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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning

"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Raising the "Mall-ing" age

Raising the "Mall-ing" age: Good luck with this new policy:
"Starting in mid-July, kids under 18 years old will not be allowed in Crossgates Mall without an escort on Friday and Saturday nights.The kids must have a parent or guardian with them after 4 o'clock on Friday and Saturday in order to enter the mall.

Over 30 'greeters' will be posted at all entrances to the mall and cinema. They will be in charge of enforcing the new plan.Mall authorities hope the plan helps put a stop to the recent rash of violence at the mall. One involved a large group of teenagers, and the other resulted in one police officer injured."
First off, let me say that I actually think this isn't a bad idea. Malls are primarily places to shop, not hang out. I am a little surprised at how strict the policy is - 4pm? 18 years of age? They are clearly very serious about this.

Neverless, they are going to have a huge enforcement problem. I just don't see how it can be done. If you are going to card every teenager coming into the mall, you'll not only need a big staff (30 seems far too little consider all the entrances - both regular and through the anchor stores - to the mall) but you'll need some velvet rope for people to wait behind as they approach the bouncer.

I really can't believe it has come to this. I'm willing to bet that this isn't really about the two recent incidents of violence. Anecdotally, I've observed that the population of teenagers hanging out at the mall has increased significantly over the past year - and that's probably seen as a bad thing from a business perspective. I also see a vague racial component to all of this - much of the increase in the teen populatiaon at the mall has been due to a surge in African-American teenage mall-goers over the past year. Sadly, I'm not sure if this new policy would have been put into plce if that were not the case.
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At 8:15 PM , Blogger Charles said:

The fact is that Crossgates is private property and they can ban whoever they want for any reason. It is not a public space.

Packs of ill behaved children running rampent in the mall has been a growning problem for years. When I worked there in 1995 it was a problem. Nothing is quite as annoying as seeing a group of screaming little bastards heading into a store that you were about to go into.

There has always been a LOT of unreported crime there and with police reports of gangs in MIDDLE SCHOOL engaging in violent activity it would be prudent to take this step.

You can throw race into it but the mall is place to go shopping. It is not a place to hang out with your buddies.    

At 9:35 PM , Blogger Matt said:


You should first note that i basically agree with you - Crossgates is a place to shop, not to hang out. If they want to stop teens from hanging out there, i don't really have a problem with it. it will make my shopping more enjoyable, for sure.

That said, the idea that it "is private property and they can ban whoever they want for any reason" is just silly. Sure, they can ban individuals, but it was long ago settled that public accomadations can't simply "ban" classes of people - that's the basis of the civil rights act. So no, crossgates can't ban black people or christians just because they want to. I'm not saying they can't ban teens (they certainly can), i'm just pointing out that you're opening statement is simply incorrect.    

At 10:17 PM , Blogger Charles said:

You are correct that they simply can't kick out people based on race and religion. They can, however, stop people of any race/ cread from congragating and loitering. Other malls have prevented mall walkers, even on an individual basis.

I found it a little funny that you noted that there was an increase in minority children there and hinted that thats what triggered the ban.    

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