10.12.07

Growing up in South Minneapolis, it's hard to avoid the weight of Mall history. Southdale, widely believed to be the first mall (which it isn't, it's just the first CLIMATE-CONTROLLED mall in AMERICA), was about 5 miles from my childhood home. It was actually designed by a Socialist who hated suburbs and was trying to reintroduce downtown style commercial districts what he saw as the soul-sucking horror of suburban life. Way to achieve the exact opposite of your goal, big guy. Anyway, when I was about 11, the MALL OF AMERICA opened. At the time, it was the biggest mall in the world, and, as far as I know, it was still the last mall built in the Minneapolis metro. Over the next few years, the newspapers were generally saying that mall traffic was slacking off, no more would be built, and that the Age of the Mall (you have to say that part with a Lord of the Rings narrator voice) was ending. Well you can imagine how surprised I was to come across a current list of the ten largest malls in the world. Surprise, surprise, MOA doesn't even make the list anymore. Here's the current top ten:

1. Dubai Mall, Dubai, UAE, 12 million sq feet
2. Mall of Arabia, Dubai, UAE, 10 million sq feet
3. Mall of China, China, 10 million sq feet
4. Triple 5 Mall, China, 10 million sq feet
5. South China Mall, China, 9.6 million sq feet
6. Oriental Plaza, China, 8.6 million sq feet
7. Golden Resources, China, 7.3 million sq feet
8. West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada, 5.3 million sq feet
9. Panda Mall, China, 5.0 million sq feet
10. Grandview Mall, China, 4.5 million sq feet*

So basically, Dubai has the biggest Mall in world and the biggest building. Talk about out America-ing America. And then there's China, with 7 of the 10 largest malls in the world. Is anybody else thinking about what's going to happen if Americans refuse to stop consuming at thier current levels and if China starts to too? Cause it kind of freaks me out.

Anyway, on a personal note, I've finished my applications to UBC and Berkeley, and I'll finish U Toronto up today and I've just got two more weeks of school. yea!

*This list comes from Sand, Fear and Money in Dubai by Mike Davis, published in Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism edited by Mike Davis and Daniel Bertrand Monk (New Press, 2007)

4 comments:

KreativeMix 1:51 PM  

lol........ pretty interesting stuff :-)

Sa Lone Pikin

Benjamin 5:36 PM  

I should also point out that Mall of America never WAS the biggest mall in the world, merely the biggest in the US. West Edmonton Mall held the world honors before and after the MOAs construction

✙ patron saint of ulster ✙ 10:26 PM  

"and that the Age of the Mall (you have to say that part with a Lord of the Rings narrator voice)"
that part was hilarious.
go china.
and by the way, I do believe I received something sweet in the mail thanks to you and jessica! thanks so much, y'all are so thoughtful of your old mpls friends. (p.s. it actually came a couple weeks ago;)

take care, hope you are well.
visiting for the holidays at all???

Chris Dugan 12:33 AM  

Southdale used to have live monkeys in it too!

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