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A Mall and a Movie: Sherman Oaks Galleria / Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)

Sherman Oaks Galleria starring as Ridgemont Mall in Fast Times at Ridgemont High   Welcome to a mall and a movie, with me, flannelkimono! When I wasn't hanging out at the mall, I was definitely at home, watching movies. My family always prioritized having cable over everything, so we always had cable with HBO and Showtime. Ridiculous, right? But I'm thankful for that digital babysitter. Now I'm a wealth of ridiculous pop culture nuggets! Fast Times at Ridgemont High was absolutely one of the movies I watched repeatedly on HBO. I still wear the same black and white checkered Vans slip-ons that Jeff Spicoli wore in the movie. And the carrot scene from that movie was absolutely in my head the first time I ever gave someone a blowjob. Ah, youth. Like many of the movies of this time, the mall acted as a central character; it was where all of the stories and the people came together. It could absolutely be argued that this movie is the one that planted the idea in my head that t
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A Mall and a Movie: Monroeville Mall/Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

  Monroeville Mall: the Zombiest mall of all. Welcome back to a mall and a movie, with me, flannelkimono! Today's movie is a personal favorite. Why, do you ask? I was in this movie! <3 I love Kevin Smith's movies. Many, many years ago, longtime homie and pop culture vulture SuperNoBueno used to work at a video store that I frequented. His staff picks were always solid, and that was how I saw Clerks for the first time. Clerks blew my mind, because I was at the time toiling away in thankless retail jobs, and I couldn't believe how many "I'm not even supposed to be here today!" moments I would have at work. We also fucked off supremely at said retail jobs, just like in Clerks, although  nobody ever fucked a dead guy on the clock that I know of. I was very active on the View Askew boards, because when I like something, I REALLY like it and want to know everything about it. The community of fans at the time were great, and I have always loved and appreciated ho

Mall Mixtape: Tiffany "I Think We're Alone Now"

  Welcome to the Mall Mixtape! This is where we will discuss all of those songs and videos that take us to the mall. The obvious starting point (at least for me, a Gen-Xer), has to be 80's pop darling Tiffany and her breakout hit, 1987's "I Think We're Alone Now". This was a cover of a song first made popular by Tommy James and the Shondells in 1967. But, by the consumer driven mall frenzy of the late eighties, nobody remembered that.  First, here's the video. Watch it in all of it's mid eighties shot on VHS glory.    My MST3K-style notes: Tiffany was killing it with those hand flourishes.  I identify as the girl with the big hair who is singing every single word (you'll see her). The video is pure chaos. She goes from sexy train hobo to mall performing teen queen to dancing on a boardwalk in very fast succession. Also, none of her outdoor looks are actually seasonally appropriate. Why is she wearing shoulder pads at the beach like a divorcee at h

Mall Memories: Rodney Mullen Skate Demo Sponsored by Swatch at Great Northern Mall, June 11, 1989

  Photo from the Swatch collection of skateboarder Jürgen Blümlein. Found online. Swatch watches were all the rage in the late eighties. And it felt like they came out of nowhere, too. It's like one day, you're reading a pile of magazines, and in every one of them- from Sassy to Thrasher-there was an ad for Swatch. Swatch watches were fairly cheap, usually around $30-$35. They were colorful plastic, you could switch the bands, and they were waterproof. They provided a nice alternative to the standard Timex watches all the nerds would wear. They caused Beanie Baby-levels of hysteria in some markets. It was no surprise that these tough little watches crossed over perfectly into skate culture, where bold prints and individuality were celebrated. Around 1987, Swatch started to sponsor skateboarders, who they would then send out on skate demos at malls around the United States. One of their featured skaters was Rodney Mullen, who is now known (and rightfully so) as the godfather of

Customer Service Can't Help You, Buddy

  I read recently that most Simon owned malls have removed their customer service desks over the past year. I worked in a Simon mall for years, and was reminded of an asshole customer story, again from the Big Coffee Shop that I worked for. Since we were in the mall, the majority of our regulars were people who also worked in the mall. One day, this guy started coming to the shop. He'd order a venti latte, extra hot, with mint syrup. Not even a mocha, this maniac was drinking hot mint milk with coffee in it. He would go, drink a bit of the drink, and then bring it back to us, complaining that it wasn't hot enough, or there wasn't enough mint syrup in it. He came in nearly every day for weeks, doing the same thing: order the drink, drink a little, bring it back and load it down with syrup and HOT HOT milk. Most of my fellow baristas would remake the drink, and LOAD the damn thing with syrup. Other baristas would follow the recipe (which I believe a large only got 5 shots of

Mall History: Machine Gun Kelly's Flash Mob at South Park Mall

  Did you see Machine Gun Kelly's performance on SNL over the weekend? I did. Despite the fact that I live in Northeastern Ohio and have been hearing MGK's name for years, I've never really listened to him. I had read about his pivot to pop punk, and me, a lady who has gone to many a Warped Tour, so I was curious, finally. His performance was solid. But my immediate thought was "hey, does anyone else remember when Machine Gun Kelly got arrested at South Park Mall?" Here's what happened: In 2011, Colson Baker, aka Machine Gun Kelly, was on top of the music world, having just signed to Diddy's Bad Boy label. One day, he tweeted out to his followers, "I'm thinking about doing a flash mob at a mall or something tomorrow lol cleveland should we do one while I'm home?" Over the next few hours, he came up with the location (South Park Mall in Strongsville, Ohio), and gave his fans directions: show up in the food court, and at 5pm, "No one m

Bernie, Meet Penny:

  In case you don't follow my Instagram, I've been photoshopping my cat, Penny, into old photos that I have taken of malls. It's been a fun project; I haven't been able to go out and see any new malls, so instead, I've been digging through my past 4-5 years of work, and putting my cat into various planters, sitting on benches, etc. I'll make a post here soon. Bernie Sanders trying to keep warm at the inauguration took the internet by storm, and soon, everyone was photoshopping Bernie into various locales. Penny and Bernie met up at Ashtabula Towne Square in Ashtabula, Ohio. Bernie was looking for a pretzel to go with his Medicare for All.