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I live a quarter of mile away from a mall – opps sorry, marketplace – that for the love of me I can’t figure out why folks bother going. It doesn’t a major department store, unless you count Target (which I don’t). The boutiquey stores open and shut like clams yet always seem geared toward adolescents, mostly of the female persuasion, who dress in the ‘Goth’ style, if I have the fashion right. The entrances to the marketplace are engineered to guarantee upset the staunchest of drivers trying to get in.* Despite these impediments, the place is hopping, especially on a Friday night.

When we first moved in in 2005 it seemed to be a congregation for teenagers who don’t look like they buy much. I suppose nowadays with apps they have discovered better ways to buy things and where to meet up. So who is going and why I wonder?

There is no lack of eateries at Desert Ridge but none of them are stellar. They are along the line of “Tikka Shack” and “Panda Express” which seem always short of staff and the staff who are there are as disinterested in their posts as Macy’s clerks at Christmas time. Over the years we’ve tried some of the more swanky-looking joints, but these were merely more expensive sit-down meals without merit. There was a Italian place I liked called “The Macaroni Grill” and there was a salad buffet-bar “Sweet Tomatoes”. They were decent, but they hard as hell to get to and parking was always a bear. Both went belly up in the shut down and I think the buildings are empty. It must be tough to keep a restaurant going, even more difficult to start one.

Yesterday I persuaded Someone to have Sunday breakfast at what I thought was a more upscale place but it turned out to be along the line of an Elias Brother’s Big Boy minus the charms. Worse, it was quiet, and we could hear every word of the Trumpeter in the next booth who talked nonstop about all the woes of the world as Biden’s fault. Oh the pain.

There are a couple of stores I like. There is a sweets shop and a Total Wine liquor store. Trying to get to either is no small feat what with traffic and parking etc. so I hardly ever go. I’ve learned to show up to the latter just as they open which makes me feel sheepish to hang outside a liquor store on a Sunday at 10AM. Oh the embarrassment.

To the west of the place another mall-like area has been under construction. After many years. it looks like some of it has finally opened. From a distance it looks ‘more of the same”, but I am curious to check it out to see if they improved traffic flow and are there any proper restaurants not rubbish types.

That is the trouble with Phoenix: everything is in strip malls and is a hassle to get to. Whereever I move I would like some proper restaurants not connected to teen clothing shops.

Do you shop at malls?

Do you have any good restaurants nearby?

*Albertsons and Einstein Brothers are mercifully adjacent to each other and not too far in which allows use easy out/in provided it is before 8AM.

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