Friday, January 29, 2010

Requiem for the Mall

It is the ideal location for a post-modern horror, this shopping mall with no shoppers in the days before Christmas. It starts directly with the entrance: a vast, deserted parking lot, an entrance above the red neon lights only on one side burns. Inside: empty corridors. The canned voice of Julie Andrews echoes through the deserted room, the only sign that something is alive. Her "favorite things", snowflakes on eyelashes, should be included in this dreary mausoleum apparently a Christmas shopper evoking. Like the lighted Christmas tree, which is sadly behind a locked iron gate. And the chair for Santa Claus, empty, unfortunately.The fat boy smiling in nowhere in sight. Two boys on skate boards through the cracks passages along the closed shops, desolate, dark spaces in a covered street. Middle of the mall is a lonely bubble gum machine. "Everybody is a winner," the mechanical voice calls ever again luring child Merlin. But there are no children.

"Spooky, huh," cries the boy with a huge mess of the trash clean up imaginary shoppers. I nod. It is certainly creepy. My mate thinks differently, he is in his element. Brian Florence (32) is one of the founders of the website deadmalls.com.Ghost Malls are Brians hobby. As an amateur archaeologist, he digs into a consumer culture gone. "That was an Arby's," he points to a closed fast food restaurant. He recognizes it to the decoration and a dusty sign with the prices of chicken sandwiches. Not eaten here, the whole food court is closed.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Mark Welker said...

Hi Brian, this is a beautifully written piece. I have been a regular visitor to your website for quite some time, but this is the first time I have actually commented.

Firstly I just wanted to say that I think you and your team are chronicling something very special here and that the dead malls phenomenon I think is an important chapter of history that requires inspired individuals to lead. So well done.

You might be interested in a creative non-fiction piece I wrote several years ago:

http://www.griffithreview.com/edition-25-after-the-crisis/228/687.html

Though it pales in comparison to the article you've linked to here.

Anyway, just wanted to tell you that I am reading, and have been reading, and enjoying, everything you guys have been doing for 10 years.

Mark.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 8:23:00 PM  
Blogger MOSID #1, Navy Wife said...

I have been following for many years now: I was an avid dead retail hunter already when I found deadmalls.com.

I think it chronicles something really pivotal in our experiences, especially for those of us who grew up during the zenith of mall culture who are now watching it decline and fall.

So I'll keep chronicalling, photographing and sending as long as there is a deadmalls.com to post to (because most place in Canada are a long drive for you).
Thanks for giving us Mall Rats turned Dead Mall Hunters a home.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 7:19:00 PM  

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