At least there are palm trees

imageAll my travel documents and my work contract say that I’m in San Diego. That’s a bit of a stretch. I’m 30 minutes north of the airport, which puts me in pure Cali suburbia. Other than the sunshine and occasional palm tree there’s actually not much reason to go outside.

Well that’s being a bit harsh; there’s a mall nearby. It’s about the size of the Capitol Mall but minus the grass and the free education. It’s really a collection of large malls creating a contiguous super mall broken only by a requisite city street or two. One of the collection is so big it has it’s own winding, internal street, expediting travel across the expanse.

My first reaction when I experienced this beast was to recall the movie Aliens. As the movie comes to a climax, Sigourney Weaver discovers a gargantuan mother alien popping out eggs with abandon, presumably to populate the universe with creatures of her ilk. At my super mall, there’s hardly a chain—restaurant, retailer, or supermarket—that’s not represented. This is the mother of all malls dispensing litters of chain stores that spread across the continent devouring all local retail culture in its path. Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch.

One thing that is not a stretch is that this mall has absolutely nothing unique about it. The stores are the same ones you find across the country, nothing local. Some malls in suburban Alexandria VA are butt ugly but quite eclectic. You can dine cheap at a Chinese, all-you-can-eat buffet then go next door and enjoy an Egyptian hookah. A little further along you can pick up all those hard-to-find African spices you might have been looking for. These are places where you get 15-year old TVs fixed, not buy new ones. A few trees would be nice but there definitely is some soul.

Posted by patrickj on 01/12 at 06:22 PM
TravelCalifornia • (5) CommentsPermalink

 

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