Monday, August 10, 2009

Ghost Street

This morning, I walked along Bahnhofstraße in downtown Klagenfurt and noticed that it really was a pitiful sight:Bahnhofstraße, Klagenfurt (onemorehandbag)I had heard people complain that the former shopping street was deserted because these days, everyone prefers to shop at the Mall. City Arkaden, the villainous shopping mall in question is actually my favourite Austrian shopping mall (good mix of shops and, equally importantly, good ventilation so you don't feel zombified after spending an hour there) so I can definitely understand the appeal:
City Arkaden, Klagenfurt (onemorehandbag) I'm in two minds about it. Admittedly, Bahnhofstraße's demise is linked to the magnetic appeal of the Mall and some of its shops have moved there, as has McDonald's which used to have its downtown branch on Bahnhofstr. On the other hand, City Arkaden has revived a formerly unattractive and deserted corner of town and no doubt boosted sales in surrounding streets as well. As I don't live in KLU, I can only comment on it from the smart-ass perspective of an occasional visitor who is apalled by the post-communist shabbiness of a formerly thriving street. My guess (smart-assing, I told you) is that instead of working out a strategy of counter-attack against Goliath (the Mall) and Globalisation (always the culprit), the shop-owners and/or the municipal authority in charge preferred to grab a space in the Mall (Plan A) and if that failed, play dead (Plan B). Then again: who knows.

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