Uh-huh. Because that's what we do in Phoenix. We — especially our teens and our old people! — "expand activities from our neighborhood" to a nearby strip mall that looks like the set from an episode of Battlestar Galactica. We leave our homes and stroll along bike and walking paths that used to be ugly old alleys, probably waving merrily to one another as we head over to an "expanded activity" at the neighborhood shopping plaza. Note to the folks at MOS: I have lived in the same house for seven years, directly across the street from a very nice couple named Dana and Kelly, whom I met for the first time last week when they came to my yard sale. That's because this is Phoenix, where (for better or worse) no one knows their neighbors; where most of the time, it's too hot out to wander along a bike path; where we're frankly too cynical and bitter to walk any kind of path that leads to a strip mall; where we need our alleys to put our garbage in and to take shortcuts through during rush hour, because the freeway system here is so fucked up.

An image from winner "Urban Battery." See other finalists here.
An image from winner "Urban Battery." See other finalists here.


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Now that I think about it, maybe it's better that these Flip a Strip malls won't get built. The sketches of them are fun to look at, but these are shopping centers best left to the imagination.

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