New Pontiacs Are In Early This Year!

In October 2010 I met up with photographer Brian Ulrich at Dixie Square Mall, and we spent the day shooting and looting. Before we even met, though, I fucked-up and had my first run-in with the law while exploring…

DSCN6577bw

I was still daily-driving my ’88 Pontiac Fiero Formula at the time, and as you probably guessed I was extremely nervous about leaving it around the hood, even though I had done it before. Last time it was parked with friends’ cars and nobody messed with it, but I didn’t park there again because I didn’t like the car being alone and smack in the open by Dixie Highway; so this time I thought I’d try and park it inside the mall. Leaving the mall after the last trip, I scoped-out a break in the fence by Woolworth that was plenty-wide enough, and come-October I got that far without issue. I packed a pushbroom for the trip to sweep for nails and other sharp objects (yes, dismantled I could fit it on the passenger-side), and on arrival started sweeping a path through the concrete slab that was Woolworth (the store was destroyed by fire in 2004, then mostly-demolished two years later), so I could park closer to the actual mall entrance.

Not long after, I started walking back to the car and suddenly froze upon hearing the crumbling of gravel… sure-enough, a Harvey PD Crown Vic appeared from behind Turn-Style and stopped. I set the broom down and just stood there for a bit until he got out of the squad and walked over. I was immediately frisked and he started asking what a white guy was doing in Harvey (“buying drugs?”), but eventually we got over to my car and upon showing him the camera and tripod, he stopped giving a shit. He lit up a smoke and we talked for a bit – apparently he had seen me from the neighboring fire station on Sibley. He told me he had family who worked in the mall back in the day, before finally he taking off.

I went back to sweeping and then pulled my car into what was Woolworth, but decided to scrub pulling it in for the while. The rest of the day went as-planned; Brian, his assistant and I looted several boxes worth of documents and plans from the mall offices and ultimately spent the whole day in the mall. As we were starting to pack-up, though, I thought “hell, I’m close-enough; might not get another chance…”, so I went back to the car and backed it into the mall, through the doors to Woolworth which just-barely had enough clearance for the mirrors. I found a decently-lit spot in the former “Bazaar Court”, where some-thirty years ago a couple of Illinois State cruisers trashed an art tent, here, and fired away…

You Got Us into this Parking Lot, Pal,  now You Get Us Out!
Disco Pants & Haircuts
Will there be Anything Else?
I Don't Believe it...
Driving Shoes To-Go
Baby Clothes
Waddaya say? Is it the new Bluesmobile or what?
Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration
106 Miles to Chicago...
New Pontiacs are in Early this Year!
I'm Gonna Catch that Sucka...

Brian got a shot in, as well; which really put the size of the place into perspective:101610_Dixie_Square_Mall_Car_08

If I had the time to sweep the corridor for nails and stuff I would’ve gladly taken a few laps around the concourse between Woolworth and Walgreens, but it was getting late and I didn’t feel like shredding the tires on my only means of transportation; so as the sun set I settled for a quick engine-idle video and we called it a day….

Incidentally, by the time I returned in mid-2011, the entry point for the car had been blocked by the collapse of the remaining section of Woolworth’s roof. The year after that, I upgraded to a 2012 Dodge Charger R/T (because Bluesmobile-descendant), but I’ll never get rid of my Fiero…

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