"University Town Center" is the name given by the developers to the series of retail centers either side off University Parkway, on the borders between Sarasota and Manatee Counties. It's an odd name given that the nearest University is many miles away, and if you have lived in the rural mid-west or in the U.K. it hasn't the slightest resemblance to a real town center in a small town.
The centerpiece is the ugly and cavernous "Mall at UTC" (what an imaginative name!)
When the Mall first opened I vowed that I would never darken its halls, viewing it as I did as a place where people with too much money and too much time on their hands buy expensive **baubles that they do not need and will never use. (I can be so subtle!).
I had broken my vow three times until yesterday, twice to go no farther than the Concierge Desk which has a foreign exchange till, and once in and out of Dillards where I bought some towels.
It was hotter than hades yesterday so I thought that the Ugly Mall would be a cool place to walk. I parked at the uncrowded south end parking area, and entered the place via Dillards.
Dillards apart it was a mistake. I had forgotten how noisy malls can be. I think that they are designed that way to create a "buzz". And the lower level was crowded. I had forgotten that the shoppers would be out in force to get that perfect and unique Fathers' Day gift.
There was a bright spot. The Mall management had sponsored what they called a Fathers' Day Block Party. Two Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on hand to autograph TBB pictures.
There was a long and patient line of (mostly) women and children. I was heartened to note that the two Football players greeted each person with a broad and generous smile, responding with alacrity to request for "selfies."
It was as if they were saying "I knew that you would be in line, and I couldn't wait to see you today"
** Back to the baubles. As I left via Dillards I noticed, first in the Cosmetics area that essential make up evidently first requires FACE PRIMER, and then in the Men's Department I could have bought BEARD LUBE.
I kid you not. How have a lived so long without using these!
Here endeth my "cranky old man" posting.