Back in December of 2014, I wrote a post titled "Memories..."about how I'd accidentally rediscovered the receipt from the dinner at which AJ let me & Cousin E in on the little secret of her adoption plans.
I mentioned that dinner was in a Cheesecake Factory restaurant. That particular branch of the chain was in White Flint Mall, which was for a time the poshest, most advanced shopping venue in the area.
Locals used to take out-of-town visitors there just to show it off (or take their dates there as an affordable alternative to clubbing in Georgetown) and have a bite to eat, maybe blow a few bucks in the arcade at Dave & Buster's, catch a flick, or just window shop while occasionally gasping at the price tags. I think I even made a comment during that one particular meal that it would be a cool place to bring "the baby" after she'd come home.
|Main entrance, ca. 2012: P.F. Chang's, Bertucci's, Dave & Buster's, and the Cheesecake Factory|
Time was not kind to White Flint Mall; several other area malls successfully went equally upscale without chasing away most of their earlier clientele, a renovation of the eatery did not go over well (and seemed badly thought out), and after just a few years the parking garage had to be closed & reopened one section at a time while the beams & columns could be reinforced after the structure was found to be failing. (Dude, talk about parking problems...!)
Well, it turns out that the Pipsqueak isn't going to get to sit down to a meal in the spot that marked the beginning of our adoption odyssey for me. Reduced to just a shadow of its former self, White Flint closed late in 2015 and by the end of January 2016 the entire structure was torn down (except for the Lord & Taylor store that was busy suing the developer for breach of contract, a case since decided in L&T's favor).
|Main entrance, ca. October 2015|
White Flint Mall had become a white elephant, a victim of cut-rate engineering and lack of planning for downturns in the economy. And now it's gone...
...but that mid-size round table about three-quarters of the way toward the back of the Cheesecake Factory, near the windows that looked out onto one of the busier hallways inside the mall itself with the people walking past oblivious to my sister's life-changing statement, remains as solid and real in my mind today as it was more than a decade ago, when White Flint Mall was still in its prime.
Besides, "the baby" now prefers CalTort or Mickey D's... <grin>