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Why I Don’t Like Shopping Malls

I went to Aventura Mall last Saturday for an eye examination and to get new eyeglasses. I didn't really need new glasses but I wanted a new look after wearing the same style for almost two years and it was time for a re-exam any way.

Let's just say that a rather simple task resulted in reminding me why I don't like shopping malls. Let's start with traffic. A typical 20 minute trip from my front door to the doctor's office took an excruciating 67 minutes. The first clue was a traffic jam only moments after getting on the expressway. Listening to Jill Scott and Common did little to soothe my frustration; that was so not a good sign.

As I attempted to exit I-95 to Ives Dairy Road, the traffic jam only got worse. Of course, several geniuses cut in and out of lanes when possible, just to rush to nowhere. I was sure there would be a fight, at any given moment, right in the middle of traffic. Although this area is called Aventura, it is still an annexed area of Miami and Miami has a well-deserved reputation for rude drivers.

The closer I got to the mall, the worse the traffic got. For some reason, five lanes of traffic were reduced to one. It appeared as though one of those huge street lights was being replaced. At that moment, the only thing those of us on the road could do was endure. If I didn't like my optometrist, I would have avoided the madness and returned home. I was disappointed that the Aventura police were not present to better handle the flow of traffic or that those signs that are in place to provide drivers with traffic alerts, were not programmed to advise drivers to use an alternate route.

Anyhoo, with Aventura Mall finally in sight, I would spend the next 20 minutes trying to find a parking space. The mall traffic was almost as bad as the traffic I'd just experienced on the road. There were people and cars everywhere. I know the mall is all about making money but Aventura Mall is ridiculously large. It's time to stop the development. Besides, the economy is in the toilet, why were there so many people there, right?

Aventura Mall has become such a huge monstrosity with an attempt at an identity that still remains undefined. Sure, you may see photos of some nice sections of the mall but as a facility, it looks a lot like way too much of Miami --- unplanned, added-on, hodge-podge construction. Palm trees and valet parking are not enough to overcome that and actually cultivate an upscale shopping experience.

I do give the mall management credit for a much better selection of stores, including: Michael Kors, Coach, Nine West, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Juicy Couture, Stuart Weitzman, Gap, Sears, JCPenney and Betsey Johnson. Construction because of the February 2008 opening of Nordstrom exacerbate the traffic congestion and parking challenges.

Anyhoo, since I'm trying to live a stress-free life, and I can get most of those designer's products via Amazon.com, unless there's an unbelievable sale, I'll likely continue my shopping via internet as much as possible.

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