Weren’t you disappointed when you heard about the fight in Monroeville Mall? That is the mall I grew up in and I still consider it my mall of choice. I spent many a day there after school and on weekends, working not shopping.
Not long ago the mall went through some renovations, escalators have replaced stairs at the end near the former Boscov’s, seating areas have been added and the mall feels alive. A new area has been added to the front of the mall called the district that includes The Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, Carino’s Italian Restaurant, Ulta and Barnes and Noble. I just can’t imagine someone going to the mall with the intentions of “getting someone straight.”
Reportedly that is what happened. According to WPXI-TV, a person who was working in the food court had been harassing another young lady so mom and daughter went out there to “talk” about it. Seems like the food court employee had her posse waiting in the cut. When the fight jumped off looks like the guards got the worst of it. For a while the fight was on You Tube but it was soon removed. By the time the real po-po arrived (that would be the police) everything was under control. The actors (the people who were fighting) will have to pay a fine for disorderly conduct but no one is going to jail. The video can still be viewed on the WPXI site or if you Google “Monroeville Mall fight” you can see the melee. The mall is not made for fighting, it’s made for shopping, browsing or maybe making the occasional movie.
One thing that Monroeville Mall is famous for is the movie “Dawn of the Dead.” The movie was shot there in 1978. It was shot late at night and the only store remaining from that bygone time is JCPenny— what was once the ice skating rink is now a food court.
How times have changed. Now instead of merely shopping at the mall the mall is used for hanging out, courting, walking but please not fighting. Who wants to be on the look out for a fight when you’re trying to find the perfect pencil skirt? Don’t people know that this is what causes stores to leave the mall? More security guards will be hired, you’ll be followed around the mall, you won’t go because you feel uncomfortable and the mall will dry up.
I know this sounds extreme but just think of the stories that Chris Rock tells about the “Black mall,” nothing for sale but tennis shoes and baby clothes. For those of you that are old enough remember East Hills Shopping Center, it was once a thriving place to shop until there were fights, murders and rampant shoplifting in and around the mall, stores left and the mall became a ghost town. Around that same time Monroeville Mall opened, and it has been reported that the new shiny mall contributed to the demise of East Hills.
It really doesn’t matter the reason, East Hills was finally destroyed by the wreaking ball and one of the most convenient shopping areas was buried. Let’s keep our disputes outside of the mall so we can keep shopping in a bright and cheerful place.
(E-mail the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org.)