Friday, March 02, 2007

Why Americans love malls
"Who wants to walk around downtown in the
middle of winter?" asks a character in Jonathan Mitchell's radio documentary City X. The answer, of course, is this: "Nobody." In addition to writing about architecture, I host a radio program that airs documentaries. At 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, I combine these two passions by airing City X -- a piece about why Americans love malls -- on The Listening Lounge, a show on KFAI Radio. In City X, Mitchell (pictured) masterfully layers interviews with average people, architects and bus drivers into a mosaic of sound that gives us a clear understanding of why Americans love malls. Here are just a few comments, each delightfully enunciated in the documentary: "When it came, we were hip and happening. We were a real town. We weren't just some little spot in the middle of the cornfield. We've made it!" There's also great stuff in here about mall culture: How the boys go there to scope out girls, how the girls go there to be scoped out by the boys, the mysteries of how to pronounce the "exotic" gyro and a debate about where to find the best parking spot. One person loves the lower level down by Sears. Another absolutely swears by the entrance that leads you right into the middle of the Food Court. Listen in on Wednesday, March 7 at 11:30 a.m. on KFAI, 90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul and streaming online at

No comments: