Monday, December 30, 2013

Another One Down

Growing up in the DC area I was pretty familiar with any mall easily accessible by mall.  (I say easily, because there are some that at the time made you walk down a skeezy alley and over a few blocks before pedestrian bridges and/or alternate entrances made things a little smoother.)  So, just a few stops up the red line from me was White Flint Mall.  Which yes, you had to walk (or take the shuttle but the shuttle stopped firmly at six, we discovered the hard way one day). But it had a food court that had, well, not better choices than Mazza Gallerie, but different ones.  It had a lot of stores not geared towards teens, but it had different department stores and some other choices. 
It had a movie theater that tended to offer more choices than the two screens that were offered at Mazza (at the time, yes, I'm old.) I may or may not have used my youthful appearance to get kid rates at that theater a little past when I should have. 
And the summer after my senior year, I needed a job, so went there and filled out several applications before getting to the Skolniks Bagel Bakery where I was hired.  So, for a month (family vacation basically ended my job there) I worked there five days a week.  I was cashier and got paid minimum wage.  We were located on the upper level near the movie theater, but away from the official food court, so we got a lot of people asking us where the food court was.  We also offered a mall employee discount and opened up half an hour before the mall (so I knew the back way in through the service hallways) and did a roaring one more coffee before I start my shift business. 
Now, I wasn't trying to live on my salary, it was spending/saving money.  But still, when I and sometimes one of my fellow employees wanted to shop after, we went to the discount mall back behind White Flint. 
Later Borders moved in from just up the road and White Flint became a great place to hang out again (in my opinion).  Borders also provided a great place to wander and wait should the line at the Cheesecake Factory get out of control.  Dave and Busters was added (which took over the place where the bagel bakery had been, among other things) and P. F. Changs. And as I had a little more discretionary money, sometimes I wanted something from the other stores too.  But as I moved ever further into the city, I usually made other choices. 
As this retrospection on White Flint points out*, many malls have reinvented, refurbished or changed.  And it's certainly not like I lack for shopping choices.  (Shopportunities?)  But, I'm sad to see it dwindling away as it is now. 

*H/t to DCist for the link.