Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday at the Mall

Look at what a beautiful day it was today, and late in November! All week it's been like this, except for yesterday, and I've been riding each day for work. Today I didn't really want to ride somewhere by myself again so I told my wife and oldest daughter that I would meet them at the mall for lunch. Wait, did I say I would meet them at the mall on Black Friday? What was I thinking?

One of the worst parts of this day at any mall is being patient, forgiving, and generous while making your way through the parking lot. No problem when you're on a bike. I figured I'd find a spot in my favorite corral when I come during the week to my "field office". These two guys work in the mall so their bikes won't be moving for a while.

Here's the food court. I should have a picture of what it normally looks like on a Friday. Here's where you do the same routine as in the parking lot except with tables and chairs.

In past years on this day I'm usually assigned to being the mule. I carry the shopping bags and occasionally shuttle them to the car. Today I spent a fair amount of time people-watching with my camera. I figured I'd take pictures of other mules and it might make an interesting blog post. But to my surprise I didn't see many.

What I did see were a lot of people using their smart phone while walking. They had the tell-tale head down and concentrating posture.


These shots were taken using stealth mode. Act like you're adjusting the camera and push the shutter button and hope the shot turns out.

It even worked on our oldest granddaughter. And hey look, she's messing with her smart phone like most everyone else.

I managed to pop this shot of the lady next to me and it turned into a two-for-one. She has an iPhone and I think she was watching a video. Or maybe posting on her blog about the guy next to her constantly adjusting his camera. What did we do before cell phones?

Another surprising observation was that many people carry their smart phone in their hand, choosing not to put it in a pocket, purse, or holster. This wouldn't work for me. I'd set it down somewhere and that would be the end of it.

These three guys look like potential mules. They have that classic blank stare and they're waiting outside the store for their significant other. They're too macho to go in Bath & Body Works. Some of that applies to me but hey, I'm on a photo assignment.

It was a good afternoon at the mall. It's interesting how having a blog causes heightened awareness about the surroundings. I've always enjoyed people-watching but have never done it with a camera. So when you go to your mall watch out for people adjusting their camera.


  1. DAD! You are not a mule! You always want to come to the mall and offer to take the bags to the car!
    This is pretty cool! I love you very much! And (this day after Thanksgiving) am VERY grateful for you and mom!!!

    Love always!!!
    Your oldest daughter who is going to show this blog to your oldest granddaugher .. :o)

  2. "Anonymous"
    Great, I've been busted.
    Love - dad

  3. Mike, really enjoyed your observations here, and oopppss on your "bust." I can tell you have nice kids, which is something to be thankful for.

  4. Washington Square?

    You're even crazier than me!

  5. You're a brave, brave man...the mall on black Friday! I enjoyed the pics though...a good reminder of why I don't do black Friday :)

    Hope you and yours had a happy Thanksgiving

  6. Lance,
    Thanks for your comment and for visiting. Her Mom and I are thankful. Hope you had a good thanksgiving.

    Irondad (Dan),
    It probably does seem a little crazy to willfully go there yesterday. The self imposed "photo assignment" made it more interesting. Thanks for commenting - hope you and your family had a good Thanksgiving.

    Thank you for reading this and commenting. You're wise to avoid malls on black Friday. Hope you got to ride yesterday and hope your Thanksgiving was good too.

  7. Mike:

    You have to be careful what you post. You just never know who is going to see these pictures. And to think I thought you were a "mule" . I like to stay away from crowds, especially in a crowded mall. You are very brave.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  8. Bob,
    Are you toying with me again or are you serious about who is going to see these pictures? If it's about our granddaughter, I'm real careful about family being on here. That really was a candid shot and the angle is such that it really doesn't look like her.

    I haven't looked at it as brave although last night we heard on the news that everyone should be more aware of their surroundings these days because people are more desparate. That's a sad commentary on our times.