About seventeen minutes from my house in Hollywood was a mall right by the beach named Oceanwalk.
I loved going there with my friend, Tracy, since her house wasn’t all that far from it. Of course you know my love of malls and this one was made even better by being near the water and the boardwalk. So there were pizza places with outdoor seating and those infernal paper straws. There were t-shirt shops and trinket stores and the best part of all? The arcade!
I spent so much time and money in that place. It was huge and dark and we played skee-ball and four player Xmen and my favorite was a futuristic motorcycle racing game whose name now escapes me. It kind of looked like the below. I remember how dark it was, lit only by some scant windows at the perimeter and the lights of the games.
It was a kind of freedom, somehow more amplified there than other malls. When we got dropped off there, at the building that rode the shore, we felt as far away from our parents and responsibility as we could get. I think about the place sometimes and know that it eventually went downhill as most malls do.
It’s sad and I will always be nostalgic for it but like all things, it had to come to an end.