After being cooped up all day in the house I wanted to get a breath of fresh air, so to speak.  So, earlier this evening my mom and I went to the mall.  Nothing like an inexpensive outing with free parking, opportunity to people watch, and food options.  Wow – I haven’t been to Stonestown in a long time.  Apparently the world has passed me by as I lay sick in the hospital.  Okay so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it seemed like a lot changed.

As expected a bunch of stores closed – including the Swatch store, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap Kids, the Disney store, and a few others where I had a ‘what was there’ moment when looking at the new storefronts.  Now there is an H&M store, Sephora (I don’t know how the Pure Beauty, that’s just down a few stores, competes), a threading place, and a bunch of cellphone carriers.  Wetzel’s Pretzels replaced Auntie Anne’s, and in the food court there is a place called Chicken Now which seems to be similar in concept to Chic Fil-A.

Among all these changes, the one that stuck out the most were the trash bins in the food court.  In San Francisco we have a mandated recycling and composting ordinance. Everyone is required to sort refuse into recycle, compost, and trash.  I took a very short video of it with my cellphone.  I tried to take a picture but it came out too blurry when zooming from a distance.

The green bin on the left is compost, the blue bin in the middle is recycling, and the black bin on the right is trash.  Above said bins are posters of what kinds of things should go in each bin.  The best part is the monitor above the bins that demonstrates how to sort the items on your tray.

I could have sat there for hours observing different people and their trash throwing behavior.  I don’t know why I found it so fascinating, but I would have loved to do an informal survey of who bothered to take the time to put their drink lids and straws in the blue bins and the cups in the green bin with their food scraps and non recyclables in the black bin – though really there shouldn’t be much trash because in San Franciso retail stores are banned from using polystyrene (Styrofoam) takeout containers so almost everything is made from recyclable, and often compostable, plates and containers.

Another interesting thing I noticed was a free summer movie program.  The mall partnered with the YMCA, and every other Tuesday they show free family movies through the end of August.  I saw titles like Up, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs on the schedule.  When I looked it up online I came across a listing of free summer concert and film events in the city.  Seeing the list made me a little sad knowing that I didn’t attend any of it… not that I couldn’t have gone to them or that I would have gone to them had I not been sick, but I guess it just makes me hyper aware of how much harder it is now to do things like that.

And of course we ended our mall experience with a stop at the See’s store where I bought a pound mix of my favorites. I also had a Scotch Kiss for the first time and boy oh boy was it delicious.  I may be as bold to say that this non-chocolate-non-nut-candy has topped my beloved almond square as my new favorite.  And, being a sucker for packaging, I love how it comes twisted in wax paper.  Which of these See’s Candies is your favorite?