Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

MC Weekly

July 9, 2014

RAY MOSCOWITZ: Mall-walking ratchets up columnist's curiosity

One of these days I might start asking questions

The little old lady who wore her hair in a bun has been missing for months now.

The solidly built, 6-footish fellow with the flowing, white-gray beard and long hair who looks like a mountain man hasn’t been around much lately.

The kiosk that sold sunglasses apparently has called it quits.

And Spencer Gifts has moved back into its former (now remodeled) location just off the food court from its temporary spot that had been occupied by Foot Locker, which once filled the space after it was vacated by a kiddie arcade — but Foot Locker is still in business, now two doors away from rival Finish Line. Got it?

So now I wonder what will become of the former kiddie arcade-Foot Locker-Spencer locale, which seems like an excellent spot next to Appleby’s, which has an outside-the-mall entrance.

I’ve become a mall walker, if you haven’t figure this out already — specifically the College Mall in Bloomington, which is a few minutes from where I live. Like other malls, it opens before the stores do — at 8 a.m. during the week and 11 a.m. on Sundays, when “regulars” amble and socialize over java. I rarely go then, preferring to stroll after lunch, when the action is heightened.

It’s educational and entertaining, watching people, watching merchandising trends, watching how the mall — even a relatively small one like College Mall — constantly changes in mostly subtle ways.

College Mall is basically two “legs” of shops with four anchors — Sears, Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Target. One complete “sweep” is almost a mile. I walk for 30 minutes, or about two sweeps.

Sometimes, though, instead of two sweeps, I walk around the inside perimeters of either Target or Sears, fulfilling my time requirement. As I move along, I check out the wares, which occasionally results in a sales pitch or recommendation to my wife when I return home.

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