were out of luck. There was generally little choice with rows and rows of the same merchandise that would continue to decrease in price.

While as a person who has wide and deep interests, I could rarely find what I wanted or needed at a mall or chain store anyway. I generally had no choice but to send away to a specialty provider.

Although shipping costs appear to be onerous, driving costs are superficially viewed as being the cost of gasoline. But are much higher. A consumers magazine put such costs at over a $1.00 a mile for most cars. So a $6 box of screws may cost me $26 in driving costs, yet I balk at $8 for shipping them to me, nevermind the hour it takes out of my day. I don’t even know where to buy an IC from locally — I have to buy it online or from a catalog.

Mike Bsays:


A few years ago some friends of mine bought a Mall that had fallen out of favor with tenants and shoppers. Their solution was to get rid of the retailers and filled the space with medical professionals. Totally repurposed the mall as a medical center … over the years average rents have gone from 6.00 to the mid 20’s PSF. Also didn’t hurt that the mall was within a couple miles of a hospital.


Re: Collections

Yeah, but the problem is that I have collected so much stuff that without a photographic memory (and I don’t have one,) it is difficult to find what I need. For example, woodscrews aren’t usually a problem, though it can depend. OTOH machine screws are a freaking pain. Always the wrong diameter, thread, length, or cap. And I have a 4’x6′ “screw case,” as well as tubs of misc fasteners.

Electronics are worse. There is always some chip that will cut the wiring in half, activate relays without running a separate higher voltage circuit, or just can’t be done without.

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