Rich City: Hilltop Mall Hat
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Once a gleaming testament to everything shiny and cool, most of the name-brand stores quietly pulled up stakes and moved away years ago. In their place were generic discount stores with names akin to “Stuff & Things” and “Stuff & Things II.” It felt like there were at least 30 different Sheikh shoe shops. Most everything else was gone. According to the Richmond Standard 2020, only about 16% of the mall’s tenants were retail shops.
It was a place to shop, of course, but more importantly, a community hub of limitless spontaneous potential. Like a game of Richmond roulette, you might get a phone number from a hottie who didn’t go to your school or you might get jumped at the bus stop outside McDonald’s. You might find a pair of stirrup pants that made your ass look like God or you might get spit on by some devious kid from the upper floor who disappeared before you could make it up the escalator. - Janelle Hessig