Saturday, 22 September 2007

St Stephen's Shopping Centre

This is a new shopping centre in Hull, which has cost twenty million. It has effected our lives this week as my me, my Mum, Dad and Jack went round it today and we are looking after Alex tomorrow while his Mum goes round because he doesn't behave very well in shopping centres.

Fifth pic, a huge imposing cliff of a building, which reminds me of what Philip Larkin said about Hull Royal Infirmary, which is a similar building -

'That is what it means
This clean-sliced cliff, a struggle to transcend
The thought of dying'
There are huge glass windows, pillars and a cathedral-like interior. It is also called St Stephen 's, after the saint,like a church. First pic shows something of the scale of the thing with the dummies in the window being lifesize and the huge posters of giants, gods of consumerism, with the 'Must Have', bestriding the world like a colossus.

Perhaps shopping is the new religion because everyone flooded through the doors on Thursday when it opened, apparently the population of Withersea. Anyway, there is something profoundly reassuring about shopping in these buildings as everything is clean (look at the shining white polished marble floors) light,open and ordered and everything is a straightforward transaction - you pay your money and come away with something nice. Everyone knows its not that simple in the real world.

Alex's Mum Libby will be going to find some new smart suits for her work, and will hope that the shops rival the ones in Leeds. Alex himself has just got a picture of his printed as a star letter in the national 'Spongebob Squarepants magazine' so we went into WH Smith to check it out. Jack hung around the £40 games in the hope that his Grandma would buy him one, but seemed satisfied with his £15 Sims II game.

Jack likes it and said 'Great, it's a Mall' because it's like an American shopping mall and according to him everthing is bigger and better in America.


Frances said...

Jack is a rebel, eh? When I was ranting on about Tesco to my daughter, she said 'Hey, I'm a teenager, I'm self-centred, I don't want to be bothered about the effect of a supermarket on the town, I want to go and buy loads of cheap stuff there.'
What can you say? LOL ;-)

Beverley said...

We have decided, and Jack agrees, that he is like the cartoon cat Garfield in that he spends much of his time lazing about, eating and making satirical remarks, but, like a cat, he likes his creature comforts, which in his case mean expensive playstation games.

Bobbie said...

In comparing your mall to our malls; well a mall is a mall. It is all generic stuff whichever city you go to, same shoes, same jeans, same same. Our malls are going by the wayside somewhat in favor of the one big store has all concept (Walmart). Still too much greedy consumerism!

Sweet Irene said...

I have to admit, that when I lived in California, I enjoyed going to the mall very much. I too was the ultimate consumer and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. The comfort, the luxury, the assortiment, the prices. Now I live in a country where they don't have malls, as far as I know. We go downtown and shop, making the experience a little bit different, although you could argue that the shops are the same and that the ultimate outcome is the same. You are seduced and parted with your money, although en plein air. Greed is a monstrous disease, every layer of the population suffers from it and the shop owners know it. Even I am bitten by it, when I should know better.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Beverly,

These are some interesting pictures and stories! I like that - shopping as religion - it sure seems like it is for a lot of people.

thank you,
~ Diane Clancy

Bez said...

It seems sad to me that the small quirky shops (that actually have interesting things in them) die out because they cant afford the rent in one of these huge places. The areas of town where people used to shop, the everyday streets in the hearts of the communities, die out.
I havent been to this place yet, but I already know what I will find there.

Frances said...

Right on Bez - that's the truth. Every town ends up the same - hypermarkets and shopping centres and no interesting local shops to get the little bits and pieces. No choice.

Jo said...

In my view, the last thing Hull needed was a third shopping centre. I could think of thousands of ways that money could have been better spent, and it's not through putting clones of the same shops already in Princes Quay into another, newer building. Makes me a little bit annoyed, actually.

Beverley said...

Jo, you are quite right. Already the top deck of Princes Quay is empty of shops and with this shopping centre pulling away the punters soon even more of it will be empty, along with a lot of shops in the city centre. It's Poundshopsville as it is.