The Maine Mall

When I was a kid, day trips to The Maine Mall were everything.

My brother would run straight to Lids to add to his hat collection and I would stay in the Disney store until I was pulled out kicking and screaming.

Lunch at the food court was always Taco Bell until I was old enough to want to try new things and fell in love with Panda Express.

Things started to really get cool when I got into high school and could go to the mall alone with my friends, spend the day walking around and window shopping, spending the money we barely had and eating our weight in orange chicken.

Those were the days.

Whether it was a trip with my mom to get something we needed or window shopping with my friends gossiping about our latest crushes, The Maine Mall was always popping off.

It used to be so busy, in fact, that I almost always ran into someone I knew when I was there.

Did Online Shopping Ruin Malls?

I don’t remember when I stopped going to malls but I guess it was when online shopping became a mainstream thing. I could find things online for cheaper, didn’t have to walk into a store, and could shop from the privacy and comfort of my bed.

I’m also sure COVID played a huge role in the desolation of malls but no matter what the cause, we can all agree that The Maine Mall just isn’t what it used to be and I wish it was.

Since our mall in South Portland is pretty dead these days, I thought that was just what happened to all malls in general; I figured online shopping took over, COVID did its thing, and now malls were obsolete.


I recently went to Nashville and stopped by a mall about 20 minutes outside of the city. I ran in to pee and grab my partner a coffee and when we walked inside, both our minds were blown.

It was PACKED.

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Both sides were packed with people walking with bags in hand, people sitting in the lounge areas chatting, and lines forming outside of stores, there were just people everywhere.

A loud hum vibrated through the space as everyone’s conversations formed as one.

I couldn’t believe it; a wave of nostalgia coursed through me as I remembered the times when The Maine Mall felt like that.

I miss spending the day there, running into friends and family, trying things on in a fitting room, and window shopping, I miss every part of it.

Maybe that mall is still busy because it’s so close to a constant tourist trap, I don’t know. Maybe it’s still doing well because it’s in a big city, who knows?

All I know is that I wish The Maine Mall was still a busy place where people went to hang out, walk around, and shop in person like in the old days.

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