Saturday, February 25, 2012


I went to the mall tonight, Pentagon City Mall. I rarely go to the mall but after a heavy dose of 80′s nostalgia upon re-watching the immortal film Heathers and recently finishing the Tricia Sullivan novel Maul – in which a gang of Sailor Moon types run rampant in one with Uzis – I guess I got the subconscious hankering to subject myself to the shopping mall hustle-n-bustle that I loathe so much.

So tonight I went – in search of two things. A couple of everything dog’s at Frank-n-Stein and a few overpriced DVD’s at SunCoast Video. Much to my dismay both establishments are gone.

These store changes are probably old news to all you Mallrats reading out there, but I haven’t been to P.C. in over a year. SunCoast is now some kind of puzzle store – as in “we sell puzzles only” – which leaves me puzzled. Can a puzzle store really exist in Pentagon City? Isn’t there already a bitchin’ game store on the third level? Seems more like Landmark Mall fare to me.

Meanwhile Frank-n-Stein is now a mom-n-pop Texas BBQ place run by Koreans. Which I decided to try. Hoping for some kind of Austin Brisket/Pul-Kogi hybrid – I instead got a platter of mediocre fatty roast beef, dry rice, and drowned corn. Food received only after an ordering ordeal reminiscent of that russian roulette scene from Deer Hunter - with the gruff Korean granny shouting non-sensical orders at me, whilst the woman in line behind me is screaming for some “gawd-damned hot sauce”, and the grill chef is waving around a rib and laughing like he just poisoned Dr. Jones.

Now that SunCoast and Frank-n-Stein are gone I really don’t have any reason to return to Pentagon City Mall. And I can’t really say I’m going to miss it. This parting between me and the mall has been a long time coming.

I never forgave Pentagon City for kicking out The Wall music store – whose famous “replace any damaged album adorned with a Wall sticker” policy I never got to cash in on. I still have that scratched copy of Ministry’s Twitch and everytime I look at it, the now-defunct Wall sticker mocks me.

Then there was that time I almost died on a bench on the second floor of Pentagon City, when my mono fever dehydrated me so bad that I collapsed and laid there unconscious for who knows how long (I guess that one isn’t really the mall’s fault).

But the worst offense Pentagon City is guilty of – was closing the smelly old Loews Movie Theater. That old theater rocked the secret advanced screenings circuit. I got to see all the good ones there before their release. But alas no more. It was a gravy train with biscuits wheels and I guess it couldn’t last forever.

PS – to any Frank-n-Stein fans – you can still get your Frank’s fix down in L’Enfant Plaza if you don’t mind eating with the morlocks.

Originally published on September 20, 2006.

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