Malls are dying. So why is this one thriving?
On a May afternoon at Westfield Montgomery shopping mall, a group of teenagers with shopping bags races across the tile floor before deflating into chairs by the escalator, checking their cellphones and sipping Starbucks Frappuccinos. For Olivia Andreassi and her friend Vanessa Pontachak, both 13-year-olds from Bethesda, this is a weekly ritual. While Friday nights are for meeting up with friends in downtown Bethesda, weekend afternoons are for getting together to prowl the mall, just as they were for their parents’ generation, when shopping malls meant video arcades and Orange Julius. “We’ve been here for, like, four hours,” Olivia sighs, before sipping from her straw.
But step past the food court and through the exit door and the scene transforms. Rather than teenagers laughing against a backdrop of piped-in music and the smell of soft pretzels, you’ll see a frenzy of construction. Workers in yellow hard hats bang nails. Power tools whir and pound. From the mall’s old parking garage, a new wing is emerging, looking like a massive modernist sculpture of shiny rails, rusted steel girders and concrete walls.
Though Olivia and Vanessa may not realize it, indoor shopping malls are on the decline across the country.
Read the rest at Bethesda Magazine.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
Just past Johnny Depp’s private island in the Caribbean sits Lee Stocking Island, a little piece of paradise that’s going to hell.
The coral reefs that surround it are some of the healthiest in the Atlantic. And they’re dying. They’re dying in so many different ways, from so many different causes, it’s hard to imagine how they could survive, and without them, what the oceans might look like. (more…)
On a hillside below Catoctin Mountain, worshippers walk through morning sunlight between a wood frame building and a small white clapboard church with a chimney, a steeple and a cross on the roof.
They pass a cemetery no bigger than a garden patch where marked headstones date to 1894 and unmarked ones likely date back farther, to a time when the forefathers of today’s congregation, men and women who were born slaves and died free, founded the church that still stands here in a rural area south of Frederick once known as Mountville. (more…)
What if everything we thought we knew about treating depression was wrong?
What if the phalanx of antidepressants we’ve developed over the past four decades with optimistic names full of X’s and Z’s—Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil—was missing the mark?
What if there was a new treatment that could change our lives? That could enable those of us suffering from depression to stop swallowing that bitter pill every morning? That could undo the ravages not only of depression but of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and the downhill slide of ordinary aging?
What if there was a drug that all of us might take someday? (more…)
LEWISTOWN – In an old redbrick church down a winding road, Gregorian chants and incense rise up to the bell tower.
“Kyrie eleison,” the congregants intone, while at the altar, a retired cop-turned-Orthodox priest performs rituals as old as Christianity. When he steps down to face the crowd, he delivers a sermon like a country preacher, sweat beading on his forehead. (more…)
Elephants cross Amboseli National Park. David Frey photo.
E: THE ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE
Uhuru lay in a clearing surrounded by acacias, far from any roads, legs bent as if ready to run. He was headless, and whatever glory he had when he was alive had bled from the open wound.