BREAKING THINGS: At the mall, what's new is old again

03/19/2013 12:30 PM

03/19/2013 12:32 PM

I had a meeting at Vintage Faire Mall this morning to talk with Senior Marketing Manager Janice Curtin about some new stores coming to the center — more on that in a future Business Beat column.

We also talked about the newish play area upstairs by the food court. Sponsored by Sutter Gould, the play area is designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle, with a pretend fruit stand, cash register, and various edifices on which children can climb and frolic.

The play area meant to reinforce health, of course, is located outside Cinnabon, which isn’t exactly known for its healthy snacks. It could be seen as an opportunity to work off what kids eat at the cinnamon roll haven, I joked.

But what’s also there is a bit of a throwback to the mall’s earlier days. Those of us old enough to remember when Vintage Faire was built can recall the original play area, located in the center of the lower level. It included wooden cows, one of which — her name is Violet — hosts the sign giving the play area rules. The decor also includes grapes, a reminder of the mall’s original logo.

Many kids climbed all over those cows, launching themselves at one another on what no doubt was a carpet-covered hard floor rather than the spongy surface now in the play area. Of course, this was also in the days when we could ride in the back of a truck or the floor of a station wagon, and none of us had heard of a carseat.

It’s nice to see the little reminders of the mall’s history as it celebrates its 36th year in business. But it’s also nice to see children playing in an area that’s a little more child-friendly than the one I remember.

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