Posted by: sforshner | June 12, 2008

a date in suburbia

Mike and I went on a date last week.

It began with a 7 something movie – forgetting Sarah Marshall which was so funny- and ended with one of the most juxtaposed experiences I have had in a while.

Enter Natick Collection – and p.s. I don’t call it that – the “collection” of words that is repeated to me in recognition every time I mention the town in which I grew up because it has increasingly become the town’s spokesperson. The new luxury, mixed-use developement that houses all the top names you can imagine in fashion, a slew of unfinished and barely sold luxury condos, and a cheesecake factory. The ultimate example attempt at a new trend in taking amenities and conveniences of big city living to the suburbs.

I was alive before the last, last renovation of the mall (and that is not a typo, that place has been renovated more than once), but for some reason the mall still doesn’t seem real to me, and that could partially be because I don’t ever peruse the newest portion because I can’t afford it (the luxury part).

We didn’t go to the mall much when I was very young but I do have vague memories of it. One in particular is of my mother, brother, sister and I walking through Sears, which anchored it. We enter a wide open space, I see a flash of a shoe store on the right, I think payless, maybe some sort of a fountain dead center, but that’s about it – but I definitely remember Sears.

Last week after the movie, Mike and I decided to grab a bite to eat and  we decided to be adventurous and go to the new P.F. Changs at “the mall” – that is what I really call it. I simply could not believe I was in Natick. We had been to P.F. Changs downtown before and we loved the food, especially the lettuce wraps, and also the atmosphere.

The new one in Natick is similar. This picture was taken with my phone, but I think you can still get the gist of the atmosphere. What you can’t see is that there is a wide row of windows to the left opening up to what could potentially be an amazing view. But do you know what I saw in between sips of my fabulous pear mojito and bites of my trendy appetizer?


No matter how much the place has changed, became more upscale, commercialized, commoditized, all and of that, and no matter how much I felt like I was on another planet, seeing that anchor brought me back to the place I grew up.



  1. This article by one of my eds really made me want to go back to Boston:

    Such a lovely city you live in! Quite similar to SF in a way, though not nearly as gritty =)

  2. I didn’t know there was a pf changs in natick…then again i rarely ever get out of the metro area…

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