Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Phantom Mall-Wing Syndrome at Ala Moana

A  L  O  H  A !
A Small Fruit Song by Al Stewart on Grooveshark
" The evening sings

 in a voice of amber, 

the dawn

 is surely coming. "

Al Stewart 

" Every generation laughs

 at the old fashions, 

but follows religiously 

the new. "

Henry David Thoreau

" The love we have

 in our youth 

is superficial compared 

to the love that

 an old man has

 for his old wife. "

Will Durant

><}}(°> ~

Sears came to Hawaii back in Territorial
 (pre-statehood) days,
installing the islands' first escalator
(in the 1930's)
in the building I knew
 as Honolulu Police Headquarters
where I obtained my
 taxi driving license.
(late 1980's)

Sears had left that building
in 1959
to move into the exciting 
New Shopping Center
(Mall was not a concept yet)
whose opening coincided with
S T A T E H O O D!

It was a booming hopeful time
for Hawaii, for Honolulu,
and for "Hawaii's Center"
Ala Moana Shopping Center.

As in most other cities
people stopped shopping
Downtown (Fort St; King St)
and drove to the 
exciting new big center.

Sears and Ala Moana flourished
together, creating jobs
and memories
for generations of
Island folks, and 
our visitors.

Your childhood presents,
school clothes,
prom-wear, homegoods,
all from Sears.

And your Auntie or Uncle
probably worked there.

Ala Moana 
'World's Largest Open Air Center'
has always been great 
for people watching,
and has grown in phases.

But lately locals are grumbling
that the old standards,
Like Slipper House (sandals)
that opened AMSC have
disappeared one by one.

Now there is new development.
Sears has left AMSC!
(Stores remain in two other
Oahu locations FAR from town)
No more quick appliance parts,
car brakes, or car battery installed,
no eyeglass shop,
no watch repair 
(world class, alas!).

We're all nostalgic for Sears.
That wing of the mall will become
a Bloomingdales
and lots of other
"Cool New Shops"
But right now
that Mall Wing
feels haunted.

"Sad, yeah?" local faces
reaching "The Wall"
seem to express.

Oh well.

Things that seemed
permanent when we were kids
are revealed to be changing,

People too.

Us too.

There are so many choices
on Oahu today!

But something laments
the passing of familiar things.

"Aloha, Sears;
Now we going drive
Windward or Pearl City
for buy tools!"

Thanks for Walking the Mall
With Us Today!

                              Warmly, cloudia