Skip to main content

Galleria Ghostmall

I'm on travel tonight in McLean, staying at the Tyson Corner Crowne Plaza. I'd traveled from Orlando to Washington D.C. via Reagan this morning, then drove a short distance to company offices where I spent the majority of my day working until 5:30 pm. I finished by driving a short distance to the Crowne Plaza and checking in. Once in my room I grabbed my E-3 out of my luggage, threw on my big fluffy blue down jacket (I'm from Florida, so anything lower than 72 is too cold), and walked across International Drive to Tysons Galleria and Legal Seafood for supper.

I love to eat at Legal Seafood. I was first introduced to Legal in 2005 while working as an SAIC systems engineer on Future Combat Systems (FCS). I was part of an SE team which included members from SAIC and Boeing. Since SAIC has a number of offices in or around the McLean area, we'd all flown up there to conduct a week-long face-to-face planning session. At the end of each day we would go over to Tysons Galleria to find a place to eat and unwind. That's when I first ate at, and then fell in love with Legal.

In those days Tysons Galleria was humming with activity. Legal was so busy you waited to be seated. It didn't matter what night or time you went, you waited (even if it was just a little bit). Tonight when I got over there around 6:30 pm I was immediately seated, no waiting. The restaurant, as far as I could see, was only half filled. The entire time I was there Legal never filled. One group would finish and leave, only to be replaced by a new group. Half-full was the steady state.

I finished another excellent Legal meal and went out into the Galleria around 7:30 pm. I found the whole mall pretty empty. There were a few idle shoppers walking about, but none of the boisterous business I'd seen in the past. There was a single kid yelling at other end of the mall from where I stood; I could literally hear him echoing all the way to where I was standing. Four years ago that would not have happened because of the much greater number of shoppers and far greater economic tempo. I even found a dark, empty, closed store to take a picture of, but before I could take that shot I was stopped.

A little mall security officer walked up to me and told me I couldn't take any pictures "since 9/11". Yes, the bloody flag of terrorism was waived at this nearly empty mall tonight because of fear induced by a crashing economy. Here I am, a 6 ft 4 inch white 250lb middle-aged balding Floridian with glasses, dressed in a big blue down jacket that makes me look like Shamu's cousin, walking slowly around the mall with my E-3 and 12-60mm lens attached taking pictures. For a good 45 minutes. Stealthy I was not.

I stood there silently for a few moments, staring down at the now-nervous little mall security officer, mulling my options, slowly considering possible actions and their consequences in my mind. I rather reluctantly decided discretion to be the better part of valor. In this day you need to pick your battles most carefully. Besides, I had enough "evidence" in my E-3 so I turned it off, covered the lens, and left.

The unfortunate legacy of this country's officially sanctioned paranoia since 9/11 will take many years to overcome, especially its use to easily hide a host of other sins. Just as it will take many years and tremendous resources to overcome our horrible economic stewardship that has lead directly to collapsing business everywhere, such as in the Tysons Galleria. It's going to be a long tough slog.

Tysons Galleria Jesse
The Jesse Italian furniture store next to Macy's on the top floor of Tysons Galleria. I sat in a chair outside the store for approximately 15 minutes and watched. Not a single customer went into or came out of the store. A great example of the growing collapse of consumerism as we know it.

Tysons Galleria 1Tysons Galleria 2
Tysons Galleria 3Tysons Galleria Top Level
Tysons Galleria PizzaTysons Galleria Top Level

Just a few extra shots from around the Galleria. If you look closely you can see the occasional individual.


  1. Same thing happened to me! I think the only reason why the security guards tell you to stop is that there afraid we'll scare customers away from these not so profitable businesses(excluding the restaurants). But I'm not sure if Tysons galleria has ever been really busy ever. Beutiful shots and check out the new post of tysons galleria I made, @


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…