Sunday, September 14, 2014

You'll never see this scene again

Live at the Lincoln
New York, NY
July 2014
I was at a mall recently with the kids when we decided we'd been walking for a while and needed a break. So we found some benches in the atrium between a couple of corridors and took a load off. I almost missed the fact that there was a large water fountain in the middle of the courtyard, but my kids didn't.

I suddenly realized why: These had been fixtures of my childhood, where every mall seemed to have a fountain at every crossroads. Throwing coins into the fountain was a tradition, and a reward for us if we didn't cause too much difficulty for mom or dad while they shopped.

Fast forward to today and most malls have removed the fountains, probably because they cost too much to maintain or aren't energy efficient or some lawyer is worried about the risk of drowning or liability from a runaway, possibly slippery penny. I explained all of this to my kids as they listened to the soothing white noise of the water jets mask the uber-commercial din of the place, and they agreed not having these things around makes malls a lot less interesting than they used to be.

So when I happened across this incredible fountain in the middle of the plaza at New York's Lincoln Centre, I immediately thought of my kids and the little things we come across in the urban jungle that make life slightly more memorable, slightly more human, and give us things to remember and share decades later.

The next mall that installs a fountain gets my business. Bonus points for a water slide.

Your turn: Things you remember from your childhood that are slowly disappearing. Aaaaand...go!

1 comment:

Lisa Shafer said...

Things long gone from my childhood include tricky bars, swings, jungle gyms, little merry-go-rounds, and teeter-totters on playgrounds -- as no one wants to chance being sued now that parents blame everyone else for the risks of life.