Linkage

Paleo Retiree writes:

About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff, formerly Michael Blowhard. Now a rootless parasite on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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9 Responses to Linkage

  1. howlinsteve says:

    In re your choice of women… you have a masochistic obsession with spoiled brat white girls.

    Doesn’t the realization of just how self-obsessed they are ever change the way you look at them?

    Their bodies ceased to appeal to me long ago. They’re deliberately useless and they’ll tear you to pieces the first time that they don’t get what they want.

    What’s the attraction?

    Like

  2. agnostic says:

    Banishing the car was one of the greatest draws of the mall. You didn’t have to see them, smell them, hear them, or make way for them. Just what seemed like mile after mile of pedestrian-friendly, tile-paved paths, an eclectic variety of human-scale shops with no setback from the walkway, skylights, ponds and fountains, and abundant plant life.

    It was truly an oasis for the modern age, and it’s a shame that fashion-chasing airheads have taken their business to big box centers (if poor) or lifestyle strip centers (if wealthy).

    With mall business drained away, the rest of us must go back to seeing, hearing, and dodging traffic around the parking lot of a given strip center, or along the street from one center to another. We have to walk on ugly concrete and asphalt. Every store is the same (Mexican fast food, shabby chic decor), and they’re set back so far that it’s like an aloof private residence. At least there’s light outside if it’s sunny and daytime, but there’s no water and no plants, only cold ugly modern building materials.

    Strange as it may seem, the mall felt positively bucolic compared to the commercial landscape of today.

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    • I’ll take a traditional urban downtown (whether bigcity or small town) over any kind of mall, or set of malls.

      Like

    • “Banishing the car was one of the greatest draws of the mall.”

      I have no idea where you live, but no mall I’ve ever been to in my life has “banished” the car in any real way. Going to *any* mall I’ve ever been to in California, Arizona, or Texas has meant: 1) driving around searching for parking and 2) seeing, hearing, and dodging traffic in the parking lot walking to and from the mall. Yes, true, once you get inside there are of course no cars, but the car and traffic have always been major components of the mall experience.

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  3. JV says:

    Malls are climate-controlled death. They require cars to get to, and draw commerce away from town centers. Outdoor malls are slightly better. Actual, walkable (meaning you can walk TO them as well as IN them) downtowns are best.

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  4. agnostic says:

    Irrelevant comparison — malls did not replace walkable downtown areas or main streets, as malls thrived most in places that had shallow roots and no history of such places (i.e., much of suburban America). Moreover, malls have not been replaced by walkable main streets, but by endless stretches of strip centers, big box centers, etc.

    So, we don’t get to decide between malls vs. Greenwich Village, but between malls vs. endless strip centers a la the 1950s and ’60s or the last 20 years (only this time around, with big box stores anchoring the center instead of a department store).

    Well, “we” who don’t actually live in a Greenwich Village environment. You’re trying to turn the discussion about malls into a suburban vs. urban discussion. But given the suburban setting, malls were the best public planning and architecture to have ever come along (without top-down planning by the government).

    If you doubt it, have fun walking along the street where the local mall used to be, visiting block after block of hideous strip centers that are set back 100 feet from the sidewalk, surrounded by 40 mile-an-hour traffic.

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  5. agnostic says:

    “Yes, true, once you get inside there are of course no cars,”

    That’s my point, dummy. If you want to visit a similar number of stores, or similar variety of stores, in the context of strip centers, big box centers, and lifestyle centers, you need to visit many different places across all the different centers.

    Most people drive from one store to another *even within* a single strip center, and just about everyone gets back in their car to travel between centers. If you decide to walk, you will be spending most of your time crossing huge parking lots, waiting for traffic at stop lights, etc.

    You didn’t have to endure traffic at the mall — just once before and after your several-hour stroll inside. Easy to forget once you entered and got absorbed in the bustling atmosphere, and not so bad when you had to leave, since you were already decompressing on the way out of the mall.

    Malls were like theme parks in that respect, requiring cars to get to, but totally unaffected by traffic’s sensory pollution and danger to pedestrians for 99% of your visit.

    Both environments met the human need to stroll around in a bustling social atmosphere with a variety of places to visit, *without* the plague of modern industrial traffic. You could have enjoyed that in downtown areas before the rise of the automobile (and the streetcar, the bus, the bicycle, the rickshaw, and the pedal wagon).

    But nowadays the “walkable” downtown areas are a major war zone of pedestrian vs. vehicle traffic. Only an immersive experience when local planning conspires to discourage traffic (e.g. by offering basically no parking).

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    • Jesus Christ, you’re such an asshole. I was acknowledging that while there was some truth to your statement (because I’m a generous person despite the monumental prick that you are) but your characterization still fell short of the truth.

      For me, negotiating cars is a far bigger pain in a mall parking lot than it is in a traditional downtown. In a traditional downtown, all you have to do is cross streets, which are protected by lights and crosswalks. There’s a clear delineation between space for pedestrians (the sidewalk) and space for cars (the street) and a buffer between the two (the curb). When you’re on the sidewalk, there are no cars to dodge. When you’re inside a store, there’s no need to worry about traffic. It’s only when you’re crossing the street. Compare that with a massive mall parking lots which require pedestrians and cars to share the same space, thus requiring pedestrians to constantly look out for cars backing out, pulling in, and driving up and down the aisles. Not to mention merely finding parking can be time consuming.

      “You didn’t have to endure traffic at the mall — just once before and after your several-hour stroll inside.”

      You choose to minimize those interactions, but they’re a more significant part of the mall experience, IMO, than you let on.

      And I only very rarely spent “several hours” inside a mall. Maybe when I’m Xmas shopping, otherwise I’m usually there for a specific store or two, then I’m out. Perhaps you like to leisurely stroll and breathe in the heady aroma of Panda Express, Wetzel’s Pretzels, and Hot Dog on A Stick, but I don’t. The mall is a utilitarian place for me, not an aesthetic reverie.

      “Easy to forget once you entered and got absorbed in the bustling atmosphere, and not so bad when you had to leave, since you were already decompressing on the way out of the mall.”

      Malls are far more idyllic in your mind than mine, I guess. I don’t begin decompressing until I get home.

      “But nowadays the ‘walkable’ downtown areas are a major war zone of pedestrian vs. vehicle traffic.”

      Depends on the city. Drivers in NYC are very aggressive at intersections, but drivers in L.A. are far, far more polite. Downtown L.A. is extremely walkable and the war zone of which you speak doesn’t exist.

      Liked by 1 person

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