I've been saving up a piece about Santana Row. I wanted to wait, because it seemed like cheating to let fly with the venom I have for that place but whatever.
The fact is, nobody's looking. These are the things that happen when nobody's looking. This is the faux-Italian nightmare that metastasizes where Town and Country mall used to be. Where merchants used to actually be able to afford the rent so that their comic book store, knife shop, or perfectly boring coffee bar could have a home.
But they blew all of that up. Now it's Santana Row, as much in its proper place as the holiday ice rink downtown among the palms, that they can't keep frozen to save their life.
I know what you're thinking. Sigh, Crankypants doesnt LIKE the new mall, DOES HE? Awwww... Whatever, hang a mobile over my website, if you must. The thing is, I do like the new mall, at least the part of it I can afford anyway. I like Borders, even though I know which books on my shelf I bought at the Books Incorporated that used to be here. The rest of it makes me feel unsophisticated, underemployed, but not entirely unwelcome.
What I don't like is the tyranny of the faux. I remember when they made Valley Fair an indoor mall. They took down the beachball sign, and bridged the gap between Emporium and Macy's, and did the whole interior in chrome and steel painted purple. Admitting here was the new thing. It was gross, but it was new, and whatever, it's a mall.
Santana Row has to be a Mall, but it hates it. Hence the overpriced "lofts", the fake streets (Murphy Street in Sunnyvale is so much better), and the chineese wall it turns to Winchester Boulevard. By all means, put the parking garage in front, and the flat lot in back. And nothing says upscale like a Best Buy right on the power corner there.
It could have been more. Valley fair has sheathed itself in Parking garages on the Steven's Creek side, so it gets what it deserves, but I can't help but think that the rest of the neighborhood is doomed. How much longer does this sign have to live, and the domes behind it, before a restraunt-encrusted twentyplex takes it's place?
Yeah, there was something there before the Centuries, but not in my lifetime. Change is thrilling, sure, but let's at least nod to the immediate past, in our rush to make everything look like comes from the previous century, on the previous continent.
These updates are going to get more regular, if that means they have to get a little more silly. Some links and another quick update here Wednesday. See you then.