The mailbag arrived the other day, stuffed with a bunch of (very touching, I assure you) notes expressing some grave concern about my whereabouts. I figured that I might as well come clean.
Many of you noticed that I haven’t been around as much, and that poor ol’ Labelscar just hasn’t had quite as much content as it used to. In a nutshell, the reason is a very big personal and professional change for me that I’m very slowly adjusting to. A very exciting career opportunity presented itself, and this exciting opportunity actually whisked me 3,200 miles across the country to the San Francisco Bay Area. That’s right, good ol’ Caldor is a New England boy no more–at least not for the moment.
While this has–quite understandably–taken up much of my time, I also see this as an opportunity to develop even more content. Labelscar has leaned heavily on the midwest and northeast largely because that’s where its authors reside. I have quite a bit in the can from the northeast (though, sadly, I do not have photos of *every* mall or antiquated retailer, which I would like) but now that I’m here in a brand new area, I can begin to bag some stuff from a whole new region of the United States that had been previously underserved. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope that all the logistics involved with my recent switcheroo don’t completely bury me in other concerns.
One of the more interesting bits of this shift is that I’m staying–temporarily–with a friend who lives in Mountain View, California. In addition to being the home of Google (which is not where I work, in case you were wondering) and a part of Silicon Valley, Mountain View is also home to a total of three ghost malls! Sadly, all three of these were redeveloped over a decade ago, and very few remnants of any of them exist. But thankfully a local citizen who created a very comprehensive guide to this pretty South Bay suburb managed to document these three malls in great detail (along with photos of each), and I strongly encourage you to check it out!
I live right in the neighborhood where these three malls are located, and I was completely unaware of two of them. The Mayfield Mall building (just north of Central Expressway, east of San Antonio Road) even still exists, but it was converted to an office building (which itself has been abandoned) so long ago that it’s unrecognizable. The Old Mill Mall was demolished long before I arrived and no trace of it remains–today it is the condo complex that runs along Pacchetti Way. The San Antonio Center, which was the largest of the three, has the largest amount of artifacts, mainly in the intact Sears and Mervyn’s stores, as well as small pieces of the original outdoor mall. That crazy old pylon remains too, thank goodness. Unfortunately the rest of the center today is a pretty graceless big box center; a large patch of concrete with a few dozen box stores, strip malls, and restaurant pads scattered willy-nilly around its patch of land.
Read about the missing malls of mountain view–you won’t be sorry!