I have a very unconventional interest in seeking places which show the slow death of post 2000's American commercialism and consumerism. Somehow, seeing places like this reminds me that there are parts of the nature of people that people hate acknowledging. Places like this show people's habits of expending resources and working to build something, and having progressed far beyond their need for it in the process, and thus abandoning it in the end (it's a very complicated relationship with my world that even I don't fully understand). In today's world, most buying of regular goods can be done on the Internet. For example, if your desk chair stops working, and you find that all you need to get it fixed is a small metal bracket, you won't think to go to a hardware store. You will look up the exact part online and buy it from the manufacturer (through amazon, of course). You may want to get it shipped to you the very same day, which is possible. This whole process has killed the idea and practice of going to a mall or outlet store and buying things.
The 'American Dream' is essentially the idea that, if one works very hard and makes necessary sacrifices, they will be successful. The very idea which the American dream was built off of has practically been polarized and replaced with an age of business orchestrated entirely on the Internet. While many aspects of the human experience have been lost in this process, many new ones have been gained. Places like this stand as artifacts of a unique era in which people sold their humanity to a mechanized machine designed to make money. After all that has withered with time, abandoned places have a charm which deserves to be recognized.
The Tanger outlet mall was built in Casa Grande, Arizona in the early 1990's. My mother and her friends used to meet here nearly every weekend. It acted as their paddy's pub; if their lives were a sitcom, it would take place here. Recently, though, I came across it on google. Anyways, I asked her if she would like to go and see how it's changed. She seemed excited and eager to see the place where some of the best years of her life took place. What I had forgot to tell her was that it had been abandoned for over five years.
|The palm trees have grown to twice their size since the mall was opened. They grew around the roof of the mall and sought sunlight, which seems to be working fine.|
|Each of these stores once had a sign in front of them, and people moved in and out; they were set apart from one another. When the construction crew removed all of the signs and posters, they all looked quite the same from the outside.|
|This light still comes on at night, but no one needs it. Behind this lot, there is only a wide span of desert.|
|Alongside social consumerism, there are other artifacts here as well. Every 20 meters or so, there was a payphone with a phonebook attached.|
|The tables still work, yet no one has eaten here in years. It seems that they go hand in hand with the place that supplies the food. Regardless of this, I still sat and had a drink of water (despite it being over 100 degrees|
|The Drive-thru window was still able to be opened, and I could see the stoves and fryers dormant on the inside. It was too dark to get any photos, but I'm sure I heard some friendly small animals in there.|
|This large sign used to have a brightly lit logo of the Tanger outlet mall. It was bright when the mall was at its brightest. In a way, it still shows what the mall has to offer.|