Dead Malls

My day was interesting. At least to me. It started so great, then had some dips in the middle.

pool1

It all began with a little soak in this pool at the right. That was early this morning, and it was nice. The water was a little chilly, but at least we got to go in for a while without too many people around. I think it was about 80 degrees at the time, so we managed to get in before the real heat of the day hit.

Then after lunch I spent an hour and a half filling out an online job application. Do they intentionally make these things take forever just to kind of filter out people who aren’t that serious?

At that point we decided to visit a really sad place called Metcalf South Mall. I’ve been there before, and I never understood what was going on here. The place is in amazing condition inside. I think some of the decor is a little dated, but with a little updating it looks like it could once again be a nice mall. I don’t know what happened to empty this place out so much, but it is really sad. I never saw the place fully operational, the first time I was ever in there was maybe 10 or so years ago and it already was basically empty at that point. Now the only thing left is Sears, and apparently even that is going away before long, according to this article by KMBC. I know there are a lot of shopping centers in KC, but this one just seems like it should still be busy, and it’s not. Was it high rents, or maybe some traffic access issues I don’t know of? Maybe the stores were offered better deals elsewhere? I don’t get it.

This also leads me to wonder about the idea of dead and dying malls in the US. I remember the first time I ever encountered such a thing. I drove 2 hours to come to KC to do some shopping, and one of the places I had heard a lot about as a kid was Bannister Mall, but I had never been, so we decided to go there. Um… not such a good… it’s like… it was dead! The place was closed. On that trip we found other places to shop, but I remember that really strange feeling of pulling into the parking lot of a closed shopping mall. Weird.

Recently I have been to The Great Mall of the Great Plains. Not dead… yet. I remember a lot of buzz about this when I was younger, when it was opening and brand new. I actually visited this one when it was packed so full of people that you could hardly walk. There were a lot of neat stores there. And now it’s on life support.

I just think it’s sad to see these malls and all the others, iconic symbols of America in a lot of ways, dying off. Instead we’re getting more and more bland outdoor shopping centers while these amazing places go the way of the drive-in theater. Sad.

And that’s how my day wound up; feeling sad for all those poor dead and dying malls. Yes, I know it’s silly to feel sad for stores that are no longer used, but I do. It seems there should be a use for these buildings. Redevelop them into colleges, highschools, anything to keep them open.

You can read more about dead malls at www.deadmalls.com, if you’re interested.

Veggie Chili

Okay, so in an effort to save on calories and eat healthier, we’ve been slowly replacing beef in a lot of our dishes with veggie burger. We’ve eaten Boca brand vegetable burgers pretty much every Friday for over a year now, we really like them. We started cooking those same Bocas, then grinding them in a food processor for things like tacos (really good) and chili (not so good).

Tonight we had veggie chili. Here is the effect:

Blowing Up

Whatever anyone tells you, please, please never do this to yourself or anyone you love! It’s just not worth it!

All settled in

We got everything moved into the new apartment and arranged the way we want(mostly). It was tough, and we got a lot of help that made it possible. We really like the apartment, and it seems much bigger than I thought it would. I have never lived in an apartment before this, so I was wondering how that would work out.

It was tough getting the internet set up. The first time I tried was before we moved here, and I ordered it online. Well, I kind of expected it to either let us choose an install date, or at least give us a couple of days, but it was supposed to be set up immediately. So that was canceled. Then I ordered it right after we moved in. Well, for some reason they couldn’t get that set up right away. We were doing the self install, but it didn’t work, and I had to call in. They didn’t have us in their system. So I went through everything with the person on the phone, and she said that they used to have service directly to our apartment, but it was cutoff before, and for some reason they’d have to send someone out to activate it in person. Ok. So, that was a few days later before they could get someone here. And when they did, it still didn’t work. We finally got that squared away, and then I had to call in yet again to give them the MAC address of my modem. And then somehow in their process of activating it, they managed to turn wifi off on my modem. We got that squared away, finally, but it was a pain.

Now I have to find a job here in KC. If anyone has any suggestions let me know. I’ve spent the last 10 years at the same company, so it has been a while since I had to do any serious job searching. I did have a couple of interviews this past week, at least.

We’ve managed to go out and do a few things each day since we moved in, just to get out of the apartment and explore. We’re getting more familiar with the area. I feel pretty confident I can make it to the mall, a few grocery stores, the library, and even a handful of restaurants without the GPS at this point. Just don’t ask me to find the nearest ATM for our bank, ’cause that one still eludes me.

We really like it here. I think this was a good move.