Just a few comments that probably don’t fit in anywhere else…
Fayetteville Towne Center. I know I am always beating up on Ye Olde Towne Center but it’s so easy. Big boxes, not all of them connected, surrounding a truly gigantic sea of parking (with restaurants as distant islands). Seen in the early morning, the huge central lot is an almost cathedral-like space devoted to the sanctity of the automobile; a Tienanmen Square that has never seen a single revolutionary speech. If you should choose to walk from store to store, prepare to feel constant confusion as you approach each establishment’s door — there are no signs on the doors indicating what stores they are. (You’ll need to peer inside.) The store signs are all on the outside of the facade, facing the central parking plain, designed to be viewed by people in their cars. In other words, people are expressly intended to approach these stores only by car. You’re not supposed to be approaching these stores via the sidewalk. I don’t see good things in store for this plaza if an economic downturn continues to take shape. All malls will suffer, but this one perhaps more than others.
(Just out of curiosity… why are they the Shoppes at Towne Center, and not the Shoppes at Towne Centre? Would Centre have been too pretentious?)
Did anyone watch the WSYR Yule Log? I think that was a gas fireplace. Not very romantic. Either that, or someone dumped kerosene on the log and used the first 30 seconds as a loop. I prefer the original WPIX Yule Log. However, I am shocked at how well a fake fireplace on your TV facilitates warm holiday conversation.
I confess: I bought electronic gadgets for my loved ones this Christmas. (hangs head in shame) They were not asking for them. It was a surprise.