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...a sweatshop of moxie

Monday, December 01, 2008

Shots Ring Out At Dadeland

First, I am all right. I had just swung by Coral Gables very early today, to get my license plate renewed when I decided to take a peak at Dadeland Mall, a mere 10 minutes away.

I left almost immediately. Here is why. ElCubanitoKC will have flashbacks.
MIAMI (AP) — Authorities responding to a shooting at suburban Miami mall say one person has been shot and taken to a hospital.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Eddy Ballester said the agency received a call about a shooting at the Dadeland Mall at 11:17 a.m. Monday. Another person was hurt, but their injury was not immediately clear.

Aerial news footage showed an armored car parked in front of the mall surrounded by police and fire rescue officials.

Jorge Divo was in the food court when he saw a crowd of shoppers running, screaming "that someone had been shot."

A Miami-Dade County police spokeswoman didn't immediately have any other details.

Dadeland Mall is located about 15 miles southwest of downtown Miami. It has more than 185 specialty stores, department stores, shops and boutiques.

Crikey, I was within seconds of being in the midst of this latter-day Cocaine Cowboys shootout!

For those of you who didn't see this documentary, it was at Dadeland Mall in mostly upscale Kendall, a noted suburb of Miami, that the Cocaine Wars which plagued this city, started back in 1979.

There used to be a Crown Liquors located there next to a Cozzoli's Pizzeria (my mother remembers an Italian by the name of Gino who either was the owner, or the ubiquitous employee -- he told her about that fateful day many times, in sombre tones). This is what happened.

Today, Saks Fifth Avenue is more or less the location of that event which happened nearly an unbelievable 30 years ago. How time flies. Dadeland looks almost nothing like the video shown above. I'm sad to see violence return to this suburban mall, at once wonderful, but today, again rent apart with gunshots...

This after I had read with satisfaction that October 2008 recorded ZERO murders in all of Miami -- an unheard of tally a generation ago. Sigh.

Here's hoping all my Miami readers are safe and sound.

ADDED: Wow! Look at the famous Dadeland Mall seahorse statue in the open air! My parents remember it being enclosed so this must date to at least the 70s. EDIT: In fact, the blog says it is "circa 1960s". Dadeland opened in 1962. Good grief. It must've been one of the first malls in the US.

Malls are still strange concepts to Brits (though they are fast taking over the High Streets all over Britain) and Dadeland was one of the first I remember.

Other than Toronto's Eaton Centre, it held and still holds a very special place in my heart. I think it was the first Food Court I recall dining at. 'Das Wunder von Miami', as my maternal grandmother called it. She would've missed the demise of Burdines, the famous local department store with the endless perfume spritzer ladies you could never quite avoid, now taken over by Macy's tentacles. Jane Fonda has no memories of it, as a workout book she was then flogging at book signings in the early 80s, had to be canceled. Burdines was flooded with bomb threats, as locals were none too keen to see Hanoi Jane amongst the high-priced tschokes.

By the way, check out the "Malls of America" blog, from which this photo comes, to see if you can find your own memory lane today.

UPDATE: Sadly, the Dunbar security guard died. He wasn't wearing a bullet-proof vest. His murderers are on the loose, so if you have any tips, please call (305) 407-TIPS.

Turns out that if I hadn't left when I did -- before the cops came -- I would not have been allowed to leave for 6 hours plus. Dadeland was locked down.

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  • Malls go way back in the 20th century...I think Kansas City had a car-oriented mall in the '20's! Northland mall in suburban Detroit was the world's largest enclosed mall when it was built in the mid '50's...

    Glad you're all right! We don't want to see Speed Loadin' Sundries!

    By Blogger Ron, at Mon Dec 01, 04:49:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Hmm, malls go back to the '20s? I mean, of course, I knew about Naples' famous Galeria Umberto I which is well over 100 years old, and arguably our London "arcades" qualify as proto-malls, but I had no idea, Ron, thanks!

    Bet you parking was a nightmare then too.


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Tue Dec 02, 02:37:00 am GMT-5  

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