Slippery Inclines

After I found the card I wanted, I paid for it, and then walked out. At that moment, I decided to give the old place my own personal walking tour.  Having not traversed the entire mall for a number of years, I was shocked to find how many actual storefronts are closed.  Wow!  In spite of hearing how many storefronts have been shuttered, it really didn’t  hit me until I saw it for myself.  Yes, Southbridge Mall is running on fumes.

Of course in today’s paper, I read where TradeHome Shoes store is closing its doors due to lack of business as of this coming Saturday.  Now that was a quick notice to close if you ask me.  It’s one more confirmation of how malls all over America have grown out of fashion.  TradeHome Shoes was one of the original tenants back when Southbridge Mall opened in 1985.  Quite amazing isn’t it, when how something so popular 30+ years ago is now as dead as a Tyrannosaurus Rex.  We can blame much of it on big box and online stores like Amazon who make their money in bulk sales.  It’s a numbers game and the storefronts are loosing.

Over my lunch hour I walked down to TradeHome Shoes to see if they had any footwear on sale that would fit me.  When I walked in, the manager was there by himself helping an elderly man try on shoes.  Since the old guy was filled with many questions, I think the manager believed I was ready to walk out if he didn’t at least acknowledge my presence. He pardoned himself from his questioning customer and walked over to me asking, “Is there something I can help you find?”  I simply said while handing him a note with my shoe size on it, “Do you carry this size?”  He seemed almost in shock seeing such a size while finally saying, “No, we don’t have anything even close to it.”  I thanked him for his time along with wishing him well during his store closure.

While walking back to my office I couldn’t help but remember all the financial troubles Southbridge Mall has been in over these long years, along with such a terrible waste of money and real estate it was for them to even think of building it.  I personally remember a number of beautiful buildings that succumbed to wrecking balls so to make way for that poorly designed and cheaply built monstrosity.

Since it was above freezing today, I decided to get the rest of my shoveling done from our last snowstorm.  Finding there was more there than I’d expected, I actually worked myself into a bit of a sweat. Hopefully with tomorrow’s higher temperatures, the pavements will get melted and get dried off.  Nobody likes slippery inclines whenever walking or driving, so we as a City should work at keeping our sidewalks, driveways, and streets as snow and ice-free as possible.

Tonight’s photo is just a reminder that we’ve got a number of weeks before being out of winter’s reach.

Joe Chodur

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