Yesterday I posted an article that was written a decade ago about the Bayshore Mall, the mall in Eureka–where I lived for a brief time when I was a kid, and visited frequently as I was growing up. The article, “Death Stalks Bayshore Mall,” portrayed how what had once been the crossroads of Eureka’s social and commercial scene had become the most visible symptom of Eureka’s dying economy, and cast in a pretty harsh light the struggling people who were hit hardest.
I shared the blog post with some friends I’d known from Eureka. One who still lives there, Anna, decided to take her kids on a field trip to the mall and sent me some photos. What she found was, as you’ll see, a mall that isn’t ailing, so much as in hospice at this point. For those of us who once knew the mall intimately, but haven’t been back to Eureka in a while, the changes are… stark.
Below, I’ll share what she described as “Anna’s editorial you didn’t ask for,” as well as her photos. For perspective, the photos below were taken at around noon on Saturday, September 10th. (You can click on the photos to see them full size.)
Eureka is what you make of it, as is every city. I never thought I’d be raising my kids in Eureka, yet here I am. The mall isn’t really on our radar anymore, it’s not a place to hang out and just shop. In fact, there isn’t a place for that at all here. My kids’ childhood memories will be drastically different than mine. We have our group of friends and just rotate houses to hang at every weekend, instead of going to the mall.
We went to the Concord mall a few weeks ago and it was packed, and there were so many shops it was amazing for back to school clothes. It’s just a different lifestyle.
Below is the righthand side of the mall, now anchored by Walmart. One side of the wing has stores, but the other side is largely unoccupied.
And, finally, the lefthand side of the mall, which houses a military recruitment office, a Planet Fitness, and… not much else. Anna mentioned that this part of the mall is dark, quiet, and echoey.
Looking at the photos, what comes to mind is Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch: “E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-MALL!!”