Friday, February 19, 2010

Teresa Mira: Activity # 2: Visit to the Shops at Atlas Park

For this activity I was told to visit The Shops at Atlas Park. I expected this to have a cute little park in the center with a few stores around, but in general not be that amazing, after all I grew up going to Roosevelt Field Mall and the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead. I have basically been raised as an avid shopper especially since I’m one of two daughters. When I arrived at the Shops at Atlas Park I was pleasantly surprised. It was much nicer than I anticipated. It in a way reminded me of the new Tanger Outlets in Deer Park, except there’s oddly more greenery in Queens, a part of the city, than there is in Deer Park, a suburb. I think visiting in the spring or summer would have made it more appealing to sit in the center, Atlas Green, but the cold kept me from lingering. The Atlas Green is similar to a city park in this shopping center. As Jane Jacobs points out throughout chapter 5 of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, parks serve various purposes dependant on many factors. It seems that for the most part, or at least when I visited, during the winter the Green serves as an extension of the sidewalk. However after seeing that there are in fact events held there, it seems that the park is also can be a place where the community gets together and celebrates. The park essentially serves whatever purpose the inhabitants around need and makes it serve. It, much like Jacobs points out, does not serve as a breath of fresh air or anything of the sort, it is simply a nice area of greenery that can serve many purposes.
The stores were of course my favorite part seeing how I love to shop so much. There is wide range of stores at the Shops at Atlas Park. Contrary to Jacob’s support of local businesses, for the most part this center consists of mostly chain stores, restaurants and other such services. This shopping center certainly caters more to larger businesses and chains, but there are exceptions such as Dance and Beyond. This dance studio is certainly an example of a local business even if chain shops and restaurants surround it.
There are also a wide variety of businesses that are present in the Shops at Atlas Park. There are various types of stores such as shoe stores, a bunch of clothing stores, accessory stores; there are also fitness places such as Dance and Beyond and New York Sports Club. There are a few restaurants as well as snack places like Starbucks and Coldstone Creamery. On the upper level of one section there are also a bunch of offices. This variety of businesses in the Shops at Atlas Park is a modified example of what Jacobs calls a “mixed-use” development. Although it is not an “ideal” neighborhood, as Jacob discusses in chapter 6 of her book, seeing how there are no residences, but it does present with a decent variety of businesses within the small area.
Although the Shops at Atlas Park are a shopping center, there are still some evidences of how this place both reflects and doesn’t reflect Jane Jacob’s perspectives.

1 comment:

  1. I visit Atlas Park very often and I agree with you that it a very pleasant look, especially during spring and summer. I just think that they should change the shops there because the one that they have now are expensive and designed to attract older people.
    Judy Banach