I wasn’t really planning to go to the Mall of America but seeing as I was in the area and it is the biggest mall in the US I decided to go check it out. The place was just as enormous as was expected but what I hadn’t anticipated is the center of the mall, the entire area of which was some sort of amusement park for about three million screeching children. Just like an auditorium the noise amplified and seeped into every corner of the mall. I wanted to get close to the guard rail and peer down to see what was going on down there but I valued keeping my hearing more.
The place was huge. It had no parking lot, just two parking garages which fortunately had a high enough clearance for the encumbered Jeep. I walked into the place from the big Macy’s store on one of it’s corners. The mall itself was four flours of clothing stores and tourist traps. I walked around each level and poked my head into only the stores I took an interest in. Shame I wasn’t still looking for cool clothes, this place had so many options! You could get butt-ugly purses at Guess, dress yourself up as a southern slut at Garage, morph into a highly perfumed cave bat at Abercrombie and Fitch, or actually go for something classy at some of the better stores. They did however have one store that really upset me, I think it was called Spoons Spa for Children. In its lobby in front of the window there was a tenish year old girl, leaning towards the tom-boy side of the spectrum, slouched uncomfortably in a chair, her mother cooing her on. If she could have slid straight to the floor she would have. That was the most miserable looking child I’d seen in a long time, staring at her nails like they were morphing her into some sort of freakish monster. I had two major issues with this place. 1) You shouldn’t be encouraging your daughters to look like tarted up whores before they even hit puberty. 2) You should not be beating into little girl’s minds that they have to be pretty and feminine to be successful. You might as well just tell them it’s nice to have a personality buuuut, the world would like you much better if you just acted like everyone else! Its disgusting and I can’t say I’d ever support it. In any event we were soon walking by anyway.
The LEGO store was packed full of people but the giant Lego statues of a tiger, a minotaur, and a bunch of other things, left me pretty impressed, as did the mix and match Lego stand that resembled a candy stand. Here you could get old fashioned Lego pieces like you saw sold in buckets in the good old days… not gimmicky kits but actual make-it-yourself styled blocks. Tempting. I’ve always been a bit bitter my mother never allowed us to have any as children, claiming she wasn’t going to get us anything of the sort because they were too painful to step on barefooted. She had a point, sort of, but I still think this sort of building toy is great for developing minds… and bored adults alike!
There was a Microsoft store, which was set up exactly like a less sterile-looking Apple store. It was a bit weird, like it was trying but in a half assed sort of way. Some of the stores in the mall had weird dummies, I guess to attract more people. One store had hot pink dummies, another store had intensely realistic dummies in life-like action poses that just coincidentally didn’t have any heads. I ended up in a store called Marbles. It was as if the place was made for this little blog. It was a little store stuffed full with brain teasing games and puzzles, many of which you could play with other people. They were very neat and a salesman was doing demonstrations. Everyone here looked like the kind of people I’d like to be around, and everyone was poking curiously at things, smiling. If I had money I probably would have bought the store out, it was just that neat.
I ended up walking through several Minnesota gift shops, none with anything at all interesting in them. I ended up buying a few postcards. After this I wandered around, eventually walking all four floors. There seemed a strong lack of little novelty shops and of course being a mall it didn’t have any of the shops I appreciate, you know the rock and fossil shops, Goodwill, antique stores, art galleries…
The mall was easily walked and had a killer food court with everything you could have possibly wanted. That was quite possibly the biggest highlight of my visit today – that and the ensuing battle over the Jeep’s parking space when I left.
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