A Suggestion for a Plano Mall Renovation.

Let's get something straight, I'm not talking about Collin Creek Mall. Let that mall die (as if it hasn't already). Instead, I propose that the Plano Market Square Mall off of highway 75 and Spring Creek Parkway be renovated. Someone call the Property Brothers.

Plano Market Square Mall was built 1983 and thrived for a short time before losing a lot of its business and retailers in the 21st century. My first visit to this mall (to my recollection) was 2010, where even then it was in decline. 

The main attraction for many was the At Home store (Garden Ridge then) until the last couple of years when they moved out. Stores have come and gone and in its current state, only a handful of stores remain among the emptiness.

One might ask why I still visit this near-abandoned mall and the answer is simple: the Plano Antique Mall. The antique store sits to your right when entering the west entrance of the mall. As everything else in the mall may be disappearing, the antiquing portion has been a staple for years, and it's really a great antique shop. 

As a self-proclaimed avid thrift and antique shopper, I can confidently say that this is one of the best in the area. It scares me to think that the roughness and emptiness of the property may one day weigh down on the Plano Antique Mall itself, causing it to shut down. I really love this property.

Having said that, here's my idea.

The layout of the mall was made to look like you're outside with plants, outdoor lamps, random brick flooring, and various murals.

Imagine this: you fill the space with every kind of bar and weird store that you can think of. Hipster the hell out of it, but not in a terrible, pretentious uptown way. Put in a concept bar like Free Play or Barcadia, and fill it with old and new arcade games. Put in a book store and magic shop like the ones in downtown McKinney. 

Take those old kiosks and exclusively let Etsy-like artists buy them out for a week at a time so that it stays fresh. You're going to need a Boba Tea spot and two non-chain coffee shops. Let local artists come in and paint more murals, but don't cover the current ones. 

Let's get to the large space that was once the At Home store.

There are so many possibilities here. The skateboarder inside of me says, "BUILD A SKATEPARK," but I realize that's a gigantic space to fill and may not make sense to the overall atmosphere and vision for the renovation. A large indoor "outdoor" park I think would flow really well with the concept, it could double as an indoor dog park for people who want to walk their dogs when it's raining, too hot, etc.

It could also be an arboriculturist and general nature enthusiast's dream with gardens, trees, and other plant life. Add an open field, lots of natural light, and some birds for the overall aesthetics. Find a way for all of this to benefit a few charities, like a percentage of all sales within the updated mall go toward a charity of your choice. Do this and I think a really unique place will have been created.

Also, the more outdoor social spaces you add to your city, the better. Parks are more beneficial to cities than commercial businesses are and make people overall, a lot happier. With that in mind, this is a way to do both and save an otherwise barren mall. I know I, for one, want to see this piece of Plano's history saved in the right way.

*EDIT*

After reading through my own article and after posting it, the only image that pops into my head now is...  

The Game of Thrones Bar Looks AWESOME.

Game of Thrones has been a staple in my life ever since I binged the first 3 seasons a few years ago. Once I caught up, I had to wait each week/season like every other sucker for new episodes. I even wrote my own fan fiction for the show and how I would end it. Now, with the new season's trailer dropping (see bottom of article), it seems like Game of Thrones is everywhere. Recently, it has even inspired a pop up bar in Washington DC.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

It opens in Washington DC today and showcases a lot of different set replicas and G.O.T. imagery through August.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

Participants even have a chance to sit on the Iron Throne itself to take a picture.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

This is also probably the closest you'll get to drink wine like Tyrion and be in the presence of Khaleesi's dragons (which blow real smoke).

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

One of my favorite parts by far is the Weirwood tree behind the bar.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

Photography by Farrah Skeiky.

If you're in Washington DC between now and August, make sure to stop by and check out this fan-created bar. Until then, check out the newest trailer for Game of Thrones season 7!

The Wonderful Discovery of Tyler Adair

As a part of my daily routine each week, Spotify puts out a 'New Releases' playlist I always listen to. A couple weeks ago as I went about my business at work as usual, a piano song stripped of all other instruments, began to play.

As the lyrics came in and the artist's voice came over the sound of her keyboard, I really enjoyed what I heard. Then the chorus came in and I was hooked. The artist in question? Tyler Adair.

After I listened, I decided to look more into her music. I ended up finding some stuff on YouTube and her website, but I really wanted to share her sound with others in an encompassing way, so I reached out. We emailed a couple times back and forth and she agreed to an article. Without any further ado, here is the budding musician behind my newest song to jam to, "You'll Miss Me Someday", Tyler Adair!

Where are you from and when did you start playing music/singing?

Born in Long Beach and raised in San Diego! I have to say, I’ve pretty much been singing since I learned to talk (much to my siblings frustration haha). Singing has always been one of my favorite things but it’s mostly been confined to my house, the shower, and definitely in the car. I took piano lessons when I was in second grade, however it only lasted until fourth grade when I decided that soccer was more fun than piano lessons. To this day I cannot read music, however I figured out how to play by ear which is how my song “You’ll Miss Me Someday” was crafted.
— TA
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Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Growing up, my mom loved a wide variety of music and really encouraged us explore our own tastes so I was very lucky to have been exposed to a very eclectic set of artists and bands. My top influences include: Dave Matthews Band for their passion, Everclear for their raspy sound, Amy Winehouse for her trailblazing attitude, Jack White for playing so many styles, and I’ve always loved Kings of Leon.
— TA

Are you planning on playing any shows soon?

I actually just played my first open mic last weekend at 710 Beach Club in Pacific Beach! I’d love to do that again soon. A friend of mine invited me to sing at his show on June 30th at Sanctuary Lounge in Scripps so we have that coming up as well.
— TA

It's so awesome to interview and discuss music with talented new musicians like Tyler. It's especially great when the meeting happens because of a random connection through Spotify. I wish her all the best and I can't wait to hear what you have in store for the world in the future!

 If you'd like to see Tyler Adair play and you're in the San Diego, CA area on June 30th, head on over to the Sanctuary Lounge. You can find more details HERE. You can also keep up with her through her website at TylerAdair.com