Friday, 24 August 2007

I won thirty million dollars!

Not really! But last week when I had occasion to visit Greensborough Plaza I was feeling oppressed sitting in the perfectly dismal and hideous food court there and wishing really hard that I would win thirty million dollars somehow, so I could buy Greensborough Plaza and have my way with it.

First of all I would have a fleet of concrete trucks come and seal up all the car parks - no more driving allowed, if you want to come to Greensborough Plaza you will have to ride your bike or walk or get the tram (.....and there is no tram) or you may also arrive riding on a horse or donkey, or in your horse-drawn carriage. The very top level of the carpark, which is open to the sky, I would have sown with grass and equipped with some sheds and old bathtubs full of water and set aside for a horse resting area.

Next I would tell all the shopkeepers they had to come to a meeting. At the meeting I would tell them of how things are going to be under the new regime. All national chain shops have until the end of the day to get all their junk out of there and give back their keys. Angus and Robertson have until lunchtime. All the other shops will be given three days to prepare a convincing argument that whatever it is they sell not only does no harm to the people who make, pack, and transport it, but also actually adds something of real lasting worth and benefit to the life of the purchaser and to the world in general. And if they can actually persuade me of this (not very likely in the case of the Hairhouse and the shop which sells ornamental goblin lady figurines), if they want to stay in Greensborough Plaza, they will also have to agree to let their customers bring purchases back when they're no longer needed, and swap them for some other thing.

I will have the supermarkets gutted and replaced with picturesque wooden carts looked after by ruddy farmers up for the day from the Yarra Valley, the carts groaning with fresh fruits and vegetables, scones, bread, cheese, eggs, pickles, and noodles. You will be able to buy tea, coffee, rice, soap, sugar, flour etc as well of course. But you will have to bring your own container.

Instead of a bookshop there will be a vast, labyrinthine but impeccably catalogued book exchange, likewise the CD shop. The clothes shops will have to make their clothes on site and on demand instead of packing them in from China. There will be a pottery, a metalworker, a carpenter, a portrait painter, a tool library, a bike menders', a Turkish Bathing establishment, a life-drawing class, a jumper-knitting club, a consulting detective and a dancing master, many, many philosophers - plus one or two economists and political scientists - whose job it will be to explain or discuss whatever topics they and their interlocutors find most interesting, the cinema will be free and will show Blow-Up, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Au Hasard Balthasar, The Life of Brian, Jules and Jim, Black Narcissus, Tommy, Willy Wonka (the old one), Pride and Prejudice, Bringing Up Baby, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Goats Corner will occupy the floor space currently taken up by Dick Smith Electronics and it will consist basically of a grassy paddock lived in by some goats and rabbits. You will be able to get your shoes mended, hair plaited or brushed, teeth attended to, shoulder tattooed, visit the pet library for people who want to borrow animals for a little while, or take your own pet to hang out with other pets. There will be long communal tables in the food court and meals will be served there only three times a day, and at each meal there will be speeches and a ceremonial toast. There will not be any signs or posters and no loudspeakers. There will be big vases of flowers everywhere and open windows to let the sunlight in. I will have the whole place wallpapered.
The new look Greensborough Plaza. It's going to be great.

23 comments:

Mindy said...

Excellent, when are you winning lotto?

elaine said...

I would please like to take over a small clothes shop.

mending and alteration services also provided.Yes, I can darn.

M-H said...

You had me up to the wallpaper. Big walls look hideous when wallpapered, IMO. It works best in small domestic spaces. But apart from that - I'll run the knitting club.

Tim said...

I have plans for Box Hill Mall. Can I borrow, say, a million? That should get me a decent sized atomic bomb.

Bernice said...

I've always had fantasies about 'reclaiming' the Queen Vic building in Sydney to re-make a people's market as per William Lane's Workingman's Paradise...http://home.alphalink.com.au/~radnat/williamlane/index.html

But the pet library is brilliant - try before you buy. God, I'll have to move to Melbourne...

Drewzel said...

Clothes made on site and on demand! Swoon!

SharonH said...

EKKKKKK!!!! I work at Box Hill Centro!!!!! But I tend to agree - it is not a very easy shopping centre to navigate whether by foot or car... And really it has begun another life as a market rather than a shopping centre - they are planning to have a Harris Scarfe store in the 'newer section'in the not too distant future - now that is really setting the barr to a new height :)

I think that everyone locally - Forest Hill Chase included - are getting rather nervous at what will unfold at Westfield Doncaster - it has more cranes poised than the Eureka Tower did!!!

We have been told that it will be the new Chadstone of the Eastern suburbs - now don't get me even started about Chadstone...

librarygirl said...

Greensborough Plaza sounds as awful as our local plaza - Forest Hell/Ferret Hills. Just Don't Go There is our motto. I believe there is Myer store there now but haven't been into it. And your dream plaza needs at least three op shops.

Suse said...

Does the budget stretch to a babbling brook and some grazing deer on the topmost open air carpark? Perhaps some shady trees, tartan picnic rugs and a rustic swing.

Cos you know. Purdy.

JahTeh said...

Would you believe that Westfield Southland did have a roof garden when it first opened? It's a car park now, of course.

I am still getting over the shock of Box Hill Central and the fact that I had to ask where the trains were - underneath the shops!

Janet said...

May I also suggest a shoe shop/maker that specialises in fab shoes that one can walk in, a seed and cutting exchange where gardening enthusiasts hang about on saturday mornings or rainy days before going home to turn the compost, and a really cool toy shop full of fascinating items to borrow, buy or trade but no plastic. We just have knifepoint near us, I avoid it until I have this fatal urge to go and then on returning home, vow never to go again.

genevieve said...

Tim, you're going to need a pretty big bomb. Leave the fish shops, though. They're all right.

Three hearty cheers for the dancing master and the philosophers. Also the cinema programming. Can we have the Blues Brothers as well, on special occasions please?

Suse said...

Knifepoint, I like that.

We used to call it Lowpoint.

Ampersand Duck said...

How about we all buy you lotto tickets? Such a better idea than buying a yacht or something wanky.

Val said...

All shopping malls are worthy of dismantling, but some are not as bad as others. My local, Doncaster Shoppingtown, had a fairly straightforward layout so you could see the the length of it and get your bearings, and you were never too far away from an exit. Now however, as Sharon mentions, it is being transformed into something that looks truly scary. To be avoided.

Oh and the best improvement you mentioned: no loudspeakers, meaning no muzak.

girlprinter said...

Oh, please god, let Lucy Tartan win.

Ariel said...

What a brilliant model.

In the meantime, I'm thinking how about every person in every street (in every neighbourhood) is allocated a different fruit or vegetable to grow in their yards and we all exchange them with each other, thus eliminating the need to be using up carbon on flying fresh food all over the world. And yes, I guess then we all need to eat seasonal produce.

Helen said...

Reg'lar William Morris you are.

Penthe said...

Tim, I used to have nightmares that Box Hill plaza was the entry way to hell.

Kirsten said...

Sounds wonderful. Particularly pleasing that you only give A&R half a day to get out. :)

(Just dropped by from http://www.homecookedtheory.com/)

Anonymous said...
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Marita said...

Just make sure to keep a playground - preferably open air, with grass and stuff.

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