“You want a Victoria’s Secret storefront? Jackson, Mississippi, come on down! Wetzel Pretzel? We got a Wetzel Pretzel for ya. Where are you spending your recession, huh? At the Gap in Mississippi! It’s free!”
Thirty-year-old Josh Hailey is a few beers in, hamming it up for my benefit in a mock-announcer voice. He and a handful of his friends have just taken me out for a Mediterranean meal on a mild February night in the Jackson neighborhood of Fondren. They’re telling me about a recent block party held at the Metro Center, a strip mall whose abandoned lower half was inhabited by pop-up stores and temporary restaurants that past Sunday.
City officials “are offering all of the old stores to any artist that wants it,” adds Whitney Grant, 27. “So yeah, young people can make it here, because now they’re just giving away malls.”
h/t Jackson Jambalaya