Where do you shop in Columbia? Do you like to go to the Mall? Does the assortment of retail establishments there meet your shopping needs? I must admit I am not a fan. At this moment I can't think of a single store I would enjoy visiting.
Here is my mall.
This is the Severance Center Mall in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, circa 1963, around the time it first opened. It is the mall of my childhood. It had a Woolworth's, record stores, a movie theater, a bowling alley, a German Delicatessen, a Hot Shoppes cafeteria where my grandparents used to take me and let me drink iced tea when my mother would have said no. ;-)
If you grew up in Columbia, this is your mall.
I've read a lot on the Columbia Facebook page. People have that same feeling about "the mall of my childhood" about the mall in Columbia as Cleveland Heights residents have about Severance Center. (There's a FB group for them, too.) These memories are about life experiences at the mall, sure, but also about the way malls used to be, the way life used to be, the way we used to be.
I support the plan for Downtown Columbia, and I want changes and upgrades to the Mall to be successful. But maybe the kind of stores I like aren't going to be there. That's okay. Perhaps the new Lifestyle Center will bring a new place to meet and hang out, good for outdoor concerts or other community events. A new setting for the Santos Sunday 60? Or inspiration for a new local podcast?
The mall of my childhood is a museum in my head. I can visit it any time I want. The Mall in Columbia moves forward. All I have to do is visit every now and then to make sure it's doing alright.
But probably not between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's way too much overstimulation for me. Somebody snap a picture of this year's Poinsettia Tree and send it over. That will be enough.