Boring day at work means I begin reading my Twitter timeline
When I begin reading my Twitter timeline, someone tweets something that brings up an ancient race memory.
When someone tweets something that brings up an ancient race memory, I begin to surf the web to research the facts on that ancient race memory.
When I surf the web to research facts, I come across the archive site for Malls of America
(not to be confused with the ginongous Mall of America near Minneapolis). Specifically, I was looking for information on two prior haunts from my sometimes shady teenage years - Mayfield Mall
and Old Mill Shopping Center
in Mountain View, California.
Mayfield was actually more a memory of earlier childhood. I remember my mom dragging me there because a clothing store she frequented was located there (Joseph Magnin). I have fuzzy memories of grabbing greasy mall Chinese food there and riding the escalator up to the mostly-vacant upper level of the indoor mall. Visits became more and more infrequent once the closer Eastridge Mall opened up, but we'd still pop in every once in awhile.
Old Mill is a bit more of a recent memory. Sort of a funky smallish mall with no anchor tenants, but it did have a 70's style multiplex and several restaurants and clubs that I'd hang out in towards my latter high school years. It was too far away from home to make seeing movies there a regular thing, but I distinctly remember watching one of the Witch Mountain flicks there (most likely the second one
). I know there were more, but none that I can pull from the memory banks.
I'll remember Old Mill primarily as the primo stoner hangout of 80's bay area youth. On Saturday nights my friends and I would cruise up to the mall and toke up in the parking lot, drink beer (or other spirits) and hang out in Fargos - sort of an 18 & over nightclub/pizza place. Fargos used to be good for not necessarily checking IDs properly, so occasionally we'd get drinks inside the club. I do remember once getting tossed with my friends by one of the managers there who was a bit more observant of our age than his door person was.
Neither mall is around any longer. Mayfield is now a Google campus I believe. Old Mill is gone too. Not sure what's there now since I moved out of the bay long ago. Looking at the comments section on the Malls of America site though floored me a bit. Many commenters remembering the exact same thing I remember about Old Mill. I swear some of these comments were probably from some of the exact same stoner kids I used to hang with. A blast from the 80's past for sure!
I'll probably put the MoA site on my regular bored-at-work rotation. Most shopping malls from my youth are dying out or have already gone. Sort of be nice to see how my memories of those places match with others.