Cary, NC — Cary Towne Center, our Cary mall, has been in the news a lot lately. Amidst all the talk about the possible redevelopment on the property, I decided to stop in and just hang out.
Hanging Out in Cary Towne Center
It’s not much like a mall at all I realized as I started walking around.
Cary Towne Center is a place people go to hang out.
Malls are known for shopping – go in, get what you need and leave. For many, though, malls are also places to meet friends, eat lunch, exercise and “people-watch.”
This “Free WiFi” sign was posted in several locations around the mall. Free WiFi in a public place isn’t rare these days, but the fact that it was advertised seemed to say “stay awhile.”
In fact, as I walked around the mall, the atmosphere seemed to encourage strolling, browsing and lounging rather than arriving, purchasing and leaving.
So I listened to the message and stayed.
The People at Cary Towne Center
I saw nurses in scrubs power-walking, parents with baby strollers and young kids strolling slowly and a lot of people just making use of all there is to do at Cary Towne Center.
I saw people eating in the food court alone, senior citizens strolling hand-in-hand and a man sitting on a bench in the sun reading a book.
Horses, Trains & Games
Kids, teenagers and adults were riding the carousel near the old Sears wing and climbing aboard the trackless train that circulates around the mall. It’s a different scene.
I was happily amused to see an adult couple riding the train with no children. Every passenger on the train was licking a lollipop that had been given to them by the man driving the train.
He seemed to know a lot of the riders and high-fived each passenger.
In addition to the carousel and train, Cary Towne Center has a kid’s indoor play space, a Dave & Busters, a secondhand craft store and this old-fashioned station filled with mechanical animals and automobiles to ride. I noticed candy machines and snack kiosks everywhere.
Hanging out at Cary Towne Center made me feel like a kid – so, naturally, I decided to visit the Dippin’ Dots stand before I left.
I’ll Visit Again Soon
Next time I visit Cary Towne Center, I hope to talk to some of the people who work at the mall and the people who choose to spend their day there.
Story and photos by Jessica Patrick.