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11/08/2011

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Dwtwiddy

A fascinating glimpse into the malls of my youth.
In Malone, we didn't think anything of driving an hour to go to the mall in Plattsburgh. It didn't even count as a trip, even during a blizzard.

Brian Fies

Brings back unpleasant memories of my couple years as a city beat reporter at a small daily, which usually encompassed business because we weren't big enough to have a specialist for that. Business people in general and mall people in particular are touchy, touchy, touchy. Always wanting to shade a word "just so" to mean exactly what they want, no less and no more, and if you don't do their bidding (i.e., reprint their press release exactly as they wrote it), they let you hear about it.

My best story kind of like yours, which I haven't thought of in 25 years, concerned a vacant spot in a mall. I interviewed the mall manager, who said something like, "we're hoping to get a tenant like Applebee's" (it wasn't literally Applebee's--I don't think they existed then--I don't remember but it was some sort of middle-of-the-road chain like that). I printed that quote accurately. Well . . . you'd've thought I'd called Ronald Reagan a Dirty Commie. The mall called screaming. The manager called crying ("Why would you do this to me? Why?"). The national chain issued a statement that there'd been no negotiations and our little two-horse town would be frankly lucky to get them. Total shitstorm over something that did. Not. Matter. But it did to them.

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