Some photos of Swansea Mall - Swansea, MA taken today (5/5/17). Not a dead mall, but certainly a dying one.
The one-story mall opened in 1975 with Sears and Edgar Department Stores as its’ anchors and also had a 4-screen movie theater. The mall had a major expansion in 1980 and added two more anchors- Apex and Caldor. The mall closed for a little while in 1989 while it underwent a major interior renovation; the new lighting and floor tiling put in during the renovation has remained ever since and can be seen in these photos (unfortunately there are no photos online of the mall pre-renovation…or any time before 2005). When it re-opened, the movie theater was gone and Edgar’s had become a Jordan Marsh following the former chain going under. In 1996, Jordan Marsh had been sold to Macy’s and Macy’s has been operating in the mall since then. A food court was added sometime around 1997-1998. Caldor closed in 1999 following the chain’s bankruptcy (it also had to close for a year in 1997 at the mall due to renovation following damage from a fire). The space remained vacant until 2001 when Walmart moved into the space. Apex closed in 2001; the store has since been walled-off from the mall and has been deteriorating for the past sixteen years. Walmart was expanded into a Super Walmart and moved into it’s own building in the mall’s parking lot in 2013; the store’s space in the mall was demolished and in it’s place is a wall with doors leading to the parking lot. Sears closed their doors in March 2017.
The mall really thrived from the 1970s to the 1980s. It’s first major blow came in 1989 when the three-story Emerald Square opened up in North Attleboro. At this point, most of the mall’s original stores were beginning to vacate, though new stores came in quickly. When Caldor closed in 1999, along with the opening of Providence Place in Providence, RI, the mall began to lose more stores. Walmart’s opening in 2001 seemed to breathe some new life into the mall, but competition from both Providence Place and Emerald Square was still hurting it through the 2000s. The recession hitting in the late 2000s and more people preferring to shop online hit the mall the hardest. With only one anchor, no major chains moving in since the early 2000s, a bare bones food court (you know it’s bad when a Dunkin’ Donuts closes in New England) and more and more stores closing, the mall’s been dying and at this rate, I highly doubt it’ll make it to 2020. A real shame; it’s a nice, small mall that brings back a lot of memories.
Top left - Empty strip of stores (Spencer’s can be reflected in one window; notably one of the only stores that opened in the 1980 addition that’s still open)
Top right - Empty strip of stores
Second row, left - Former Apex; now a wall. Almost all the stores leading to it are vacant with the exception of a children's’ gym.
Second row, right - Food court; pretty dead
Third row - Empty f.ye. (formally Midland Records when the mall opened in the ‘70s). Closed early this year.
universe: Figaro universe, cat cafe!au - Tony works as a barista in a cat cafe and Steve is totally smitten by him and Tony’s overly fluffy cat, Figaro
summary: Bucky and Rhodey have a plan to make Tony and Steve met. Unfortunately, someone keeps following Tony around.
length: 6 246 words
warnings: this fic belongs to Figaro universe, there is occasional tickling, but not in this part,
trigger warnings: some brutality and abuse at the end of the fic, but nothing too drastic,
a/n: the next part of Meow Cafe!! I am soooorrry it is so late! because of popular demand, the drama continues! hope you like this part and if you do, please drop me an ask! (you might want to read Meow Cafe part 7to refresh your memory)
As soon as he had left the apartment, Rhodey started to regret his decision for many reasons. First, approximately five minutes before he reached his destination, it started pouring like crazy and he didn’t have a hoodie or anything else for protection. Second, he didn’t want to talk with Steve’s friend about what happened between Steve and Tony. In his world, Steve didn’t deserve a second chance. Steve’s friend also didn’t deserve a chance, seeing that it was his stupid speeding years ago that started this wheel of misfortune, and the grand prize, a whole ton of misery, had all go to Tony.
Yet, Tony was miserable without that blond bastard. And if Rhodey could help, maybe even with just giving his friend an opportunity to close that sorry chapter of his life, he would do it. Then he could work on getting Tony’s job back. One thing at a time.
There are times when I wish I could write with the same blithe naiveté that I had as a kid, where I’d churn out pages and pages and pages of prose without thinking for a half a second about unfortunate implications and implicit messages and the depth and importance of stories.
I was writing utter crap then, but I was having fun doing it.
And now I know too much about the world, and I know the power that stories have, and I know that whose story you choose to tell and why you choose to tell it are important.
And I’d love to tell a Harry Potter-esque ‘magic exists and has always existed as part of a masqueraded underworld! Mythical beings exist! All the myths are true!’ story. I’d love to write a story that takes pieces of all these amazing Harry Potter headcanons I see on tumblr and runs with them in their own universe. One with character diversity and explorations of intersectionality and kyriarchy and how magic slots into these systems.
But the stories that I want to tell are about the scary-ass fairfolk and their baby-stealing iron-fearing ways, about selkies in Boston harbor and witches in Providence Place Mall.
But that’s European stuff. So what’s it doing in America?
If magic has always been real, why did colonialism and genocide roll the way it did?
I don’t want to tell that story. It’s not a fun story.
And I don’t want to tell the entire history of a world that went a very different way, because while that’d be a kickass story, it doesn’t get me to the 'the world we know, but with magic!’ place I’d like to get to. It couldn’t possibly be the world we know without all the painful, fucked up history.
And what good is magic if it can’t have altered that?
This is my beef with American Gods.
And I think the real heart of the problem is ’I am not intimately familiar with the stories of my own ancestors, because genocide and diaspora. I am far more intimately familiar with the stories of colonizers. How fucked up is that?’ and I have no idea what to do about it.
And that’s why I’m never going to get around to telling my “Normal everygirl gets sucked into magical underground masquerade world and has adventures there involving people who survived the changeling process, and the fairfolk being creepy and amoral and alien, and harbor selkies and library goblins” story.
REVIEW: 'The Neon Demon' Is The Best Movie No One Is Seeing
We went to a 9:30 showing of Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon at the Providence Place Mall. This was after waiting for some goth club to open up so my girlfriend could grab her license she’d forgotten there a few days before. By the time we got to the mall, it was about 8, and we inhaled food court “food” then made our way to the very top floor to grab our seats for a horror film about fashion that was sure to be wild. Both of us had already heard about all of the walk outs on the film due to some shocking scene or another. The Missus and I live for that shit.
It was one of those theaters all the way down right next to the fire exit, a place reserved for the films they know won’t even be coming close to filling to capacity. And sure enough, we had maybe four or five other patrons during our screening.
But that’s not why you good people are here. You want to hear about The Neon Demon, as you well should.
An incredible stylistic masterpiece, Refn’s latest film combines a high fashion plot set in L.A. with a tale of what women will do for beauty, fame, and the lengths they’ll go to maintain their positions in the industry. We follow a fresh-faced teenager, Jesse (Elle Fanning) as she’s introduced to the various players around town by makeup artist Ruby (Jena Malone).
This whole flick I kept waiting for the scene when the walk outs might happen. Being frank, it could have been two scenes, but I’m probably not the guy to guess which. I’ve gotten serial killer Valentine’s Day cards: takes a lot to shock me. That said, this film is tense from start to finish, and that’s without any overt horror stuff. The fashion industry is a body shop, and seeing Jesse, a veritable lamb among the wolves is heartbreaking, and frightening. Seeing everyone size Jesse up like the fresh meat she is gives The Neon Demon a palpable dread which seeps into your pores before the real thrills even commence.
Ferguson is a part of St. Louis County - or St. Louis, MO (The Lou)
St. Louis County has incorporated and unincorporated section, leading to many smaller municipalities.
Most St. Louis County municipalities had their own police department until recently.
Nearly every police department working Black sections of St. Louis County have or currently are under federal investigation for a variety of crimes.
Ferguson is in North County - where White politicians and developers have routed Black populations that didn’t want to live in the City of St. Louis for years.
Most of North County municipalities are majority Black, but still have the same White leadership dating back 50 or more years. In many cases its White families of politicians, lawyers, CPAs etc that keep each other in office, then hire one another for municipal jobs.
Ferguson is one of several neighborhoods where the police have been historically racist. Its in a section that some non-North County residents called “Apartheid” in the 80s, because they knew if they had to drive through that area they would be subject to illegal stops and searches.
The one person who could have probably made a difference is former St. Louis County Executive, Charlie Dooley (equal to a mayor). But he lost his re-election a few weeks ago. The community trusts him. But the white sections of St. Louis County wanted him out of office for his efforts to bring economic development and equity to North County. His replacement is ill-equipped to offer any olive branch or broker any lasting solidarity. In fact, he’s been awfully quiet.
The news keeps reporting about “Antonio French, a local journalist”. Antonio isn’t a journalist. He’s a St. Louis City alderman, known for bringing people of all colors together in the northern section of the city, For his efforts, he has been arrested, had policemen point machine guns at him and endured tear gas. The irony is that policemen from St. Louis County and City are in Ferguson right now. And its very possible that policemen from his own community are treating him like a criminal.
People of all colors are among the protestors.
The rioting broke out after several policemen called protestors “monkeys” - not animals. In the beginning these rioters were spectators who were watching the protestors from the sidelines. News on the ground is that nearly none of the first night protestors chose to riot, instead remaining peaceful.
The police have set a headquarters about 5 min away. It is one of the newest, largest strip malls in the community. After 4pm its nearly impossible to enter this area. It means the community cut off from its closest grocery store and other important businesses. That shopping mall also provides invaluable tax revenue for the community. So its very possible that the neighboring community Jennings will suffer a budget shortfall this quarter, which could threaten schools, public services, etc.
Dr. Christina Hibbert, author of This is How We Grow …
It’s pretty easy to be happy and content when things are going well in your life; but what about when circumstances change for the worse? How do you react to this type of change?
Dwight Moody once said, “Character is what you are in the dark.” These dark moments are a reflection of your inner strength, courage, and resilience. Most people go through at least one very difficult time in their life – grief over the loss of a loved one, poverty, job loss, homelessness, or some other tremendous hardship which tests every ounce of strength they can muster.
Here’s something to remember that is easy to forget: you are much stronger than you think. And you are stronger still for going through difficult times. You’ll go through an inner storm; you’ll suffer; you’ll beg for it all to end, and it eventually will. When it does end, you’ll come out stronger and better than before.
Here are 4 ways to get you through life’s most difficult times:
1. Remember that happiness comes from within
Our society is inundated with messages of consumerism and materialism. The constant barrage of messages from the advertisement and marketing industries has created the illusion that more stuff means more happiness. This is simply untrue.
Sure, a spending spree at the local mall can provide some pleasure…temporary pleasure. Spending is never a long-term solution for easing pain – in fact, it’s just the opposite. In developed countries, most households have debt amounts that exceed their disposable income. This overspending has had tremendous repercussions on individuals and families.
The truth is that happiness will always be found internally. Doing things that truly promote happiness – being grateful, learning, playing, curiosity, meditation, exercise, prayer, family time, etc. – will provide genuine happiness…even in very difficult times.
No matter what is happening externally, you can tap into this inner source of happiness. Yes, the external circumstances of your life have an effect, but it’s not to the degree that you may think. It’s still possible to tap into a multitude of things – both discovered and undiscovered – that will create true happiness. Find those things and focus on them.
2. Acknowledge your emotions
When pain – especially tremendous pain – presents itself, it is natural to want to run away and ignore it. Ask anyone who’s lost a child, parent, or someone near and dear to their heart. Quite understandably, the last thing they want to do is relive the hurt of that loss.
But the truth is that emotions need to be faced and experienced. Yes, you may worry because emotions can be overwhelming. As a result, many fear that they won’t be able to handle them. Just remember what was discussed in the introduction – you are stronger than you think.
Dr. Christina Hibbert, author of This is How We Grow, has experienced some tumultuous times – losing one sister at age 8, and another sister (and her husband) at a later age. As a result, she inherited an extended family; including two children as a result of the second sister’s death.
She’s certainly earned the right to give her advice, so here are her own words:
“(Ignoring your emotions) is like trying to run away from something that’s right on your shoulder. The only way to truly be free is to stop and face your emotions…people tend to get stuck because they’re not feeling their emotions…they are not letting themselves really feel the pain, loss, sadness, anger, that is lurking within.”
Hibbert developed her own grief coping method called TEARS – “Talking, Exercising, Artistic express, Recording or writing experiences, and Sobbing” she continues, “These five things can give us something to do when feeling overwhelmed by stress.”
3. Remember to be grateful (even for the little things).
When dark moments happen in life, it’s easy to forget a lot of things, including gratitude. Emotions overtake our rational thought processes when we are overwhelmed with any type of stimuli, including pain.
The beautiful thing about gratitude is that you’ll never run out of it. Being grateful is all about perspective. Thinking about or meditating on the abundance in your life is a wonderful way to bring these things to the surface.
For example, if you are reading this right now, you have a computer (or smartphone) and internet access. Only about 40% of people in the world have access to the internet; with even fewer having access to a device such as a smartphone or computer. Did you have something for breakfast or lunch? About 1 billion people have gone without. Have you earned more than $1.25 today? About 1.2 billion people in the world have received less.
These statistics are not meant to create guilt, but to cause a change in perspective. There are destitute people all over the world that still manage to create happiness under far more difficult circumstances. Find something in your life to be grateful for and focus on it.
(As a side note): If able, please consider giving your time or money to those less fortunate. There are many great organizations focused on reducing and eradicating hunger, poverty, and disease in countries all over the world. These people need strong individuals to take a stand and help.
4. Practice being present
You’ll find that this is a consistent theme through much of the material on this site: the practice of being present. Living in the here and now is so important, and it helps you to deal with problems as they arise – without judgment, hesitance, or objection. Things are just as they should be, for better or for worse.
Regardless of the painful circumstances facing you, it is important to realize that this is where you are, wanted or unwanted. You can attempt to dodge, avoid, suppress or deny, but in the end, it just is what it is.
Being present goes beyond dealing with painful circumstances. Mindfulness and presence enable you to express full joy and gratefulness towards the blessings in life. Further, it allows you to perceive these blessings better when they do surface.
Resist the urge to judge what has happened in the past or what may happen in the future. All you have and all that you are guaranteed is the present moment. Take full advantage of the moment and appreciate the beauty of life that exists all around you.
Of course, being present sometimes involves pain, but it will be okay. Allow yourself to experience the moment, however painful it may be, knowing that it will pass…you will eventually flourish as a person – perhaps as a better version of yourself.
Shared With Love. Peace & Blessings, Our Journey to Balance
“You’re staring again,” Isaac says, throwing a corn dog stick at Stiles’ head. Stiles jerks out of his daze, flailing his arms and batting at the air. His elbows are sore from leaning on the counter, shoulders tight. It’s not his fault that they’re slow, he’s bored, and they have a perfect view of the North Pole.