Happy 60th, Northgate!
Didn't want 2010 to end without mentioning that our big local shopping mall hit the big six-oh this year.
Which doesn't sound like much -- it's only half as old as Bartell -- but Northgate's 1950 opening turned out to be ground zero for America's subsequent mallification. According to Wikipedia, "Northgate was the first regional shopping center in the United States to be described as a mall, in this instance a double row of stores facing each other across a covered pedestrian walkway (also the first mall to have public restrooms)."
It just wouldn't be the holidays for me without a trip to Northgate, but something draws me back during the rest of the year, too. Maybe it's the pants at J.C. Penny, or the shoes at Footaction USA, or the burgers at Red Robin. Or, seeing as how I was born right across I-5 from Northgate, it's probably some Freudian thing.
In any case, don't bother looking at Northgate's crap web site -- more enlightening is Shopping Center Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University.