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June 27, 2014
 

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POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 27, 2014 Page 3 THOUGHTS BY DAN Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher and Editor 5 Prince Street, P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 617-227-8929 617-227-8928 FAX 617-227-5307 ABOUT THIS & THAT with Daniel A. DiCenso e-mail: postgazette@aol.com Website: www.BostonPostGazette.com Subscriptions in the United States $35.00 yearly Published weekly by Post-Gazette, 5 Prince St., P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 USPS 1538 - Second-Class Postage paid at Boston, MA POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the POST-GAZETrE - P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 James V. Donnaruma Caesar L. Dormaruma Phyllis F. Donnaruma 1896 to 1953 1953 to 1971 1971 to 1990 Vol. 118 - No. 26 Friday, June 27, 2014 OUR POLICY: To help preserve the ideals and sacred traditions of this our adopted country the United States of America: To revere its laws and inspire others to respect and obey them: To strive unceasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic duty: In all ways to aid in making this country greater and better than we found it. North Enders Barb Siciliano and Liane Klein were among the first to get scanned into the Mirabella Pool on Opening Day this past weekend. Mirabella is back and summer has officially started in the North End. (Photo by Sal Giarratani) The POST-GAZETTE newspaper is a paper of general circulation. We are qualified to accept legal notices from any court in each town that we serve. For information on placing a Legal Notice in the POST-GAZEI3E, please call (617) 227-8929; or mail notice to: POST-GAZEI-IE, P.O. BOX 135, BOSTON, MA 0.2113 Attn: Legal Notices LETTERS POLICY The Post-Gazette invites its readers to submit Letters to the Editor. Letters should be typed, double-spaced and must include the writer's name, address and telephone number. Anonymous letters are not accepted for publication. Due to space considerations, we request that letters not exceed two double-spaced, type-written pages. This newspaper reserves the right to edit letters for style, grammar and taste and to limit the number of letters published from any one person or organization. Deadline for submission is 12:00 noon on the Monday prior to the Friday on which the writer wishes to have the material published. Submission by the deadline does not guarantee publication. Send letter to: Pamela Donnaruma, Editor, The Post-Gazette, P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 same o~ those of The ~t-Ga~,~e, ~:~,r~i.~r or editor. ~to a~ accepted ~ the ~'ost-C, azet~ ~ ~ are ~,ar, o~.~mZ is a Ss charge for each ~~. Photos can be ~ p0st com, photos return tm lmIe tf- stamped envelop. Farewell to Malls The death of the mall may indeed be upon us and my feelings are mixed. Malls are a casualty of online shopping and their demise is one more nail in the coffin of interpersonal shopping. Hey, I can't cast the first stone. I make frequent use of Ama- zon and Ebay under the jus- tification that they are really the only place (especially following the disappearance of mom& pop shops) to fmd out-of-print books, first edi- tions, and other rarities. But, I will say this, when I can buy something at a brick-and-mortar store, I do. And I don't mind paying more. It's important to me to keep businesses going and workers employed: The best thing malls do now is provide suburbanites with the option of getting out of the house and away from a glaring computer screen to do their shopping. The mil- lions invested in beautifying malls in the '90s (a trend kick-started by the opening of the Mall of America in 1992) is paying off now as malls have become lush hang-out spots even if shop- ping is a secondary inten- tion. Once inside the build- ing, it was hard for walkers not to stroll into a store and drop a few dollars. I came of age during the transformation of malls into lux mega complexes. I witnessed the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, the mall we most visited, change from a one-level building with '70s style dark floor tiling into a two-level shop- ping palace with a shiny sun-roof and bright terrazzo flooring. I also remember the grand opening of the Natick Mall and how awestruck I was at its size. There is, then, a certain somberness in watching these once glamorous giants fall. The evidence is every- where. The Galleria Mall in Taunton, for instance, is in a dire state, kept on life- support by Sears and JC Penny. Watertown's Arsenal Mall is a lifeless cave of a place, the once thriving Assembly Square Mall could only be revitalized as the alfresco Assembly Row, the Meadow Glen in Medford is hanging on but barely, mak- ing Saugus's Square One Mall the only mall in the area to more or less hold on to its dignity. But, let's not forget that malls themselves left many casualties in their emer- gence. Among them are the specialty stores, morn & pop shops, diners and soda foun- tains in stores, and, collec- tively, the downtown areas. It's no secret that malls were created in large part as a replacement to such places. With the suburban sprawl of the Boomer years, the growing number of sub- urbanites needed one big mecca for all their shopping needs. Small individual stores of the sort they left behind in the city no longer worked when they were spread so far apart. Now that cars were a necessary com- ponent to shopping, custom- ers needed a single destina- tion for their needs. And so, the concept of the mall was born. A single building that could accommodate all con- sumer needs and wants and, eventually, even took over the role served by restau- rants, attaching food courts and upscale eateries within its walls. But the great migration to the suburbs of the post-war years that gave birth to the mall also became its source of life. In short, malls need the suburbs to survive be- cause the suburbs create a need for malls. It's no coin- cidence that the local malls that are doing best are located some distance from the city, like the South Shore Plaza, the Natick Mall, the Burlington Mall, the Salem Mall, and the Pheas- ant Lane Mall in Nashua. It's a dependency, however, that could not be satisfied forever. As the expense of living in the suburbs is be- coming increasingly hard to justify, especially for the commuting working class, a new great migration is hap- pening and inversing the first one. It's a subtle change at first glance and will take some time to notice, but Americans are moving back into the cities in larger num- bers than they had in the last thirty years. They're moving back to the narrow streets and high-rises among which there is little room for giant malls. And so, as people leave the suburbs they abandon the malls. But not all is sad, and cer- tainly not unprecedented. Trends and fads are cycli- cal, after all, and the mall's demise means the renais- sance of the downtown, the specialty shop, and the fam- ily business. Just look at the way development shot for- ward in the declining Down- town Boston in the last two years. Hotels, curio stores, and restaurants are coming back to the area. But the real revelation is the kind of development going on in the old Filene's Building and Lovejoy Wharf, where what can be called the next generation of shopping mall is making its way. Taking a page from the Natick Mall, these buildings will now offer a way to satisfy a variety of needs, not just consumerist. There will be space for retail, offices, and residential. Such is the way of progress. Though cyclical in nature, the ever changing needs of man leave plenty of room for reinvention. Saint Lucy Filippini by Bennett Molinari and Richard Molinari Lucy Filippini was born on January 16, 1672 in 'Corneto, Tuscany, Italy. Her parents passed away when she was just a child causing Lucy to live with her aristocratic aunt and uncle who encouraged her religious aspirations by entrusting her education to the Benedictine nuns at Santa Lucia. Lucy came to admire the lives of the Nuns and showed in her speech and understanding a wisdom far beyond her years, her words of compassion and love were an inspiration to her companions and a prelude to her future mission. When Cardinal Mark Anthony Barbarigo made his first pastoral visit to Corneto, he made a deep impression on Lucy and she followed him to Montefiascone. Entrusting herself to the Cardinal's guidance, he had envisioned her as a key factor to bring about a rebirth of Christian living. He had already begun by establishing .a seminary where young priests might study and train for the ministry. Cardinal Barbarigo planned to establish schools particularly for the children of the poor that would develop Christian conscience and encourage the practice of virtue in the home. Together with Blessed Rose Venerini, Lucy co-founded the Pious Matrons, a group dedi- cated to the education of girls. The success of her schools -- fifty-two in total -- caught the attention of Pope Clement XI, who in 1707 called her to work in Rome to start schools, which he placed under his special protection. To complement the work of the schools, Lucy and her teaehers conducted classes and conferences for women, who were strengthened in their faith as they took part in prayer, meditation, and good works. Her focus for the social apostolate was to encour- age her teachers to minister to the needs of the poor; it was an extension of the class- room. Her method of teaching attracted wide- spread attention. Lucy died at sixty years of age, March 25, 1732, on the Feast of the Annunciation. Lucy was canonized on June 22, 1930 by Pope Pius XI and given the last available niche in Saint Peter's Basilica. Saint Lucy Filippini's Feast day is celebrated on March 25th.