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Monday, March 16, 2015

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The-Gallery-on-3-16-15--Center-City-2








The Gallery Shopping Mall. My wife used to work as a cashier at that Dollar store. Though it didn't even pay minimum wage, she actually liked the job. As happens with many workers these days, she wasn't fired outright but simply given fewer and fewer hours, then finally nothing, without any explanation. Bosses do that so they don't have to give these low end employees raises. Plus, retail businesses are flooded with so many job applications.



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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This mall looks pretty empty. Were you taking these photos at an "off" hour? Or is the mall on the way out, like of a number of other inner city malls in the US? --Gordon in Nebraska.

Anonymous said...

Wait, there is a Dollar Store in a Swanky Mall? Is that an oxymoron? Dollar stores in my town are all "South of the Tracks". --Gordon again

Linh Dinh said...

Hi Gordon,

This mall is far from swank. After losing tenants for years, it evicted most of the remaining in the last couple months. The rationale given is that it's going to renovate and become an upper scale mall, but I seriously doubt they can pull this off, and even if they can, it will be a commercial disaster. The mall's owners haven't given a straight answer to the press about its plan or schedule for reopening. In fact, the malls didn't even tell its evicted tenants that they would have to leave until just before it happened.

As is, this is a zombie mall, one of many across this country.

As for the Dollar Store being in a mall, I've seen several, including one in Scranton, PA. In Delaware, I saw a storefornt church in a mall. Losing momey, many malls will take any tenant and will knock down rent to attract them.

In the Taylor Postcard, I wrote, "The dying mall has attracted some odd tenants, such as a satellite branch of the public library and an office of the State Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit. As malls die across the country, we’ll see many creative repurposing. Already, there are churches and casinos inside half-dead malls, so why not massage parlors, detox centers, transient hotels, haunted houses, prisons, petting zoos or putt-putt golf courses (covering the entire mall)?"

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About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), five of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007) and Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). Blood and Soap was chosen by Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.