I haven't been that depressed since I walked the halls of my old high school about 5 months ago and looked at the line of graduating class photos by year.
I was alive when these photos were taken, but it looks like another era. The old people featured are dead, the young people are old, the little kids are well into adulthood... often with kids of their own. Moments just keep passing, months add up, and in no time I'm going to be an old anonymous bastard in a photo of the 2060's for some folks in 2085 to look at casually and crack dumb jokes. Everything and everyone that was so important to me, will ever be important to me, my love, it will be as though we were never even here. It's 2012 already, it's going by too fast, way too fast.
That's why I post here -- to achieve immortality.
Yes Nic , Centre mall was torn down . It is now a strip mall, funny how things go backwards.
But being too young to actually really remember the late 80's the 90's were my years of exploration in that place.
A day would start as nic said, Father would join his friends in the tim hortons food court while they enjoyed coffee smokes and the occasional card game. Mother would go to the farmers market to get fresh produce and also do some shopping inside of the clothing stores.
Often i would be left to run with a fist full of quarters into the Arcade. Walking into a cloud of smoke with my virgin 7 year old lungs would get a first real taste of nicotine
Of course all the good machines were taken by burn out teenagers wearing metallica, megadeath (or some other popular band from that genre) with du maurier lights dangling from their mouths (popular cigarette at the time).
I was stuck playing classic games like arkanoid, pacman, space invaders and pinball machines.
I started to really enjoy them to the point of only needing a few quarters for a couple hours.
It boogles my mind how my parents would let me run off, knowing that there was a possibility of getting my quarters stolen by some guy looking for smoke money.
Other times when i would blow my quarters, i would go to the toy store and try to play with all of the newest ones out. Normally welcomed with a sorry you can't play with that by a surly worker.
Bookstore and electronic stores were also key. seeing all the newest electronics we look at today as a joke, and reading articles from magazines and books like its a public library.
As nic brought up the nice family centre mall turned into wigger mall. With fights occuring on a weekly basis, kids selling drugs inside the malls and their baby mama's following them with their strollers.
Its sad thing when your childhood turns to shit like that , but thats how it is.
I will always remember centre mall as a place where the family would actually gather every week, and spend time even for only a hour or two.
Here are some pictures so you get to see what it looks like
Malls are strange - they're like airport waiting lounges in that they seem to be unmoored from time and place. Many years ago I used to work in the Biggest Mall in the World, which I've been told is now The Second Biggest Mall in the World, though I haven't checked into it. At night some of us would occasionally sneak into the services tunnels underneath - a massive, endless maze where, according to urban legend, runaways now hid and formed a loose community.
Right outside the store where I did Christmas help in the late '90s (my girlfriend of the time was a manager) was a glass enclosure with large birds turned extremely neurotic by the constant noise and masses of people tapping on the glass. One of them would somehow escape on a regular basis and walk herky-jerky, freaked out among patrons until security would rescue it and put it back in.
My favorite mall is in East Kilbride, just outside of Glasgow - it's huge, rambling (almost as though two separate malls had been joined together), and except for the accents you could be anywhere in North America, especially since they plopped an indoor skating rink in the middle of it. I think I like it because it makes no sense to me.
The Mall had such a reputation that someone even made an incredibly awful film with C-list actors in it:
I only found out about this in December - you can see at least two of the places I did part-time work in growing up.
These pics make me think of BOC concerts, Fast Times & Tom Petty.