Sunday, August 27, 2006

Car-centric shopping centers

We need to go out more often on Friday nights. I love the whole downtown street partying scene. J and I went to Bang for what was supposed to be a quick, quiet drink (and shared an order of their delicious pork spring rolls w/ Vietnamese dipping sauce.) We ran into some friends, which led to more drinks, which led to all of us going to Rapture and meeting more people and more drinks.

Why must shopping centers be designed in such a way that you are forced to drive from store to store, even if those stores are just a few hundred feet from each other? I took my son to the car was benefit for the CHS orchestra. It was held in the Chevy Chase parking lot in front of the new Harris-Teeter at Hollymead Town Center. The parent who has been generously donating her time to supervising these car washes all summer, practically threw herself across the hood of my walnut-juice-spattered vehicle. “You really need a car wash,” she said. I agreed and decided to walk over to Target while I waited. First of all, walking across a vast, baking parking lot on a hot day has to be one of the worst things you could possibly do when you have a hangover. Secondly, it's pretty much impossible to walk from the Harris-Teeter end of the shopping center to the Target, without being menaced by passing cars. There are some sidewalks, but they lead nowhere and end abruptly. You are forced to walk in the road. I have the same problem at Barracks Road Shopping Center, where, I might want to stop at the post office and go to Harris-Teeter and have to park at the PO, and when finished there, drive just a few yards to H-T. Ridiculous! Our car-centric society does not appeal to me.

And speaking of the CHS car wash, it went well. My son told me they had a pretty steady stream of customers. He also mentioned that while he was standing along Rt. 29, holding up a sign, he was given the finger by two separate people. People who went to the trouble to roll down their windows and thrust their hands rudely out the car windows to insult him digitally. These were adults. To them I say, you are losers.

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