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Maine finally makes it to the Mall of America. Not.

01/07/2015
L.L. Bean store at the Mall of America as pictured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

L.L. Bean store at the Mall of America as pictured in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

L.L. Bean, the legendary Maine outdoor retailer, recently built its first store west of the Mississippi River in Minnesota.

The 29,000-square-foot whopper opened Nov. 10 in the greatest shopping center on earth: The Mall of America.

“Lucky you,” some might say. “It’ll make your three-week holiday visit in the Twin Cities so much easier. You can pop into the store to sniff the boots, feel the flannel and run between the canoes. You won’t miss Maine at all.”

Jen and I shop occasionally at the L.L. Bean outlets in Bangor and Ellsworth. Nice stores. Clean. Friendly. Beautiful merchandise. Kind of like Maine itself. But can shopping at a store even come close to emulating an actual living experience? Hardly.

And here’s another problem: I’ve never been inside the Mall of America.

Never will.

I don’t want to get into a Mall of America tirade here; let’s just say I’m politically, philosophically,  financially and socially opposed to the place. Not only that, they tore down a baseball stadium filled with my childhood memories to build it.

So I won’t go in it and they will never get my money.

The closest I ever came to the Mall was when I pulled up outside one of its massive entrances to pick up my cousin visiting from California. The Camp Snoopy roller coaster was the first stop on his Minnesota vacation. He didn’t seem to excited by the experience. He called the roller coaster mediocre and said he spent a few hours walking past the shops. I’m not sure what he bought, if anything. He said he understood why I have never been inside.

It makes me sad to think the Mall of America is the #1 tourist attraction in Minnesota.

There’s so many better things to see and do in the state.

Similarly, buying a pair of Bean Boots next to a Forever 21 in a former Bloomingdale’s store has very little to do with Maine.

In fact, it’s as far away as you can get.

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3 Comments
  1. christopher permalink

    But, the Maine level of the parking ramp is right across the frontage road…

  2. So true. How many places do we need to buy cheap shoes? Freeport has plenty.
    Going to Freeport is not the same anymore. That damed garage and shopping plaza have ruined the place.

  3. It makes me sad to think the Mall of America is the #1 tourist attraction in Minnesota.

    It is, indeed, one of the most puzzling social behaviors of our time: To think that people travel from all over the world come here to visit a mall!

    It’s a mall, people!

    Chances are there is one that offers that exact same stores and shopping experience in a suburb near you. OK, so there isn’t an amusement park inside your local mall. But, to be honest, the park inside MOA is only slightly more “amusing” than what you can find at a local McDonald’s.

    Trust me. I’ve been there. My moral standards have always been significantly lower than Mark’s.

    I’m Billy to Mark’s Jimmy Carter.

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