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American Memories at the Mall

Ian Frazier’s article “Mall of America” he talks about his experience at the country’s largest mall on his numerous book tours. He talks about how Tim Hedges shows him the ins and the outs, the history of the museum and the overall experience of it. He touches on how the Mall used to be the home of the Metropolitan stadium housing the Twins and The Vikings. I was not aware that this was the deal, I also didn’t know that the Mall was only recently built in 1987, with how massive it is I thought it had been there for ages. I liked his view of how the Mall is ever changing he said, “In that respect the Mall is like television- you know what you’re watching when you’re watching it, but it slips from your mind when new images appear”.

As a teenage girl I have spent many an hour at the mall, and have experienced how it’s changed. From campy snoopy to park at the mall to nickelodeon and how it’s lost it’s glam. As a thirteen year old it had all it’s glitz and glam and adventure, but as a I’ve grown older it gives me panic attacks and is way to overwhelming. At first I was offended by how Frazier ended the article with, “It’s the seed crystal that continues to grow, turning the limitlessness of the Midwest into a limitlessness that holds no surprise”. But even though I can’t go to the Mall of America for longer than fifteen minutes it will still always hold memories for me. Of my first official date, buying that great dress or where I got my ears pierced when I was eight.

I really appreciated the way Ian wrote the article, it was really descriptive and insightful. “the kind of night when you’re eighteen and you step out on the front stoop and close the door behind you and you’re sure that something exciting is just about to happen,” I love that quote. Being a freshmen in college I’m having a hard time leaving behind being a teenager, I’m turning twenty in a about two months and I just completely agree with that sentence. Even when he was talking about the stadium history he wrote beautifully, “History is memory shared, even when what’s remembered has no particular significance or drama. For a while longer we stood in the timeless time zone hovering around the home-plate plaque. Then we went our way, one foot after the other, selling the Mall”.

The Mall holds a great history whether it’s from it’s roots in the Southdale mall or The Metropolitan stadium it holds memories for whoever has visited it. Whether it be a terrible memory, a teenage memory or visiting it as a tourist. The Mall of America is a landmark of what America really is.
Frazier talks about how The Mall of America doesn’t really represent America because all it’s
products aren’t produced in America. But isn’t that what America is nowadays? Most our large corporations are constantly being investigated for workers treatment and pay, why would it surprise us that a patriotic store is made up of products from China? Or that we don’t have manufacturers in North Korea and Iraq? America is all about exploitation, tourists spending all there money at a large shopping center and support of the American high school stereotypical hang out. The Mall has an extensive history and represents America for all it’s blue collar glory.

Comments

I don’t agree with the idea that the Mall of America doesn’t represent America. In fact, I think the mall of America represents the Importance that Americans put on shopping. We are a society that likes to show our status based on what we can afford to buy, and a Mall helps us do that. We are always looking for things that are bigger and better than what we had before. We buy these new and more expensive things at Malls. Not only is the Mall of America a Mall, but it is the biggest one, and the best Mall. It continues to change based on what we as Americans want, and need. But like the American society, we can’t just be satisfied with what we have, we need more. The mall of America has stayed the same size for quite some time now, so as a response to what Americans want, the Mall of America is currently designing and planning a new courtyard edition to be built on to the Mall. It is ever expanding, and changing just like the wants and needs of the American people. Although many of the products, may be produced overseas, they are consumed by our country therefore representing everything that we as Americans are about.