I can, however, imagine a shopping mall designed for my particular and personal satisfaction. It would be called "The Mall of Me."
Anchoring one end of the Mall of Me is a large book store, carrying both new and used, but stocked with volumes of history, fine arts, crafts, popular science, biography, travel, fiction, gardening and what used to be called "natural history", with lots of room to browse and sit and read. Proviso: the "bookstore of me" carries zero books on Spirituality, Self-Improvement, Soul Regression, Tarot, Alternative Therapies, or Healing Arts. No books written by TV pastors or repentant politicians recently released from prison or by instant millionaires. No celebrity autobiographies. At the other end of the Mall of Me, there's a shop selling music cds which specializes in the great age of middle European music from 1685 (birth of Bach) to 1911 (death of Mahler), but also features a treasury of classic blues, bluegrass, American roots, popular song, rock and roll, and gospel of the golden age. No New Age, No Rap, no Electronic. Between my two "anchors," there will be a good garden store featuring expensive, elegant, heavy-in-the-hand garden tools. No power mowers or power tools, but when appropriate to the season, racks of seeds, preferably of heirloom and antique vegetables. Next to it, a movie memorabilia and poster store, with large collections from the earliest days of cinema right through 1950, especially Shakespeare movies. And then I'd like a high-end antique store displaying walls and shelves of classical and Asian works of art. Unfortunately, because of budgetary constraints, I won't be doing any purchasing in this particular shop, but I'll be pleased to browse in it, at least weekly, perhaps oftener. Also, a cafe where a guy could purchase a hot chocolate and an almond croissant. I would also like a store that specializes in 19th and early 20th century Caucasian rugs and wall-hangings though here, once again -- it would be more for appreciating than for actual buying. Subject to the same constraints, a baseball memorabilia shop -- National League only. A high end crafts store. And as for restaurants: a Jewish deli, modeled after the now defunct Second Avenue Delicatessen. An imaginative Asian fusion restaurant. A bagel bakery. No fish, and certainly no sushi. Perhaps a hole-in-the-wall one-person walk-in shop where a guy or gal could help me with computer and cell phone anomalies and failures -- someone who speaks in traditional English, not in acronyms. And then there will be buskers: at one end of the mall, a string quartet; at the other end, a bluegrass band. No fire-eaters, contortionists, or drummers banging on pots and pans. All performers personally vetted by me. No panhandlers or noble solicitors with their dread clipboards.
And of course, some intelligently-designed play areas for infants, new walkers and small children. And some comfortable chairs for their parents (and me) to sit and watch the kiddies frolic.
Yes, I think that will do it. It's the Mall of Me.
Now that I think of it, everyone should have their own mall. Instead of vast mall installations, let's have targeted malls. Individually designed and executed.