If I had a camera I could take pictures of things disappearing. Just a walk from here, two houses more are ready for the wrecker. And just past them, where a cluster of little shops was facetiously called Manhattan, the place could now be a piece of Manhattan itself. Four levels of glass and tile and fountain are connected by crawling metal stairs. Here are the finest in petulant shop clerks and mannequin nipples. Under it all, a parking garage.
Today I cut through the place (they shop on Sundays now, the pope be damned) and loiter near a shiny railing on the upper floor. Below in the atrium, a three-piece wedding-class band plays rock and country (but not this country) from sheet music. Their gray hair hangs over their collars and their untucked shirts hang over their bellies. The one with a Telecaster copy and the rolling local r sings, "You gonna SHAKE! RRrrat-Tell! ahnd Rrrroll! You gonna SHAKE! RRrrat-Tell! ahnd Rrrroll!"