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Walking at the Ghost Mall . . .

Walking at the Ghost Mall

The wonderful thing about my area (a city kind of famous for NO wonderful things) is the nearly-abandoned mall about 2 miles from my house. More or less on the way to my parent’s house, it’s a breeze for me to stop by and do my 8 laps on their faux-marble track!

I took a photo so you can see part of it’s vast space.  This was THE mall when I was in high school and even into the 1990s.  No one knows exactly what happened but gradually the shops emptied and the people disappeared. The mall stayed — anchored by a Sears at one end and (now) a Macy’s at the other.  In between up until about a month ago was a abandoned cat store.  And that was pretty much it (maybe some shops on the lower level but, I’ve got a Twilight Zone inspired fear of exploring the nether-regions of the place.)

Many stores long forgotten still bear the names of former tenants permanently affixed above their gated entrances, which block the few who still come to the mall from entering the vacant stores.

The off-white-and-salmon-colored tile floor reflects the white lights from above.

Some of the indoor fountains still run. Music popular during the era when the mall was still vibrant emanates from ceiling speakers. Air conditioning flows through vents.

Except for the outdated decor, which likely hasn’t changed since the mall was built in 1967, and the empty stores, the mall looks like it should still function.

But the only people who still use the mall between its remaining anchors Sears and Macy’s — with the exception of the few who work in offices that have located there — are the walkers.

“We don’t understand it, but we like it,” Dick Saplata said Thursday of the empty mall, which remains open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. “We appreciate it.”

The Leawood resident has walked laps in the mall’s vast corridors with his wife, Anne, anytime it’s cold, hot or rainy for the last three years.

We’ve had other Ghost Malls in the area.  One of them was taken over by a local school district which rejuvenated the food court when it was discovered that school administrators like to eat.  Another one was a popular place for local murders and it was recently completely  bulldozed.  Yet another mall went from being pretty active – nearly successful to being bull dozed.

THIS mall was destined for greatness revisited.  The owner, a stubborn man who has refused all offers to be bought out, made a deal with another ghost mall in an area of the city so remote, I’ve got no idea where it is. They were going to make twin luxury malls that would re-invigorate their respective neighborhoods.  The plans were published in the papers.  Plans were approved by the appropriate administrators.  And work was supposed to begin . . . in October 2008.  In fact, we were supposed to see the first of the improvements this year ::

I wonder what happened?  (I think we all know what happened) It’s pretty obvious those plans are on hold.

It turns out SOMETHING is happening at the Ghost Mall though. And it’s quite a surprise.

A month ago it was just the abandoned-cat store. But, over the last month the shops in the mall have been filling up with stand alone business.  The first was a bead/jewelery supply shop.  Almost all of them have gaudy displays of purses decorated with huge rivets. Stores with odd knick-knacks, do-dads and hippy skirts.  It’s sort of like a suburban China Town.  Except that they’re hardly ever open.

And everyone of them has a sign that says you have to have a Business Tax ID to shop.

Could this be a new thing?  ARE there enough businesses needing ugly purses to keep these shops in business?  I might never know for sure.  But, meanwhile – it’s fun having something to look at!

Thursday and I don’t really care about my weight

Just 4 Today, I’m NOT going to eat between meals and I’m NOT going to take seconds.  And I’ll walk at least 3 miles, take my fiber supplement and drink 2 liters of water.

New Commitment, Day 2

Long time readers might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned weighing myself.  That’s because the scale is tucked under the guest bed and I don’t have immediate plans for taking it out.

One of the things I worried over during the months when Eat4Today was mostly dormant was the fact that if I’m not totally obsessed with my weight I gradually gain it back.  Here I am a person that has every portion size and associated calorie memorized and if I let my guard down for 5 minutes (OK — 5 months) I’ve gained 10 or more pounds!

What kind of a health-blogger (I thought) am I?  Well, I came back because I think I found my answer.

I’m a health-blogger who doesn’t want to die an early death from diabetes.  And it turns out that the things diabetics worry about are pretty much the same things that dieters worry about.  With the one difference being that instead of the (direct) goal being a new dress or bathing suit my goal is staying out of a coffin for as long as I can.

So, I might be dragging that scale out from under the bed.  But, for a month or so I’m going to experiment with seeing if I can focus on healthy eating, regular exercise and daily routines.  IF I do that then wouldn’t the result almost have to be a healthier me?

Carolyn said (in the comments yesterday) that she’s doing something similar – she’s not going to count calories.  And I think (I think) I’m going along with that too.  But, I think this issue really deserves it’s own post.  Which happily gives me something to think about on my walk today!!




The news about CCSVI is slowly leaking out: Preliminary results have been released from the Buffalo study on CCSVI:

Brain blood vessels clue to MS
More than 55% of multiple sclerosis patients have been found to have constricted blood vessels in their brains, a US study says.

The preliminary results are from the first 500 patients enrolled in a trial at the University of Buffalo.

The abnormality was found in 56.4% of MS patients and also in 22.4% of healthy controls.

But, (Thank God!) the MS Society is standing up for patients:

Dr Doug Brown, Biomedical Research Manager at the MS Society, said: “These results are intriguing but it is important to remember that although people with MS may show evidence of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in screening studies, there’s no proof as yet that this phenomenon is a cause of MS, nor that treating it would have an effect on MS.

Seriously?  He seems to be saying that we wouldn’t want to rush into fixing jugular veins (willy-nilly) just to give people adequate blood flow.  That we should decide whether this is going to cure MS before testing and treating patients!

Healthy Links

Many of us were saddened when our friend Carolyn Kay took an extended leave from posting at her excellent blog, Make Them Accountable. Well, be sad no more!  Carolyn is back (and visiting in the comments here too!!) with a new blog, Many Years Young, which is filled with the sort of links we’ve come to count on — broad range of interesting, thoughtful, NEW stories having to do with health and (often) healthy aging.

Here’s some of what I like today:

Butter Leads to Lower Blood Fats in Short Term Than Olive Oil, Study Finds

“The findings provide a more nuanced picture of various dietary fats. Olive oil has been studied very thoroughly, and its benefits are often extolled. The fact that butter raises blood cholesterol in the long term is well known, whereas its short-term effects are not as well investigated. Olive oil is good, to be sure, but our findings indicate that different food fats can have different advantages,” emphasizes Julia Svensson.

FDA Seeks Reduction in Radiation From Medical Scans

(HealthDay News) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration unveiled a plan Tuesday to reduce radiation exposure from three types of increasingly widespread imaging procedures: computed tomography (CT), nuclear medicine studies and fluoroscopy

Hot chocolate a better Valentine’s choice

“Research suggests that drinking a cup of dark hot chocolate can be equated with drinking a glass of wine in protecting the heart,” Lona Sandon … says in a statement.

This is just a brief survey of the many, many posts Carolyn shared yesterday and today.  Her site is in my blogroll her so you can always find it.  And as soon as I finish moving in here, it’ll be in the Healthy Websites section too.

Thank you, Carolyn – you are an inspiration!

Still Tinkering

I’m just not satisfied with the look and feel – I’ve tried over a dozen themes and none of them are quite right.  I’m not sure about this one either but, I’m too pooped right now to keep switching them out.

See you in the morning!

[UPDATE - Tuesday Morning] — This isn’t the theme I left last night.  I think I’m going to use this Thematic Theme to build my own.  Watch this space . . .

[UPDATE Two - Tuesday Night] — This is IT!! I’ve still got a little unpacking to do but, it’s very close to where I want it. Well, for the time being anyway. The lovely thing about this theme is that it’s endlessly configurable. . .

See you in the morning!