Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Mall Madness

Posted December 20, 2010

What was I thinking - going to one of the the Southeast's largest malls on the Saturday afternoon before Christmas. It's not that I have anything against Crabtree Valley. It provides a wonderful array of stores and restaurants. But for a guy who doesn't like crowds Saturday  was a bit overwhelming.

The most interesting part was leaving. I took a wrong turn (based on my 1980's memory of traffic patterns at the mall) and wound up on a ramp heading back up to the mall's upper parking deck. 40 minutes later I finally escaped. Never again. I will definitely do my shopping at Crabtree a bit earlier next year.

Crossroads in Cary also tests my patience this time of year. Cary has redone the traffic patterns there and it's helped but it is still not perfect by any stretch.

Where do you like to shop for the holidays? Wow us with your best story.


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  • tjdebord Dec 21, 2010

    Lord! Lord! Slip a knot in me if I ever try to go to Crabtree mall again. Parking is bad and the traffic is worse. If I must go to a mall it will be Triangle Town Center. It is so much easier to park and navigate. However, given a preference, I shop on line.

  • Hater like Darth Vader Dec 21, 2010

    Bill Leslie be Blog Blog Blog Blog BLOOOOOGGGGGGIIIIINNNNNNN!!!!!!

  • softballmom Dec 20, 2010

    Actually went to JC Penny's over in North Hills today. Got a front row parking space right in front of the door. Very busy, but the all registers were open and everything seemed to be on sale. Got in and out in a little over an hour. It wasn't bad at all. Avoid Crabtree at all cost.

  • genegeneandnancy Dec 20, 2010

    My Christmas shopping is very limited and very quick...on line shopping, a visit to an ATM for cash gifts, or a couple of gift cards that can be easily bought at most grocery/drug stores. I made the mistake many years ago of having to return a gift after Christmas, went to Crabtree, and that was a nightmare that I learned a lesson from..NEVER AGAIN!! Thank goodness for computers....saves on gas, crowds, and the headache of trying to get in and out of a parking space.

  • juliestoneham Dec 20, 2010

    Unfortunately for me, I HAD to go to Crabtree. I had a gift card to use. Only took me 15 minutes to park! I thought ok... Hang in there.. Just get in and out..Then I entered Belks. First mistake. All the doors look the same when I went to leave..after finding out the store I needed to go to was no longer there, I knew I was in trouble. This meant I would have to actually "shop". I made it as far as Brook.... and found the massage chair... ahhh releif.. Finally found something suitable to buy for one person and hit the candle store. Whew, gift card gone. Three hours, 2 gifts, and I felt like my mind got raped! I did find my car, only took 2 exits... I conquered the mall..

  • heremeaj Dec 20, 2010

    I do not shop at Crabtree as a result of the poor flow. Life is just too short to sit in chaos because of poor traffic planning. Cameron Village is easy in the morning and so are most other places. I practice the "ABC" of holiday shopping - Anywhere But Crabtree.......We try to support loal business as much as possible, just not at the mall.

  • axepack Dec 20, 2010

    I've grown up shopping at Crabtree. The key to the traffic there, no matter what time of the year it is, is to know the back entrances in and out. I did my shopping early this year, but last year on the Saturday before Christmas I was able to get into, park, shop and get out of Crabtree in less then 1 hour. If you try to enter Crabtree anywhere off of Glenwood, you're making a huge and timely mistake. If you're coming from the Beltline, get off on Lakeboone Trail and go in the back way. It may seem longer, but it will save you tons of time and headaches!

  • blahblahblah Dec 20, 2010

    I don't do malls at Christmastime. I rarely visit Crabtree just because of the hassle getting in and out and parking so I would never dream of going there this time of year. I went to Cameron Village today around 12:30 and there was not a parking space to be had anywhere. Not even by Rite Aid! On line shopping works for me as long as I can return merchandise to a local store if need be (ie Kohl's/Penney's both accept on line purchases for returns).

  • kg4rmt Dec 20, 2010

    I sure don't go to the malls unless it's the first thing in the morning, and only on weekdays. On weekends, I'm safe at home.

    Walmart at 8 A.M. is great!!

  • kimelou Dec 20, 2010

    This would be why I am finished shopping by Dec. 15th each year. Sometimes depending on what is going on I am done by Thanksgiving. I do not like the hussle and bussle. I'd rather be at home enjoying the warmth and peace of my house.




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Bill Leslie