Jan 272017

Demolition is scheduled to begin February 6. My friend Lucy Berry DeButy, who has journalistically shepherded Madison Square through its senescence, has written the last piece on the mall.

I can’t believe it’s been most of two years since I went in there. When I was going and actively writing about it, every time I left I thought “it can’t get worse.” And every time it did. I remember joking that nothing could possibly match the bizarre, decade-long Thorazine shuffle The Mall went through at its end. But I think Madison Square bested it in some ways.

I remarked to Lea earlier this week that one of my earliest happy memories after we moved was at Madison Square. It was 1986, so the mall was a spry two years old. I was walking through the lower level on what may have been my first trip to the mall ever. The glorious thick-sweet smell of Coffee Tea and Thee enveloped me as I walked toward the escalator, noticing that a public library branch was located immediately adjacent. And I thought “we’ve moved to a cool place.”

Even before I made a friend, it was naked commercialism that made me feel at home. Crass? Superficial? American? Heh.

Thanks for the memories, Madison Square. Here’s hoping MidCity brings its own brand of magic.

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  4 Responses to “Madison Square Mall is closed to the public”

  1. I have so many fond memories of that place. From my first visit shortly after they opened when my “Dad” showed up for my brother’s graduation and got my ears pierced at Claire’s (right next door to Coffee, Tea & Thee). To later working there in four different stores (opening 2 of them), meeting so many great friends there, and just so many memories… all the way down to running into my high school crush while working at The Shoe Dept and writing my number on this hand. (We’re married now).

  2. I know this is a REALLY weird memory, but when we first moved here in 1992, I remember seeing a gay male couple strolling along, holding hands. It struck me that I had moved to what looked like a pretty open and tolerant new home. And that’s after living in Houston and NOLA.

  3. PS IN Madison Square mall, I was.

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