Taping the podcast at The Mall two weeks before Christmas presents a special set of challenges, not the least of which is parking. Last year, when Katie Essing, the malls general manager was our guest just before Christmas, she suggested that the top level of the Maple garage always has spaces available. On Friday, as I leaving Nordstroms heading to our podcast set up, I passed Katie sitting at a table with our guest, Laura Neuman. Katie had just finished giving the new EDA chief a mall tour. After exchanging pleasantries, I made a crack about parking.
“Did you remember what I told you last year about the Maple garage,” she replied.
Indeed I did. While I appreciated the tip I told her that parking garages at malls during the holidays have their own special angst. It is not so much the availability of parking spaces as it the process of getting to them. Navigating three levels of parking means dealing with three levels of stopping and going as incoming shoppers block the flow while waiting for an outgoing shoppers to vacate a treasured close in space. The situation is further exacerbated when the outgoing shopper, oblivious to logjam, takes their time leaving, checking receipts, checking their phone and whatnot.
Needless to say I didn’t park in the Maple garage.
It is no secret around town that Laura Neuman and I did not get off to a very good start when we first met. On Friday we got past that and were able to have a congenial discussion about her background and her vision for the counties economic development efforts.
My favorite part of the show however came at the end when Paul ranted about holiday gift baskets he’d received in his office.
After we wrapped up and I was heading to my car in the Nordstrom parking lot, Courtney Watson pulled up and rolled down her window.
“Are you leaving?” she asked with a distinctive tone of desperation in her voice.
We carefully choreographed a parking space swap even as other hungry space seekers hovered nearby.
You can listen to the latest edition of “and then there’s that…” here.