I have never been to the Mall of America and am damn proud of it. Shopping malls are places to be avoided in the first place - their record stores are too brightly lit, are staffed by the same annoying children ("can I help you find anything?" - they know better than to bother you while in your favorite independently-owned record store) as the rest of the retail spaces, and they likely don't stock Stooges albums or discs by your favorite scrappy local band. I'd comment on the rest of the shopping mall experience, but then I'd have to bore you with a scorched-earth rant on chain book stores, chain grills and bars (not bars and grills), kids, suburbs, couples wearing matching sweaters, piped-in music, and the concept of "shopping" in general.
I do not care how L-A-R-G-E the Mall is; Southdale is too much for me to deal with as it is. I do not want to travel - and truly, if it involves being on I-494 it must be considered travel and not simply driving - to Bloomington "just to see it." If I want to be a gawking tourist, I'll head to the Foshay Tower's observation deck, thank you.
And today I found out another reason not to go the Maul of Amerika: They forced Candyland out of the joint. Their reason? They think Candyland stinks. Huh? Who doesn't like the smell of popcorn? And who's the suit or suits who thought that shutting down a place called "Candyland" would help that bottom line? Where do these folks come off? The world has enough juice bars, corporate coffee shops, and mobile phone kiosks. The world does not have enough popcorn, caramel corn, cheese corn, and (let's not forget) candy.
So now the smell of popcorn has been replaced with the regular ol' smell of the Maul, which is the smell of ... well, I've never been there so I wouldn't know. But I do know a great location for an outdoor ballpark in Bloomington. You bring the wrecking ball, I'll stop at the downtown Minneapolis Candyland location and score some popcorn for all of us to share.