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I’m not sure who took these snapshots, but I’m glad they did. They’re scenes from around the town I grew up, Kingston, NY, around the time I grew up, the late ’70s and early ’80s.

They’re nothing special. Strip malls, parking lots, old cars. Seriously though, who would pose for a photo in a mall parking lot? But, the thing is, these are kind of special. I’m pretty sure Caldor doesn’t exist anymore. I know that hair style doesn’t exist anymore. Is that what makes these valuable? Worthy of nostalgia? A friend from high school recently posted these on Facebook and the verdict was resounding: these photos are awesome!

This probably doesn’t mean anything for our cities. I doubt anyone is going to try to save a big box store anytime soon. First of all, they’re not built to last that long and, second, they’re so mass produced and ubiquitous that they couldn’t possibly matter to anyone. Except me and my friends in Kingston. We apparently have a soft spot for the strip malls of our youth.

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