BEST MALL - 2001
Mall of America
We looked for a better mall, we really did. We looked for an excuse to give the award to anyone but the Sprawl of America, the much-maligned Bloomington behemoth. We'd rather write about some little strip mall with a good thrift store, but if we're calling the category Best Mall, we must be honest. This is it. Today's teenagers have it made, what with Camp Snoopy, arcade games, two food courts, easy bus access, and now even a bowling alley. And as for the actual shopping, yes, it lacks a Dayton's, but this place has everything else: stuff you haven't even thought about, stuff you probably never would think of but now that you've seen you must, must, have. There is decent, occasionally memorable food to be found in the upper-level restaurants, plenty of liquor, and the occasional novelty act. There are four major department stores, plus Nordstrom's discount outlet, a zillion specialty shops, and clothing stores galore. Again, we're sorry. We really are. But they even have a Ragstock.