Saturday, November 8, 2008

Slow times...

Not a lot to say about MOA right now. Aside from noticing a few kiosks that have been there a long time have closed down, there's little to report. But stay tuned my faithful readers, the winds of change may soon be upon us...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Behold: The Lego Mahal

At MOA's famous LegoLand we have a really cool Lego replica of the Taj Mahal. For comparision's sake I've included the real one on the right, under the glass. (The Lego one on the left is HUGE)

Hand sanitizer in the parking ramp y'all


This ad for HealthPartners can be found on the first level, Southeast walkway of the East parking ramp. It's got a Purell hand sanitizer dispenser below the word "Wash."

Shouldn't it really say "Disinfect," since there's no water involved?

More lies...

Subtle advertising? Or hidden truth?

Check it out...on the left we have MW Tux, short for Mens' Wearhouse Tux. (The W is cleverly nested in the M to create a bowtie in the logo.) On the right we have a fancy designer MOA waste basket.

Now, look carefully at the waste basket. Notice the 3 "bowties" in there. Yeah...that's right. MW Tux is advertising on waste baskets. Which would make sense, since my friend and I recently rented tuxes from them, and their service was garbage.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Help from...the baker? The butler? The ancient statue thingie??

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I've always wanted to push this "Help" button in the parking ramp to see if this dude with the hat, outreached limb, and diagonal chest arrow would come "help" me.

And if you look at the picture a certain way it looks kinda like one of those Easter Island "Moai" statues. (So maybe their "purpose" after all was to be MOA security? Notice that MOA is only one letter short of MOAI...Hmm...)


Geox is a shoe store that sells "shoes that breathe." To get the point across they put up a picture of a boot that appears to be expelling steam like an iron.

This ad does not increase the probability that I'll shop at Geox.

A shark? Wooooaaaahhhooooaaahhooee!

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I wonder how many takes were required for this woman to achieve just the right balance of phony surprise, bewilderment, awe, delight, and fright at the sight of seeing a shark at Underwater Adventures.

I got yer economic stimulus package right here

Journeys, the alt-skater shoe store, is running a genius marketing campaign that involves--get this--the election! And they're out to make things better for all of us!!

I think the basic message is, if everyone buys a whole bunch of these new shoes, Journeys stores everywhere will have more money, and eventually our nerve wracking, paranoia-inducing economic crisis will end. Wall Street will recover, consumer spending power will go up, and poverty and hunger will go the way of the velociraptor.

So at the ballot in a few weeks, be sure to write in "New Shoes" for president. Remember folks, shoes first, country...also first.

Who wants fake, pebble shaped "ice cream"?


I've always been a fan of Dippin' Dots, the ice cream that comes in the form of tiny spheres.

Between the closing of Camp Snoopy and the opening of Nickelodeon Universe, the mall's amusement park was called, generically, "The Park at MOA." During this dark period the Dippin' Dots took a hiatus. But thankfully they're back, in a colorful new kiosk near the Spongebob rollercoaster. And they have a killer new Smores flavor, complete with crumbled bits of real graham cracker! (Or real enough.)

And for all you Dots haters out there, you all need to realize that in the year 98837520 ALL ice cream will be like this. So, for the sake of posterity, eat your Dippin' Dots.

It's a Sign of the Crimes

It shouldn't be much of a surprise that the Petters discount store will be closing soon. This may be your last chance to help fund Tom Petters' attorney fees! (Though with the huge discounts you might need to buy a LOT.)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

There's a hole in my foodcourt soul

Newsflash: there's a slew of plant holders hoisted high above the North foodcourt that have no plants. Always in groups of four, these empty plant rings must be filled. And they're EVERYWHERE. I mean, there's probably at least 30 of them.

Caribou needs to rethink this

That construction helmet better have some crazy looking holes in it...

Hey, let's alienate and confuse potential customers

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Side-by-side, we have, on the left, French Market Handbags, and to its right is its sister store (connected via entryway inside the store) French Market Hair. The latter one is ALWAYS closed.

OK, I know it's not closed...I'm guessing they always have the gate down because you can access the store via said entryway from French Market Handbags. And I suppose there's a greater chance of theft if one employee can't monitor both stores at the same time.

I should mention that before these two "French" stores were there, they were two stores that sold clocks and watches, called Keeping Time 2 and Keeping Time 1. Yes, in that order. 2 on the left, 1 on the right. Kinda like reading Hebrew.

I just find the whole thing absurd.

Ragstock is going insane

Not really sure what type of image Ragstock is trying to convey here, but its back-to-school look apparently involves dressing up as a giant birdman or a green gorilla. I mean, this is a store that, years ago, would never have even given into the whole "back-to-school" bullshit every other store is doing, back when it was a grunge lover's, mall hater's heaven. At least they're going a different route with the concept.

Shoes = Scones

A weird marketing trend I've noticed for a little while is naming clothing (and other things, such as wallpaper) after foods. Somehow this makes them more appealing, or "tasty" if you will.

It's kinda hard to see in this picture, but the name of the shoes this woman is wearing are called "The Pastry." It's part of "Angela's 21st Birthday Collection," as shown in the upper left corner. The shoes go well with the pictured hoop earrings and black sleeveless top, which are called "Carmelized Onions" and "Creamy Cheese and Bacon Soup" respectively.

Glory Hallelujah!!!

Just when I thought all was lost...just when it appeared widespread despair and melancholy were imminent...just when I thought the average MOA visitor would be deprived of creamy soft serve and fake orange drinks (unless they went to the other locations in the North and West sides of the mall)...the Phoenix rises up from the ashes and shines upon the East side of the mall once again!!

What I mean, of course, is that the hybrid Dairy Queen and Orange Julius, which had been displaced by a new Verizon Store, is reopening directly across from its old spot.

And it's more beautiful than ever before. The new blue tiles are so pretty.

The Vigilant One

This mannequin has been at Sears for ages. The familiar light sea green Oxford shirt tucked neatly into his black slacks. He is the very definition of Reliable.

For many moons he has quietly observed people bicker over garments that don't quite fit...he has witnessed many a fashion trend skyrocket to wild fame and fortune and then fade like an old pair of Levis...and he has spent many quiet, dark nights of solitude in the wee hours, where the lurkers lurk and the, uh, murkers murk.

Yes, like an old, wise friend, he keeps vigil over the men's department at Sears. He does not move, he does not waver...he just watches. Many of his friends have come and gone (RIP wooly argyle sweater mannequin), but he has persevered. He is still, he is calm, he is timeless.

I call him Rick.

New row of trees flanks Rainforest Cafe

Think of it as a subtle transition from the sterile mall hallways into a lush, tropical phony rainforest. From a marketing standpoint this is a really big step up.

LA tourists are laughing at us

Actually there aren't any LA tourists at MOA, but say for a moment there were. Chances are they'd scoff at the new True Religion store that's about to open. As a Midwesterner, I'd reckon a typical SoCal person would say True Religion has been passé since, oh, 2005 or something. But don't tell anyone from 'round here that. We all wanna be cool, ya know.

Fittingly, True Religion will be right next to the new Lacoste store, which means you can buy your $80 polo shirt with a gator and then swing next door to True Religion and get your $350 pair of jeans.

What makes these jeans so special, you ask? Well...if you have to ask, you're not cool. (Actually that question hasn't even been relevant since, oh, 2005 or something.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

LOL Cool J

Or is tha
Seriously, how many kids will want to buy LL Cool J's new brand of 'hip' clothing for back-to-school? I don't think your average 4th grader is familiar with "Around the Way Girl" or "Doin' It," but you never know.

At least it's 40% off...

Fans and Swords and Junk, Oh My

The Th

The Väase has been at MOA a long, long time, possibly since the mall opened in 1992. It's a weird store, with giant fans, swords, vases (väases?), statues, and an overall dose of Strange. But for me, it will forever be tainted by the rumor I heard years ago that one of my highschool classmates took a girl to the back of the store and showed her his wang.

Yes, of ALL stores in MOA, how creative to do this at The Väase rather than some dank back hallway, or perhaps a fitting room at Marshall's. So to me, The Väase will always be a store of "junk."


Take a bite out of McGruff

This "warning" in the 4th floor East parking ramp has been vandalized by an odd looking red and white rectangular sticker in the bottom left corner. McGruff needs some reinforcements, I reckon...time to call Smokey the Bear?

Hey other Greek fast food restaurants--suck it!

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Don't be fooled by the lame name "Opa!", which has been used and abused by pop culture in marketing all things "Greek." This food court gem is GOOD, at least for a food court. Yes, it's a chain, with a ton of locations in Canada, but still, it's really pretty tasty. And it's certainly the best Greek fast food restaurant I know of.

The main thing that impresses me is that they know how to make a gyro or pita wrap in such a way that the contents don't spill out at the bottom. I can't even begin to tell you how many failed gyros I've eaten in my day...most were just time bombs poorly wrapped in pita bread, eventually exploding all over my plate.

The deft employees at Opa!, on the other hand, not only include a plastic wrapper for their gyros and pitas, but they actually TWIST it at the bottom, and everything stays amazingly neat. What a concept! No spills! And this is not to mention how good the fava bean (falafel) wrap really is, especially with diced jalapeños, feta, tomatoes, onions, creamy tzaziki sauce, and maybe even hummus (yes, fava upon fava).

If I can compare apples and oranges--and yes, I will do that--Opa! is probably the best food court fare MOA has to offer. I know food court business has been slow through the economic downturn, and Opa! had been hit hard according to its manager, so I hope they weather the storm. They have set an example for the right way to do Greek fast food. (Ok I suspect the PC term is "Mediterranean" not Greek. Not as easy to type though.)

This reeks...

...of desperation. Anytime a store or restaurant has to wallpaper an entire empty storefront with an ad for itself and place ads all over the mall, it's usually just code for "we're covering up how much we suck by looking important with all these ads." The Corona restaurant (Cantina #1) is just begging for this dubious honor.

To be fair, I haven't eaten there yet. But there's just too much fun to be had mocking this place. So I'm hoping it really does suck.


As in About Damn Time. Sears took heed of my tirade and finally carpeted the entryway I mentioned several posts earlier. The ugly concrete slab has been draped with a richly detailed, heavy-duty, charcoal gray, checkerboard patterned carpet.

It's gorgeous.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

17 free movie tickets later...

So does this mean you can just go to every American Eagle store in town, try on a pair of jeans, and get a free movie ticket each time?

(Ok so they probably track you in a database. I'm just being idealistic here.)

Forlorn Popcorn

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Now THIS is the real reason I go to MOA.

As I passed by a closed, draped kiosk several hours after the mall closed, I spotted this lonely, full box of popcorn cradled inside the kiosk's umbra.

I couldn't help but feel like I'd found a kindred spirit here. Here, in the wee hours, was a lonely popcorn box in the mall all by itself. ALL by itself.

Such melancholy...

Such pathos...

Such...BEAUTY!! *sniffle*

Update: Food court not such a ripoff anymore

Things have changed at the Nickelodeon Universe food court. Gone is the $9 almost everything is a little over $5. Also gone is seemingly half the menu.

So it's safe to eat there now. That is, if you want shitty food that costs less than it used to.

Storefronts 101

Yeah, this REALLY evokes a bright, happy rainbow.

Who says there's no irony at MOA...