Growing up in Albany, we always went to the mall. Whether it was Colonie Center or Northway Mall (remember that one) or Crossgates, there were always stores to go into at the mall.

After being away for 17 years, I moved back but decided to live in the Clifton Park area. I thought, still close to Albany, closer to Saratoga, plenty of things to do, parks, recreation and of course a mall, Clifton Park Center. I thought, 'Great, I won't have to travel past the twin bridges', two or three-mile drive and there is the mall. My kids could hang out, go shopping, grab something to eat and it shouldn't be too crowded.

The first time I went to the mall I walked through the doors and could hear crickets. Ok, maybe not crickets but it was quiet. I was so disappointed. I walked from one end to the other in 5 minutes. No desire to go into any of those stores. In the past 10 years, I have seen Aero come and go. American Eagle went and Radio Shack, gone. Every time I was in those stores, there were people actually shopping so I really don't know why they left. Boutique stores have come but a few months later, not there anymore.

Are people really shopping more online or do people north of the twin bridges really drive to Colonie Center or Crossgates? Why can't these stores stay in business at Clifton Park Center?

Now they have added a few stores outside and made it more of a strip mall or shopping plaza. Will those businesses make it? Only time will tell.
Some people like going to the mall. Some to walk around, some to actually shop and others maybe just to meet friends. But there has to be something there for people to come. I would love for more stores to come to Clifton Park Center, but I guess, for now, it's a planned trip to head south of the Twin Bridges!

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