Any Town, USA

Apparently there are certain criteria a place must meet before it can call itself a town. One of these is the strip mall. Every town has them, and we often think of them as a blight on the community, the physical embodiment of capitalist ideals. Anything is possible in a strip mall.

Anchored on one end by a Subway and on the other by one of many cell phone carriers (generally Sprint or Cricket), the strip mall has made a reputation for itself, superseding even that of Wal-Mart. While we openly criticize the monster chain store for all but decimating small business, we seem to view the strip mall as a necessary evil. Where else can we drop off our dry-cleaning, pick up lunch, and figure out why our voicemail box has been reset without having to leave our cars more than once?

The number of strip malls a town may have is directly proportionate to its population. It’s sort of like seats in the Senate: one strip mall for every X number of people. In ritzier parts of town, they may be camouflaged behind a brick exterior, but a strip mall is a strip mall. And there is something to be said for the honesty of letting the aluminum siding speak for itself.


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