I promised myself I would never post about my inane day-to-day goings on and that every post should aim to be either informative, enlightening, amusing or just down right cool. This post does not fall into any of those categories, as it's really about the state of my health. Which is not so good right now. Its lucky I work from home as they'd NEVER let me send emails from under the duvet at the office.
That's enough for now! Instead, I'm going to pick up where I left off in my Made in America series. Are you ready to learn?!
"The man responsible for the layout and ambience of the modern shopping centre was not an American but a Vienniese named Victor Gruen. Ironically, Gruen's intention was not to create a new and more efficient way of shopping but to recreate in America something of the unrushed cafe-society atmosphere of European city centres."
"Shopping centres - or shopping towns, as he preferred to call them - were to be gathering places for the neighbourhood, focal points of the community where people could stroll and meet their friends, dally over a coffee or an ice-cream and only incidentally shop." Where did it all go wrong?!
Before you know it, "shopping mall design became a science. No one any longer thought about the idea of encouraging people to linger or socialize. Benches were built without backs so that people wouldn't linger on them, and food court tables given just enough crampedness to induce a sense of discomfort after about 10 minutes."
"Victor Gruen's vision of people sitting with cappuccinos, reading newspapers on gripper rods provided by a thoughtful management, or playing chess besides whispering fountains never materialised."
(Most words taken from the book Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States )
Unless, it has? Is there a shopping mall near you that's anything like Gruen's original vision?