Abandoned Retail - Brookdale Mall, Sears & Perkins!

Visiting Minnesota in September 2011, my dad told me that Brookdale Shopping Mall was being demolished, and we should check it out.

Brookdale opened in 1962, as one of the "Dales." A series of suburban metro area shopping malls designed to syphon retail dollars away from the traditional downtowns of major cities. In the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, Brookdale was in Brooklyn Center, Rosedale was in Roseville, Ridgedale in Minnetonka and Southdale in Edina.

Back in the day, needed housewares, "important" clothes for school and other reasons, and whatever other supplies the family had to buy, usually came from the mall. Brookdale was a constant. Rosedale as well, but that mall is currently thriving today, and thus far off my radar. Northtown mall was the closest to us, but it was a second tier mall without the top drawing anchors. Northtown has seen a little hint of a resurgence after losing it's long string of anchors and a series of renovations to shrink it's size over the past few decades.

I will be covering Apache Plaza at a later date.

There wasn't much left of Brookdale when my dad and I got here...

Brookdale mall opened in 1962. I'm not going to get into much of the mall's biography, you can find a great amount of detail in Label Scar's excellent Brookdale story, along with links to many photos of the mall when it was open. If you're reading this story, go read that immediately afterwards!

I'm more interested in the story after the mall closed. Which it did on April 26, 2010, when the owners announced the mall would close at the end of the business day.

It had been a slow death for Brookdale... 

Anchors away!

Steve and Berry's closed in 2008, after opening in only 2005. They tried to revive the original Donaldson's department store, which had become a Carson Peire Scott in 1987. More recently a Mervyn's that closed in 2004.

JC Penney also closed their Brookdale location in 2004. The two level store sat empty until the 2011 demolition.

Ironically, Sears had the most staying power. Opening their store with the mall in 1962, surviving long after the mall was gone, finally closing in September, 2018.

When my dad told me that we needed to check out the nearly demolished Brookdale, there was another stop I had to make along the way. My old job! Which had also closed up an unknown few years back.

Brooklyn Center Perkins!

After my growing dissatisfaction with management at the Crapids Perkins hit the breaking point, I transferred employment to the Perkins a couple blocks east of Brookdale, in March 1992. They were willing to give me a shot at waiting tables, and I was anxious to see actual cash in hand from my part time job. After all, the waiters I worked with at the Crapids family restaurant were walking out of their shifts with $75-$125 every night.

Well, I wanted a piece of that pie! A slice not allowed to the busboy/host/dishwashers of the world...

Crapids told me no, Brooklyn Center said, come on over!

I didn't want to quit Perkins entirely, because I really wanted that "1 Year Service" pin, that all the Crapids waiters wore with such pride. For some strange reason, that seemed important to me.

Crapids was right in denying me all along, I was indeed, a terrible waiter. But I was also waiting tables in a part of town that generally didn't believe in tipping at restaurants... If I had a good night, I might approach $50 by the time I left. Yet it was more typical to walk out of the place making less than $20. Once you factor in gas and time driving there in a 1972 Plymouth Satellite, it really wasn't worth the effort I had to put in.

A bakery case had been installed in the previous coat hanging area. The restrooms can be seen behind it. Hopefully they were renovated with the rest of the place, they were disgusting...

The dining area had been redone significantly, it used to be all one large open area. Now appearing to have several rooms built into the big room. This would have made the place a tad easier to deal with...

One time I drove my mom's car to work, and all four hubcaps were stolen during my shift. The next day, I drove her car again and found a business card for hubcap sales on the windshield after I finished my shift.

The restaurant manager's sister was also a waitress there. Her name was Kathleen. She treated me like dirt, and always drew a Boognish on her time card.

Overhearing her flirting with the classic male model looking guy (who was another waiter) during her shifts, he often called her KathWeen. Because of them, I learned of the musical majesty of Ween! I bought my cassette copy of Pure Guava at the Brookdale Musicland not long after.

I opted to not try to use her unknown musical recommendation as a possible bonding point. 

Over my time at Brooklyn Center Perkins, my hatred of the general public became finely tuned, and there was no chance of getting me to care about the job. My personality would simply not allow me to helping and serving people who were openly difficult and rude to me. I started with good intentions, and would to to remember stuff like extra Ranch Dressing, split portions of salads and ice on the side please... Just not when it's barked at me and I know I'm not going to see a tip above 3%.

I got all kinds of things on my line tickets wrong, forgot orders, messed up people's food and soon, I gave up trying. I was making no money, my hours were cut, my co-workers didn't like me, and above all, the customers really sucked!

The day I quit, I called and said I wasn't coming in because it just wasn't worth it anymore. The manager questioned my attitude and how I could say that about my job...

Well, here's a whole buncha reasons!

I don't think they missed me. 

Quitting my waiter job in Brooklyn Center pretty much ended me going to Brooklyn Center for any reason. Anything at/around Brookdale was easier to access in other locations. With no reason to go there, I certainly didn't.

My last paycheck from Brookdale Perkins totaled a whopping 8 hours. With a fictional claimed tip income, as to not screw myself over on taxes. As this shows, it's simply not worth the time and effort to go there. It was worth it to go to Hardees in Blaine instead.

And that's fine.

Because 26 years later, I'm here! 

But where's Brookdale Perkins?

And in December 2018, Brookdale Perkins would be even less here. 

Demolished at some point, in favor of a Jani-King office building. 

When I did my pre photo tour scouting on Google, I saw this building and didn't think I had the address correct. While I expected Perkins to be gone, I didn't expect it to be replaced by a building that looked even older than the one it replaced.

I planned my route through Brooklyn Center to included the area north of Brookdale, that included Perkins and several other businesses that had strong memories to the era where Brookdale was relevant to me. I'd be meeting my old roommate for breakfast after getting my photos of Sears and the Auto Center, so Google Maps was my friend today.

At least the access ramp to Earle Brown Drive (via Summit Drive) is still the same, a 20 mph U-shaped exit off highway 100. As you round the extreme angle, this building is in front of you...

What used to be a large Kmart is now a Slumberland Clearance Outlet. With a bunch of vacant retail in the middle, and a Dollar Tree on the far south end. In the spring of 1992, this Kmart sold me three plastic crates for $10, that were used to organize the beginnings of the Archives.

Today, two of those crates are the sturdy home of hanging folders containing all of the original paper layouts and masters of Wasted Quarter. They weren't as dusty when I bought them.

Davanni's pizza has/had a Ms. Pac Man machine. It was my goal to get the high score every time I visited. Which I think was almost three total times! I'm rather surprised they are still open. Although their pizza is pretty good.

The Restaurant Depot opened in the building previously occupied by Best Buy, which closed on June 12, 2012.

A few blocks away is the Earle Brown Convention Center.

Which held a fairly large baseball card show, once or twice a year in the early 1990's. The Earle Brown shows typically brought good autograph guests, and some dealers that wouldn't do the circuit of smaller shows around Minneapolis. Shows at the Earle Brown Center typically produced cards I didn't normally find. Too bad my collecting tastes weren't as refined back then...

There used to be a car dealer on this land. Behind it, there used to be an 8 screen movie theater that I went on a couple of bad dates at. Even further out of frame was a second, older and smaller (4 screen) theater.

This theater was where I saw the locally produced movie Crossing the Bridge, on another bad 1992 date, and really liked it. The movie that is...

Beyond the 8 screen theater used to sit a large complex of in-line retail, anchored by a Circuit City. It had become increasingly vacant as the years went on, and was down to just a Pep Boys occupying a storefront with all the rest available. In 2013, the city of Brooklyn Center bought the entire complex of buildings, theaters, shopping centers and car lots, then demolished everything.

For years, when I would visit Brookdale, this was the main entrance we used. The northeast corner, at the intersection of Bass Lake Road and Shingle Creek Parkway. Dayton's would have been the anchor closest to the entrance.

To your left, you can see a HOM furniture store opening up in the old Kohl's building...

Which closed in 2014...

WalMarts is the main anchor of the new "Shingle Creek Crossing" shopping center. Which is the name of the shopping complex built where Brookdale mall used to be. As is the trend with retail, you take all the stores that you want to collect in a given area, then you take the convenience of having them under the same roof away!

You replace a shopping mall with an anti-shopping mall!

The discount juggernaut of WalMarts sits roughly where Dayton's, and it's south parking lot, once was. WalMarts had long been rumored to come into Brookdale in an effort to revitalize the shopping center. For years, no agreement could be reached that would have brought WalMarts in and left the mall intact. Sears' blocked them while they legally could. But once the mall was gone, WalMarts finally arrived.

This diagram shows roughly the layout of Brookdale Mall in 1967. 

Demolition of the mall began on the east end and moved west through the structure. 

By the time I made it out to take these pictures, the Dayton's, J.C. Penney's and Donaldson's anchors had all been torn down. Only a little bit of the mall attached to Sears remained of the once large shopping mall.

Dayton's became Macy's in the Spring of 2001, and Macy's closed their Brookdale store in March, 2009.

In July 1992, The Cure were playing the Target Center, and I had to go. It was the law. Unfortunately, I had to work at Brookdale Perkins on the morning that tickets went on sale. Fearing a quick sellout, I gave my mom the money for three tickets, and she went to Dayton's Ticketbastard window, to wait in whatever line there would be.

She said there were only about ten people in front of her and they were really nice. From her description, it was all suburban white kids, some of which gothed out in full make-up. They thought she was cool for waiting in line for me.

I did too.

In the mid-1980's, Daytons had a decent music department and a toy section similar to the Targets toy section. Which made sense, they were owned by the same corporation. Usually the prices were comparable between the stores, but one time I found a mispriced Transformer! Constructicons usually retailed around $5.99 each. But Scrapper became mine that day, for only $1.99!

And that's my strongest memory of Brookdale Dayton's. 

Other than a creepy old guy peeking at me through the toilet stall at the second floor Dayton's restroom when I was a kid. I hope he enjoyed whatever it was he wanted to see.

Demolition of Brookdale started on August 5th, 2011, and was completed in less than 8 weeks. These pictures were taken on September 19, 2011, and most of it was already gone. J.C. Penney's would have been front and center in this photo. With the already removed J.C. Penney's Auto Center sitting roughly where the shovel is in the picture.

Much of the building was recycled as it was torn down. Cement and asphalt were ground into powder after being separated from steel, then it was trucked off site in mush easier to handle pieces.

The demolition of Brookdale would also uncover portions of Shingle Creek, which had been routed to flow underneath the mall. The shovel had just righted itself, but the majority of the time I was watching, it looked as if it were about to tumble into the water below.

And off in the distance, is Kohl's!

In it's heyday, Brookdale used to have these really cool animal signs placed around the lots to help people find their cars after a long day of shopping. When we drove around the remains of Brookdale in September, 2011, I only found two of these signs still standing.

One for the rabbit lot...

And the fox lot. 

Always thought the fox looked like an Ed Emberly drawing....

Midas, on the north end of the mall, was also demolished in 2011.

If the story about buying tickets to see The Cure play live didn't tip you off, I was indeed a huge fan back in the day. Also in this day, you could find multiple record stores in every shopping mall. Some of them would put actual effort into planning their inventory. If you carry fringe and cult stuff, you could sell it at a premium to customers like me!

After a low-level search over two years, I finally found a copy of Blue Sunshine on cassette, at one of the music shops inside Brookdale. Once again, I was at Brookdale on a bad blind date (Thanks, Military Mike...), and we were killing time before another movie at the 8 screened Brookdale theater. I don't remember what we saw...

I'd read about the 1983 side project of Robert Smith of The Cure and Steve Severin of Siouxsie & the Banshees, and finally found a copy. It was one of the most expensive cassettes I've ever bought, (it was an IMPORT!) but it was so good! I listened to it again the other day and it still was a fantastic hour of captivatingly weird psychedelic trippiness.

Sears was staying open as the mall around it was coming down. Which meant the demolition crews had to take extra care in making sure they didn't accidentally ruin Sears walls. The area shown in this picture would have been a small cluster of mall stores just outside the Sears mall entrance. In front of those stores was a more open "Center Court", which would be used for basic mall events. Talent shows... Fashion shows... Model Railroad shows... Craft Shows...

And in the Junk Wax Era, monthly baseball card shows!

At a Brookdale mall card show in the summer of 1992, I decided that I would buy all the copies of 1992 Topps Brien Taylor that dealers had on sale. I didn't pay full Beckett's book value for them, which was $3 at the time, but I still dropped a good chunk of Perkins money on Mr. Taylor. I went home with 26 of them that day...

My retirement fund collapsed in December of 1993, when Taylor ruined his shoulder in a bar fight. The future Hall of Fame ace of the New York Yankees tried to come back for years afterwards, but never played one game of Major League Baseball.

The Junk Wax Prospector had just learned a harsh lesson...

One that remained on December 15, 2018, when I drove to Brookdale to specifically photograph the abandoned Sears and it's accompanying Auto Center.

The clock struck midnight on Sears, in September 2018. Despite owning this store's physical building, it still became too costly for the dying former retail giant to keep it going. Sears and Kmart vanishing is just another sad development in the retail landscape as our internet fueled economy continues...

The second floor of retail had been lopped off at some point between 2011 and 2018. If I were to guess, it was likely done at the same time the mall was separated from Sears.

30 years ago, the second floor of Sears carried the furniture and housewares departments, as well as eyeglasses, electronics and records. Oddly, an elevated beam was left in place around the outside of the missing floor. Sears used to have their sign mounted to the three poles in the center.

Looking closely, you can see the new walls covering up the gaps created by Brookdale's demolition. It's the lighter and non-textured khaki!

Where this part of the mall once was...

This weird curved wall was not clipped off Sears during the mall (or second floor's) demolition.

Sears old loading dock.

Store entrance on the southeast corner. 

Looking through the doors, across the store, to the doors on the west side of the store.

Main entrance on the south side of Brookdale Sears.

This note was affixed to the South doors.

The main exterior entrance to Sears was on the Northwest corner of the building. Brookdale was attached to the north of Sears, with a mall entrance. But we'll get back there...

The same entrance in 2018.

Nice label scar!

Looking inside the main entrance.

Sears had a small cut out section of the building with bushes and a tree. I don't what it's purpose was, beyond a possible sitting area for whatever part of the store was opposite these doors.

Someone should save this awesome sign...

Painted gold letters above the doors, by where the bushes and tree are.

Looking inside the doors. Hey! There's my hand and camera!

Further inside the store, from another angle above the doors.

These doors have a separate entrance to a small retail space. It offered no clues as to what it was.

Obviously more retail space.

The rust marks on the floor from shelving would indicate.

Employees Only door on the west wall. I'm assuming this door accesses the orange lit area of the room above.

Let's check on the southwest entrance in 2011! Look! It's the second floor! 

And the strange covered walkway to the Sears Auto Center, just west of the store.

Which is better illustrated in 2018...

Sears southwest entrance.

Looking through the doors, across the store, to the doors on the east side of the store.

Now lets go back to 2011, and take a look at part of Brookdale that at one time was talked of saving. This mall entrance was just to the north of Sears, and was the newest part of the mall.

In 2002, Brookdale tried a major image upgrade and remodel. Which included that ridiculous new mall logo. The part of the mall north of Sears was rebuilt with a Barnes & Noble Books (with an entrance and exit independent of the mall) and new food court, also with it's own entrance.

But this entrance is closed.

You could try notifying security, but they weren't likely going to help you open the doors.

Like if you wanted to get this poor dying tree some water? Would security help you with that?

Asian Restaurant & Bar?

No dragons or wok or samurai or spicy in your restaurant's name? Not only do you get zero points for creativity in naming the place, they actually get points taken away for using Comic Sans.

Shocking this fine bistro didn't succeed...

And blocking the doors with a chair is certainly against fire code...

Barnes and Noble used to be in this space. They left Brookdale in 2009, after Macy's closed. They didn't believe that Brookdale's ownership was doing enough to attract or retain tenants, and didn't want to continue operating a store in an otherwise dead mall.

A representative mall directory from 2009. Just over 20 stores and fast food vendors were left at the time. The writing was on the wall, and I'm not talking about tagging...

The Food Court part of the mall was originally going to be saved and repurposed, but was ultimately demolished in 2014. China Max was the only operating restaurant in Brookdale when the mall was closed.

Looking just beyond the Food Court were several big piles of crushed up shopping mall.

I found it strange that all the chairs and tables were out and arranged in the food court of a mall that was currently being demolished.

With no one to buy from no one working to make the no food they didn't have on sale.

Through this darkened corridor and down the hall and around the corner, you will soon find daylight and the roof will vanish as that part of the mall has been demolished!

The Food Court and Mall Entrance long gone, Sears sits empty and isolated from new commerce going on in new buildings. With all that pesky old stuff cleared away.

The north side of Sears, which was once covered up by Brookdale.

T.J. Maxx now anchors the new shopping, placed where the Food Court and other parts that were once going to saved, used to be.

Looking at Sears from what used to be the center of the mall.

The reconfigured Sears entrance without a mall attached.

In the southwest corner of Brookdale's parking lot, sat the Sears Auto Center. For some reason when I came out here in 2011, I didn't turn the camera around to snap a photo of the place. I'd assume it was still open for business back then, and likely flew under my radar. But I was just developing the abandoned photo taking game in 2011...

From the looks of the place, they had bay doors to handle quite the volume of traffic.

Not a very state of the art garage...

They did leave the place pretty clean.

Good news! You can still get Sears Auto Service in Wayzata, MN! 

That is until Sears downsizes even further in it's inevitable bankruptcy fate....

They did leave the employee smoking area!

This door interested me, but nothing could be seen through the window.

Early bird drop off has been bolted shut. 

The glassed in front of the auto center resembles a gas station. I know the former Montgomery Wards Auto Center (It's a Home Depot now) building at the Northtown mall used to sell gas. I'm not sure if this building once did...

But it sure looks like it could have...

Odd color choices for wall colors...


Front entrance to back room!

The retail floor looking at where the gas pumps should be.

Behind the Auto Center is Xerxes avenue and Brooklyn Boulevard. 

Around this time, a Brooklyn Center cop pulled into the property and looked at me. He didn't get out of his car, or even stop, but those moments freak me out when I'm photographing abandoned property. I just don't want to explain what I'm doing. Not here to vandalize!

The west side of the Auto Center building had a separate entrance for a Avis/Budget rental car office. 

Those doors were papered...

But the side windows were not. Here's where the sales counter was.

Assuming this was a small waiting area.

General purpose rectangle Avis sign label scar...

Now this is a label scar!

With an infestation of Spanish pests and rodents. 

Back to the service bays, from the opposite angle.

Looks old and crappy in there.

Tool storage area?

Crusty industrial sink.

Old light fixture on the roof.

I'm guessing this sign frame had something to do with the Auto Center at some point.

At this point, I'd wrapped up my Brookdale photo tour, and it was time to head over to the Brookdale IHOP, to meet my old roommate for breakfast.

It was a very cold morning, and I was a big fan of the light reflecting through the frosted glass design on the bus shelter.

Given the nature of the neighborhood and Brookdale's reputation, he found it funny the emergency exit had shattered glass in the door frame.

My pancakes were good, but horribly overpriced. Three small pancakes and four pieces of paper thin bacon should not run $10! And paying for that meal was a ridiculous series of errors involving individual server login codes and printers being out of paper. Inter-wait staff hostility and stereotypes abound at the Brooklyn Center IHOP...

Brought every bad Perkins memory flooding to mind...

Indirectly, such an atmosphere has long been credited with ruining the Brookdale shopping mall. Any google search of stories of Brookdale's demise will paint that picture vividly for you. Which is why I purposely tried to avoid that angle.

I took most of these pictures on December 15, 2018. Coincidentally, ten years earlier to the day, the Star Tribune printed a story discussing the downturn of Brookdale.

From the December 15, 2008 edition of the Star Tribune Business section:

Including some ideas that may resuscitate the mall

Which just wasn't going to happen. They were better off tearing it down and starting over.

Most are content in blaming the town of Brooklyn Center. 

The black sheep of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.


  1. This was an incredible in depth look into Brookdale Mall in Brooklyn Center, MN/the surrounding areas. It really brought back some good dead mall memories. I used to mall-walk around Brookdale with my dad back when I was homeschooled, around 08/09 I believe, and distinctly remember the breeze that would escape through the barely-hanging-on black tarp, that covered the security gate to Macy's. And always being able to smell China Max from around the corner of the hallway leading to the food court. In that same hall, there was also a kiosk, with a man selling odd Kung-Fu movies, with the TV constantly blaring out loud.

    And so, so many memories nestled deep that I wish I could remember. Regardless of the malls consistent flaws, it had its charm that I still miss to this day. Thank you for documenting all of this! :')

  2. Holy Hanna! i randomly found your blog and started reading through it. I am, in fact, from CR. I moved to CO, lived on the border of Denver and Aurora, and have since moved to one of the western Denver 'burbs. I also lived really close to Brookdale for a year in '08. This blog is so great! Though i'm not a baseball persona at all, I am obsess with urban decay, and this is still really neat how our paths have been similar. Did you happen to also attend CRHS?

    1. Yup! Graduated CRHS in 1993, moved to Englewood, CO in 1996, stayed until 2003, moved back to Crapids, then BACK to Englewood in 200. Stayed there until May of 2018, when we moved back to Crapids again...

      I've got a few stories of places around Denver that I've written about on here, and a whole bunch more that I haven't gotten around to posting yet.. The greater Denver area had so much for great urban decay! I miss driving around Denver and getting pictures of everything as it was being gentrified!

    2. You have the location wrong of where you think Perkins used to be. Perkins was located just in front of the Health Partners dental clinic at 5901 John Martin Dr. That Jani King building predates the old Perkins building.

    3. Yes, you're right, my mistake. A look at the satellite view of google maps shows the footprint of the demolished Perkins building... Guess it had been so long, I'd forgotten where it was...

    4. There are two demolished building footprints visible from a Google Maps bird's-eye view of John Martin Drive that expose the locations of some former '80s tenants from the street's heyday. The rectangular, now grassy pad right next to Jani King (formerly 5939 John Martin) opened as ShowBiz Pizza Place from 1982-1986. After sitting empty for a year or two, still dressed as ShowBiz, it turned into an Ethan Allan furniture store, then Audio King in the '90s for quite a while, then a Chinese market before its demolition in the late 20-teens. Perkins was on the other side of Tires Plus (Burger Bros. Sports in the '80s) at 5915 John Martin where you can see a more angular pad scar.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This whole piece gave me warm feelings and chills. Breathtaking photography that really captures the story of the Mall and the surrounding area.

    This was my childhood mall growing up. I used to go to Game Stop with my dad and buy PS1/PS2 titles and then we would eat in the food court. The family would always go to Sears for clothes every year before school. I remember this one time they had goats in the mall and they terrified the shit out of me so my grandmother tried to find routes around them in the mall lmao. She's gone now but that was one of the many memories that sticks with me. She was an amazing person.

    My dad was friends with the guy who ran Big Harry Deals that was in the mall from about 06-09 (???), not quite sure. He was a rad dude and we found some pretty good deals on car batteries there. He moved to Maple Grove last I recall and he's fixing cars now. He saw the writing on the wall as soon as he moved in but stayed due to his loyal customer base. We were there that day to buy Wall-E the videogame for the Wii because me and my sister wanted to play it so bad. The game was okay but the memories of getting it with my dad and talking to Harry are one of those moments that last forever.

    I also remember eating at the Perkins across the street. It was alright, service was bad (same as it ever was apparently according to your experience). Mother ditched me out of school for the day and we ate there and went to Best Buy. The Target next to it the best of all. Loved going in there and was one of the best Targets but they closed it last winter due to poor sales.

    I might just be rambling now but your imagery was so striking it torpedoed me through my past. Brooklyn Center used to be such a great place full of life and opportunity and to see how it is now is just sad. Even a younger lad like me was able to enjoy the last moments of greatness the area had before it went away forever. Thank you for this. Not enough people are documenting urban decay of this quality.


    P.S. I've always wanted to find a picture of when Kmart and ToysRUs in the area were still in business. My mom bought my dad a very special gift at that Kmart that cemented their relationship. My grandmother also took me to get my first toy when I was one years old at the Toys R Us where K&G now stands was. Any idea if I could find these? Been looking around the internet to no luck. Not enough people were documenting these places like now back then.

  5. Wow! I grew up half a mile away from Brookdale, & just 2 blocks east of that Kmart. Brookdale was a bit more active back then. We rode our bikes there frequently -- once almost getting in a fight with some kids from the apartments across from the St. Paul Book & Stationary. I saw Star Wars 5 times with my dad at the Plitt Theater across the parking lot from Dayton's -- saw the first two or three Superman movies there as well. I saw E.T. & Poltergeist at the General Cinema across the street from the mall. I played a bunch of video games there, at the Picadilli Circus, & even the Snyder Bros. Drugs (this little store had Centipede, DigDug, & Tempest, among others that rotated through), even after getting an Atari 2600. I met a few girlfriends there -- especially after getting my first job there, at that JCPenney (good riddance -- I performed really well the 1st year, & they fired me in my 2nd year for not making enough commissioned sales -- it was kinda nice to see it razed to the ground).

    And of course there were the nearby developments, like the library, the Civic Center where we went swimming & played video games & bought bottle caps in the summers after 3rd, 4th, & 5th grades, Children's Palace (bought a lot of Star Wars action figures there in elementary school, & the original Pac-Man cartridge for the Atari 2600 for $37(!)), ShowBiz Pizza AND Chuck E. Cheese's (back when they had more video games), waited in line at the Dayton's TicketMaster the morning that tickets went on sale for Monster of Rock, & the UA theater (had a lot of junior high & senior high dates there), & a lot of bike trails to ride around & meet girls & watch the stars come out after dusk...

    I'm dating myself, but it was a specific era, & like I said, I really grew up in that part of Brooklyn Center, in that era (early 70's to late 80's).

    I've driven around there on occasion in recent years, but your post did as good a job at bringing those memories back, if not better, than those drives ever have. Thank you.

  6. Anyone know how to get in touch with the person who took these photos?


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