Broadway Square Mall: A Grown-Up’s Perspective

by admin on September 30, 2009

in Shopping Centers

Tyler Mall

Tyler TX Mall

As a kid growing up in Tyler TX, Broadway Square Mall was the coolest place in the world. Not only was it full of other kids, it had a video arcade right across from a pizza shop. If I wanted to, I could spend an entire Saturday hanging out with my friends in the Air Conditioning.

Today, kids still dominate Broadway Square Mall. Teenagers, anyway. What does Broadway Square Mall have for young Tylerites today? The usual suspects: A half-dozen jewelers, a food court, a radio shack across from a GNC, the obligatory Hallmark store, and the Preppy Tri-Fecta of Abercrombie, the Gap, and Old Navy. More notably, the mall is anchored on three sides by department giants Sears, JCPenney, and Dillards.

If you are looking for the typical comforts of a suburban mall, you’ve got it here. You’ve got your freshly baked pretzels, your frozen yogurt, your Santa stage, sitting idle for most of the year. If you like kiosks, you can renew your cell phone plan, buy a pair of sunglasses, and get your picture cartoon-ized in no time flat. There are lots of girlish stores to make ladies feel prettier: Body Shop, Talbot’s and Victoria’s Secret. And for the guys, there’s Finish Line, Foot Locker, and toys at Game Stop. The little kids can’t go arcading anymore, but they can manufacture a new best friend at the Build-A-Bear workshop.

Notably absent from Broadway Square mall is a movie theater. We thought that there was no coffee shop but we are wrong. There is now a Coffee Beanery franchise in there now, thank goodness! Other than that, this mall offers exactly what we’ve become accustom to at other identical suburban shopping centers: cookie cutter stores and over-inflated prices.

I stopped going to the mall years ago for three reasons. First, it’s crowded, especially around Christmas time. Second, I can almost always find merchandise elsewhere for cheaper. For example, I used to frequent the music store at the mall to buy CD’s, but now I just go to iTunes. But my primary reason for avoiding Broadway Square Mall is the fact that it seems to be dominated by young prima donnas.

This became clear to me when I was a senior in high school, leaving the music store with a Beatles CD in hand. My cousin and I were walking mindlessly toward the west exit when we passed a bandanna’d young man who was threatened by my trajectory. “Hey man. You’re walking too CLOSE to me.” He announced to everyone. “Did you hear me? I said you’re walking too CLOSE to me.” Another wanna-be gang banger trying to pick a fight. My cousin laughed and we walked out without honoring the gentleman with a response.

Fair or unfair, that picture still defines Broadway Square Mall for me. It is a place where young, bored teenagers walk circles for hours on end, loitering in store after store, trying to attract the opposite sex with either spaghetti straps or machismo. They are there not because they need something, but because they have nothing better to do.

Here’s the good news: If you need to go to Sears for a lawnmower, Dillards for a dress, or JCPenney’s for a Tony Romo game jersey, you can enter those store directly without ever entering the mall at all. And if, like me, you really want to run in and out only take advantage of Old Navy’s cheap T-shirt deals, try not to walk TOO CLOSE to anyone.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Troll May 25, 2012 at 12:56 am

Laaaaaaame article.

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