and now for something completely different.

1 04 2010

i tire of moral dilemma week. i had a whole post half written about something vaguely instructional and semi serious, but then i realized that i don’t give a shit about being instructional and semi serious. at least today i don’t. instead, i speak of a subject far more engaging and less of a bummer, the mall. over the last 10 years, maine has been overrun with big boxes. wal*marts, targets, old navys, and best buys are springing up all over the landscape, along with the requisite gamestops, panera breads, and famous footwears that for whatever reason ALWAYS orbit around the larger stores. i think it’s weird and gross how all the towns in maine worthy of the big box blessing now look all the same. although on the other hand, i do love target.

what’s really weird, is that now that all these smaller towns in maine have their own shopping districts, nobody needs the mall. in the last 5 years or so, the maine mall has been CLEANED OUT. filenes got booted by macy’s, but the space is still empty. countless other stores have bounced in and out, changed locations, disappeared forever. the urban behavior has gone out of business and been resurrected no less than 5 times (i think that bankruptcy is their business model). the sears wing is deadsville (despite their urging, i never have quite found the softer side), especially since unattractive but very sensible shoe emporium lamey wellehan cleared out. even mcdonald’s is hitting the bricks for some mysterious reason.  i did hear a rumor that we were getting a sephora, but the flowering of the maine mall into the mall of america (that i’ve been fantasizing about ever since the H&M moved in) just isn’t happening. it’s the downturn y’all. the way people shop is changing, and it’s kind of amazing.

case and point, the new goodwill. usually, when you cut off the head of one big box, another one just sprouts right back in its place. when circuit city’s broke ass shut down last year, i don’t think anyone thought that a thrift store would or could move into that massive space complete with sky high mall area rents. but goodwill made it happen (even if their bath and st. john street locations had to be tragically sacrificed), and the results are glorious.

are you looking at that line up of gleaming hooker boots over there in the upper left? i know one person who can’t wait to see those bitches sprouting up around town. in short, the new goodwill is fucking gigantic, and presently filled with both stuff and people. the book section looks like a bookstore. a decent bookstore (although you will still find the required copies of divine secrets of the ya ya sisterhood). the racks are endless. it was hard to really take it all in because it was opening weekend, and the place was crazy mobbed like black friday, but i did manage to get a few representative snaps on the ole iphone (check em out on my flickr). when i was a kid, it was shameful to buy second hand. now, it’s almost shameful not to. i like that.

and because i like that so much, i’m going to start holding a monthly goodwill oriented giveaway. i’ll give the details in a more official way in a few days, but for now, ransack your closets shelves and cupboards, and try to find the best thing you ever bought at goodwill. you’re gonna need that.