To the Editor:
Cities have their shopping districts and malls. It seems most small communities also have been relegated to a limited, accessible marketplace known as the local mall. Sadly, these have become the hub of many towns.
I guess we can safely say the unique small town business with its personal service along with clerks and managers with actual smiles on their faces and a ready hand to help customers are now vastly diminished, disappearing, fading into broken memories.
I know I’m sounding like a dissatisfied grumbler, yet dinosaur that I am, I cannot willingly adopt the hectic pace and chaotic atmosphere of these prisons of commerce holding people captive to the latest fad or popular phase of products be they animal, vegetable, mineral or material.
Over the years we have witnessed the closing of many family businesses which were special, quite unique and now irreplaceable. Downtown is not half as busy since the local mall has become a gargantuan production. Relationships and the personal touch of your neighbors is lacking in the modern day market place. Sad.
The new marketplace is the mall monopoly. If a teenager or young adult is looking for somewhere to go, something to do, fun or activity of almost any sort – where can they go? Where do they go? The answer is simply the mall.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate malls. Yet, if one wants to see a movie, where do they go? The mall. When one is shopping for clothing or anything for that matter where does one go? The mall. Chances are you’re not going to find a hardware store there. Forget finding a soda fountain. Good luck finding a news stand or a barber. Can’t find a bakery, bike shop or florist. Forget the butcher, baker and candlestick maker. Hobby shops are out of the question. I’m sure you get the point.
The youth loves the mall. I understand it’s one of their gathering places. It’s just sad that they’ve missed a unique part of small town American life.
So, people with nowhere else to go will once again head out for the destination of last resort – the mall with its attractive, yet ironically disappointing “joy of the empty dance,” only to fill the bulging coffers of those who have redirected their dispositions from friendship, social contact, kindness and trade to the hungry monopoly known as the mall and its idol known as materialism, a consumer utopia. Excuse me, while I disappear.
Vincent A. Lattanzi