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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
Recent posts

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.

Archie The Snowman's New Home

  Archie the Snowman, in his new home at Lock 3. As malls continue to disappear, we hear more stories about the things that people miss about them. The one thing that crossed my mind (pre-pandemic) was Christmas. Malls used to have amazing decorations. I remember Rolling Acres Mall had a huge castle set up, and Santa sat in the middle of it. Richmond Town Square had a similar setup last year; I'm not sure whether they're still even open. When malls close, they usually leave everything in them, including all of the decorations. Akron's Chapel Hill Mall has been cruising slowly towards foreclosure all year, which made me start to wonder around September what would happen to Archie. Archie is an over 20 foot tall talking snowman, who has lived at Chapel Hill Mall on and off since the late 1960's. He lived at the mall until the early 2000's, during an ownership change. There was a crowdsourcing campaign to bring Archie back, which was a huge success. Archie was at Lock

Tall Drip Guy

 I was a barista at one of those Big Coffee Shops for four years. The location I worked at was in the middle of an affluent mall. The majority of our regulars were people who worked in the stores in the mall, but we did have some traffic from the offices nearby. There was one regular I couldn't stand. He was always incredibly rude. Just flat out mean when he'd come to the counter. I think he was an attorney; I never asked. He'd sneer and say "tall drip", throw his exact change on the counter, and we'd hand his crabby ass his coffee. He'd check to make sure that we didn't leave any room in the cup (!!!), sneer, and leave. He did this to us for years. I was in my twenties, reckless and experimenting. One night, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go to a fetish party with her. It was the nineties, when fetish parties were more of an excuse to go out in public and less of a reason to go and explore your fetishes, so I told her I'd go. The party was

This isn't a new problem.

I have a pretty extensive collection of various news clippings that I've collected over the past couple years, mostly focusing on Akron area malls. This article from The Ashtabula Town Beacon in 2007 is the early call: malls are dying. Most of the malls in this article have turned into Amazon fulfillment centers. Ashtabula Mall is owned by the same company who owns Akron's very dead Chapel Hill Mall, and is very much dead. Millcreek is the only mall that I think is still doing ok. "Hopefully there won't come a time when we buy everything either online or at Wal-Mart" makes me wonder if the writer of this is still around. I'd love to hear what he thinks now. COVID has kicked the collapse of the American shopping mall into high gear, but this has been happening for years now. We're seeing the American dream die in real time, both literally (the American Dream Mall is the most cursed mall in America), and figuratively (hi, I haven't been out of m