Now, really, I try not to get sentimental over malls. That'd be like... I don't know. Getting sentimental over plastic flowers or something.
Let's be honest. As the penultimate paragraph of the report admits, there's something like a community feeling about a mall. And I can think of several quite specific memories of Scottsdale. I took my son to see George of the Jungle there, one of the first movies he went to in a theater. I went to see Hard Target there one time when my father came to visit, the last film I saw in a theater with him. Come to think of it, that theater may have been the only one to host three generations of Paffenroths. Interesting. The Hacienda restaurant in the mall was one of the few my wife would go to; not quite sure why, as the food wasn't nearly as good as other Mexican restaurants we've tried over the years, and she doesn' t like Mexican food in general, but there you go. My son's first visits to Santa would've been there. The auto dept at Monkey Ward kept our Toyota going on life support a few more years there.
And, while I try not to get sentimental over malls, if they're going to tear it down just to build a bunch of box stores anyway, I hardly see the improvement. Trading "up" from Montgomery Ward to Kohls? Big deal. Keep the old tiles and plants and escalators. Americans. Always so efficient and in a hurry. When I go to Kohls, I'm in and out in 10 minutes. Nice enough, but not like going to the mall and just walking around, taking the kids to Santa or the Easter Bunny there, playing in the arcade, eating out. Rush, rush, rush now.
In fact, if I were the kind of leftist despot the Right imagines Obama to be, that'd be one of my acts: passing a law that if you tear down a mall, you can't replace it with more stores. You'd have to build something demonstrably different and better - an art gallery, an arena, a surface-to-air missile silo - whatever. Just not supposedly "better" temples to a more rushed, fevered consumerism.