‘No Finer Place for Sure’ – Go Downtown

Guest post by Dan Burden: If you’re a boomer, the word “downtown” – and especially Petula Clark’s 1964 hit song “Downtown” – evokes many images and feelings. “Linger on the sidewalks where the neon signs are pretty,” she sings. “The lights are much brighter there. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares. So, go downtown.” I recall from as early as 8 years of age my sense of independence and pride in going to downtown Columbus, Ohio, …

Shopping Malls: A Suburban Renaissance?

Since the mid-20th century – with the rapid rise of the suburbs – shopping malls have been a big part of American life. In the ’80s and ’90s, malls became veritable town centers: giving us a one-stop shopping destination, bringing in the biggest and busiest restaurant chains, and serving as an after-school playground for our teenagers. And for many years, malls were an integral part of our culture – as evidenced by the prominent role they played in cult classics such …