A mall is a place to eat, shop or for entertainment. It's also a place to get some exercise in an air-conditioned, safe place. Mall walkers trace the mall corriders—some leisurely, some briskly, some solo and some in pairs or groups. All are regular faces at the Nanuet Mall.
"As long as the mall exists, I'll keep walking. I got a job that let's me get home by 4 p.m. so I try to walk before dinner," said Natrajan Krishnaswamy a few weeks ago, knowing that the mall will be demolished. He added that he tries to walk daily and has gone every winter for the past several years. "My wife asked me, 'What are you going to do when it closes?' I haven't even thought about it."
Starting Wednesday, Krishnaswamy and other mall walkers will have to find other options because Owner Simon Property is closing the mall to the public to demolish it and build the Shops at Nanuet. Macy's and Sears will remain open via their exterior entrances.
"We've been walking here for years; we just come and walk," said Steve, a mall walker. "It's not very crowded because all of the stores are closed. A number of people walk here, we run into them fairly frequently. They live in the area. Here, you can walk at night. It's safe here. There used to be a walking club."
"(The walking club) was before the mall opened. They'd let you in early," said Mall Walker Lauri. Steve added that the mall discontinued the walking club several years ago though. "We walk 50 minutes. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes at night. Steve was talking about going to Rockland Lake (State Park) in Congers."
"If worse comes to worse, I will have no choice and I'll probably go to the Palisades (Center) (to walk)," said Steve.
"This mall was really good," said Krishnaswamy. "My son and I, we loved this place back then (when it was thriving)."
In the convenience center of the mall is the log book for the walking club, although it hasn't been filled in recently. Some walked 30 minutes, others a full hour, but almost everyone that logged into the book were consistent and came almost everyday. A walker named Tom C. logged a total of 13960 minutes of walking.