On Monday night, millions of people gathered in front of the TV to watch a brewing event.
No, I'm not talking about the Olympics.
Instead, Monday night was the premiere of MTV's High School Musical, American mall.
The teenage drama unfolds under the dazzling fluorescent lights of the food court.
The promo says it's a story about a place we all love and everything is sold there except love and dreams.
Like "fast time for Ridgemont High" or "Mallrats", "Mall of America" shows closed malls ---
The most iconic, notorious and replicable retail phenomenon in the United States-
As the ultimate gathering place (
In fact, it was also the intention of Holocaust survivor Victor Green, who created the first indoor mall in Edina, Minnesota. , in 1956).
But the interesting thing is: we don't like shopping malls very much now.
There are 6 retail vacancies.
3% of regional shopping centers, the largest in six years, did not build a closed mall last year.
As our wallets get tighter, what will be all the empty consumer space for Michael Townsend and Adriana Joto look like.
One morning in 1998, the Rhode Island couple woke up to find that the name of their street changed: Kingsley Avenue is now Providence square and happens to be the name of street 1. 3 million-square-
The walking mall is located in a prime area of 13 acres in the city center.
Townsend and Joto are among the residents of Providence's opposition shopping center-
The cost of taxpayers, the colonial presence of buildings that dominate the skyline on highways.
But scholar Yoto and public artist Townsend expressed their anger in an unusual way: they decided to live with the mall. Literally.
At 2003, at 750
Since the era of architecture, they have abandoned the pedestrian storage space and carefully designed a secret apartment in the shopping center to study its charm.
Why are so many of us flocking to the disinfection corridors of the mall, why do we like the life of the mall, the same shops and buildings all over the country, and why the mall is where we are dissatisfied, the Gunners went to the area earlier this year to cause the greatest pain, and a man detonated a bomb at a shopping center in Exeter, England.
A woman was shot dead in the previous week.
Obviously we have a complex emotional relationship with the mall and Townsend and Joto came up with a way to understand everything they criticize, that is to embrace it and live it so they
The Adventure of the mall lasts for a week;
It lasted four years.
If Townsend was not arrested by security guards on last October and charged with trespassing, they would still be camping out today. ------------
The mall we know today-
A closed concrete shop box connected by public space-
The 52-year-old, created by Austrian socialist Jew Gruen, thinks he's creating a utopian community --
The purpose of the shopping center is to bring people together in different areas;
Instead, with the help of reliable cars, it ran out of those corners and destroyed many of the city centers.
But Providence square is Mall 2.
0: 4 th Floor, 170 stores, 8 restaurants and "entertainment places "(
When I was a kid, we called the cinema.
On the old site of the School of Continuing Education Building at the University of Rhode Island, people look forward to attracting people back to the city center instead of pulling them away.
This new shopping mall is not a huge, ugly concrete box, but a disguised structure, covered with bricks and placed in the center of the city.
"Few developers have built the mall again," said Paco Underhill, author of the call to the mall.
"They built 'alls '.
Hotels, offices, libraries, and nice homes are now integrated into the mall.
Only a traditional closed shopping center was built in 2006, not last year.
Many of the old structures were "dismantled" in the industry language: razed to the ground and rebuilt to a mixed structureuse, open-
We call it the air facility in the lifestyle center. -
They're not just shopping malls anymore.
For many people, especially outside the United States, although there is no weather here, the mall represents a brighter future.
For example, the opening of a shopping mall in Soweto, South Africa, triggered a city-wide celebration hosted by Nelson Mandela.
But because they are a treasure trove of our wishes-
When you are in the mall, the better where you can always reach ---
They are also a magnet for our frustration.
A gunman killed eight people in the eastern city of Omaha in last November.
Mall declared before committing suicide, "Now I'm going to be famous"
30-year-old Adrianna Yoto, the daughter of a Chinese economist and Venezuelan fashion beauty queen, grew up in chapapqua, New Jersey. Y.
Obsessed with shopping malls.
Michael Townsend, 37, from God.
In the suburbs of Worcester, Massachusetts, Christian parents are afraid.
And play "commando" at the arcade of the mall "(
He claimed to have kept state records at one point).
"Our mistakes are very different," he said . "
Shopping has been the focus of their marriage long before Providence Square became their neighbor.
When she chose to marry Townsend, Townsend lived by hand. Very beautiful)
Yoto's family told her that "pain can only be your fate" because he is unable to support her Nordstrom habits on the artist's salary.
She eventually recovered from shopping globalism, but was passionate about shopping centers, and she continued to study them and received a master's degree in international relations from the new school, last year, she put forward the theory of modern shopping centers there --
Four years after the mall opened, Yoto, Townsend and six of their friends in the art group were called Trummerkind (
"Children in ruins" in German ")
He vowed to spend a whole week in a shopping mall that transformed their city, using the mall as an actual public space without business.
"The mall has something very positive to offer that has nothing to do with shopping," Townsend told me . ".
I asked, "What is this ? ""I don't know --
That's why I moved there.
"They have never intended to destroy the mall or its corporate structure, nor to make themselves a spectacle.
Townsend describes himself as a "happy connection" and Yoto's idea of having a good time is to sort all the items in the store and rate their desirability from the "gift"worthy" to "if-it-were-the-apocalypse-and-I-was-looting-I-would-take-it.
"This is exactly what they did during their life at the mall. Every day.
Each of them voted on a project (
Flashlight, space blanket, sketch and face cloth)
Received a $20 allowance.
"I drank a lot of tea," Yoto said . ".
They disguised themselves, carrying empty Nordstrom bags, in the clothes of the mall ---
Nice casual pants and buttonsdown shirts (
This is a bigger extension for Townsend and he will be happy to wear the same pair of sneakers until they are combined with the tape).
In the evening, they had to go through a 2-foot-
Townsend discovered the wide passage to the dark space, with its walls and ceilings painted with what Yoto calls "opaque gray oatmeal, which blends the contents of the lint trap.
"They made a bed with cardboard and insulated tiles and spent the cold night there instead of risking the use of the mallhours.
They put--it was dusty --
In the bathroom of the mall, Yoto goes to the porcelain sink of origin store every morning to taste its facial cleanser.
Occasionally, they read books at the border.
Four days later, they were both bored and ecstatic.
"I think this holiday
Like the excitement I never felt before or after that, "Townsend said.
"For me it's better than any natural walk I take every time I take a walk.
Let's be clear: he's not sarcastic. -this is wired-for-
Talk about happiness.
They felt that they had upended the existence of the mall without buying anything, but they had fulfilled their promise: to free themselves from the burden of everyday life within walking distance. "[The mall is]
"It should be a holiday every day," Yoto said . ".
"But it only works if you don't have money or a mobile phone.
"Shopping malls have always been more than just a place to shop.
"For so many people, shopping centers are the first place they see the world," said Underhill . ".
"The first place they spend their own money, the first place they meet people who are not near them, the first time they see things from music to fashion, before that, their only connection is on TV.
"The mall has become the antidote to the typical isolated and alienated space in the suburbs: the lonely extension of the road and echo mansion.
There, we gathered together, and the world's worries disappeared in the shadow of Muzak, meeting expectations ---
They are their own communities.
"We live on a planet where handbags will turn into hell," said architect and construction critic Michael Sorkin . ".
"At the mall you will enter a perfect climate control condition where it is clean and orderly and you will not be forced to face the reality.
"After a week of the experiment, Yoto and Townsend returned regularly for four years in an attempt to transform the storage space into a luxury apartment provided by the mall.
They used 39-
The scum they carried in. -
In the process of trying to live a good life, there is a lot of hard physical labor.
They added sofas, tables, lights, TVs, Chinese kitchens and Sony PlayStation (
They were stolen when they lived there, indicating that their existence was not entirely secret)
Stayed for a few days at a time.
They plan to install pre-
Portable toilet and wooden floor.
Yoto says they play house to satisfy the "hyper-stylize.
"She is referring to the Pottery Barn catalogue or the well-decorated vision in Domino magazine that affects our mailbox and also puts pressure on some people inside, let our home be ready for inspection with these
"We are asked to be acting artists every day," she said . ".
"We are all under surveillance. " In the mall --
Perhaps the most closely monitored public places we have, security cameras and a long list of rules of behavior ---
She lives in a parallel being and she realizes that these super
The stylized dream of performing for an invisible audience, by placing a small jar of sand on a decorative shelf and a cloth runner on the table in the restaurant, she will be in reality in her own attic a mile away.
However, when Yoto and Townsend criticized the mall as a monitoring agent, they tried to make sure they were being monitored.
They go through their sketchbooks on their blogs.
They uploaded a manual map of the shopping center's uncertain space.
They posted a video of the mall apartments on their website, which began to appear at the top of Google's search for Providence square.
They think that's how the security department knew to look for them, and one afternoon in October they found Townsend behind the doors they built.
Townsend shouted "Surprise!
"When they turn on the lights.
He was sentenced to six months' probation without objection and was banned from entering the shopping center.
Townsend and Yoto insist that the apartment has never reached the height of Sanctuary magazine and they feel truly lost ---
"How long do you expect it to last? " I asked ? ". "Years.
"Forever," said Yoto.
"We want to take our children there for our birthday.
We want the baby to take the first step in the mall.
"In some ways, the project is not over.
After Townsend was arrested, they experienced a series of fame, including two.
There are minutes on the coveted back pages of "CBS Early Show" and "National Inquirer.
The blog circle burst into cheers, and the discussion about the nature of public art also began.
A blogger assessed the mall apartment as an adult version of a fortress in the forest.
According to a newspaper, the police were "very interested in the apartment, so they went to see it themselves.
"Yoto and Townsend gave speeches for law school audiences and art students, even re-
A shopping center apartment was created at the Providence Gallery. (
Yoto posted an announcement with photos of herself as a mall advertisement, wearing a funky maroon dress, staring at the camera in a sultry heat. )
A literary agent signed them and asked them to work in a shopping mall.
A producer invited them to do a reality show about squatting. (
The premise they put forward is "extreme help," in which they will live in abandoned buildings, in Townsend's words, "just to help people get out of trouble. ")
Like the gunmen in Omaha, their behavior in the mall made them famous.
The management of Providence Plaza mall did not share the public's enthusiasm.
They announced that the mall felt violated. -
This caused a predictable mistake in the blog circle. -
Threatened to sue Yoto and Townsend for months.
The furniture of Yoto and Townsend was returned-
Property is legally theirs, no matter how illegal the act of putting it there is ---
But an intellectual-property scuffle continues.
General Growth Properties, the owner of the mall, requires possession of all images of Townsend and Yoto Mall, including the actual ownership and copyright of their wedding video, which they cross over and shoot on the wowneskucket River.
Since then, GGP has dropped the lawsuit, probably because the ongoing active media and team of lawyers have blocked the lawsuit for the couple's defense. (
GGP declined to comment on the article).
The crime of Joto and Townsend-
What makes the mall feel violated? -
Make the shopping center a personal experience and define your own space.
They want to replicate what the developers are doing around them: declare an abandoned area destroyed, then redevelop it and do a small piece of their unique stuff in the mall.
This is their own territory. But protest-through-
It turns out that squatting is not unique to them.
Comedian Mark Markoff, who lived in Ikea, New Jersey for a week in January, cited the wide selection of Ikea products in his apartment, the weight loss line between him and their space.
Maybe Swedes have a better sense of humor than Americans because they actually forgive his corporate colonial rule.
Most people praised Yoto and Townsend's adventure miss for living in the mall not on the edge.
This is the new standard. Forty-
Three miles away, in the suburbs of Boston, a 1994 mall owned by the same company that built Providence square added apartments ---
Real luxury apartment--inside.
People pay more than millions of dollars to live in the Natick Mall.
Maybe that's the answer to the subprime mortgage crisis: all those whose houses are foreclosed may be closed --
Starbucks and Walmart
Until the economy gets better.
Meanwhile, visitors travel thousands of miles to shop at Abercrombie or dine at the Olive Garden in New York City.
Fifth Avenue is lined with stores in Galeria, Houston, and chain stores once lined with local businesses.
As our city becomes more and more suburban and vice versa, we almost all live in the shopping center anyway.
It was fun but no one was dancing in the food court. t.