JUSSAYIN’ Nice malls finish last
A.C. “Mac” MacKenzie, Opinion Editor
March 29, 2012
Filed under Opinion
I genuinely enjoy a trip to the mall. Shopping malls strike a perfect mix of sights, sounds and savings. While I’m at home, I spend an embarrassingly large amount of time at the South Shore Plaza mall. Last year, I set a new personal record of stopping in on five consecutive days to slowly accomplish my Christmas shopping list. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a “mallrat.”
Le Moyne students have two different options for their mall-going needs: Carousel Center within the city and the oh-so-originally named Shoppingtown Mall just down the boulevard in DeWitt. (I’m aware that this region also houses the Great Northern Mall, but, given its distance from campus and the lack of a shuttle there, I don’t believe that it services the Le Moyne community as its competitors do.)
I’d venture that it’s a near-unanimous belief that Carousel Center is the superior venue of the two. However, as my time in Syracuse draws on, I’ve found myself growing more and more partial to Shoppingtown over its beefier, glitzier counterpart.
I visited both malls for the first time on the very same day, a few short weeks into my freshman year. Carousel appeared to be an unending line of crowded, thriving shops, while the near-vacant Shoppingtown looked as if it were on its last legs. For much of that first year in Syracuse, I avoided Shoppingtown at all costs but took every opportunity possible to visit Carousel.
Nowadays, those roles are entirely reversed and all but one of my trips to Carousel this school year have been to catch a flick at Regal Cinemas, which sports a more varied selection of movies than the Shoppingtown location.
Shoppingtown gets a bad rap. Many people bemoan the businesses that had once been located in DeWitt’s mall: Kohl’s, FYE and a stellar-sounding entertainment shop called Media Play. Likewise, it can’t help that one of Shoppingtown’s would-be major selling points, the Fun Junction video arcade, offers little more than a handful of cabinets and a sub-par laser tag arena.
However, Shoppingtown is dotted with a series of hidden gems that make the quaint mall well worth a visit. Want to learn some self-defense or just release some pent-up aggression? Shoppingtown houses both a karate dojo and a fencing studio!
Like comic books? How about “Star Wars”? If you’re a nerd like me, then you’ll love Cloud City Comics in the Shoppingtown food court. It’s loaded with graphic novels, action figures and even a life size statue of Princess Leia!
Shoppingtown’s TGI Fridays never experiences the overcrowding that the most of the restaurants on Erie suffer from (although the options in the food court are all equally unappetizing).
My favorite hole-in-the-wall has to be the Central New York chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, where — if you time it right and they’re actually open — one will find an impressive display of model trains and railways that hearken back to a simpler time.
What on Earth is “Nineveh” near the movie theater? All I know is that its mascot, an amalgamation of Hagrid and Mr. Spock, haunts my sleep… Jussayin’.