Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Food + Dining Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Shopping + Style Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Arts + Entertainment Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Travel + Visitors Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Homes Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Health Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Giving Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Weddings Parties + Nightlife
Ali Shops Blog

Posts Tagged ‘MOA’

« Older Entries

Uncovering Bettie Page

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Bettie Page, now open at Mall of America, confused me at first, I must admit. I figured most women who gravitate to the retro fashions it sells probably shop for the originals, for less, at thrift stores. Then again, thrift can be hit and miss – more miss when it comes to larger sizes. Bettie Page offers ‘50s style apparel and accessories in complete size runs. Prices, while not thrift-like, are in the realm of reality – $120 or so for a dress. And Bettie Page is there whenever you want to shop. There’s something to be said for convenience.

Bettie Page now has six stores nationwide – MOA is the first outside of California. This Saturday, July 9, is a great time to check out the new MOA store: spokes-model and 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair – You’ll recognize her from E!’s “Holly’s World” and “The Girls Next Door” - will host two ’50s-inspired fashion shows in the Rotunda at 1 and 3 p.m.

MOA Opening: Armani Exchange

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Armani Exchange will open Tuesday at Mall of America. It’s the first in a crop of upscale stores new to the market scheduled to open this spring at MOA. With the cache of a top designer’s name and contemporary apparel for men and women generally priced under $100, it’s a perfect fit for the mall. You’ll find Armani Exchange on the first level of the newly remodeled south side.

A Month at the Mall

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Scott, the Human Do.Ing, wraps up his month of living on display at Mall of America this Saturday. His stay in a glass apartment on the first level near Tucci Benucch and Urban Outfitters was sponsored by Blue Cross/Blue Shield to promote healthy living. Though he’s been sleeping between an ice cream stand and a cookie store, Scott has concentrated on eating salads and getting into shape. But here’s what you really want to know about surviving a sold month inside the nation’s largest mall:

Where did you do most of your shopping? Nike and Nordstrom Rack

Best purchase? Livestrong Nike running/walking shoes. So comfortable.
Most surprising discovery about the MOA? How absolutely massive it is. I never get bored, and I have been walking here a month. Also, how beautiful the sunrise is coming through the glass roof over looking Nickelodeon Universe.

What is the mall like after hours? Actually very quiet. You hear a few motorized carts buzzing around and an occasional “beep” of a lift going up or backing up. Its the craziest thing, I actually sleep pretty sound.

Any healthy food discoveries at the mall? I found that most places can do something healthy if you know how to ask. Chipotle is great; Napa Valley Grille and Tucci Benucch were ready to please me. Just by asking to have something steamed or grilled, all were happy to accommodate my special request.

Favorite way to exercise at the MOA? Hands down, WALKING!  Yoga at Lululemon is a pretty close second.

Best time for people watching at the mall? Lunch time. And the weekends!

Most memorable mall encounter? Hearing the stories of some of the Mall Stars, a group of seniors who walk in the mall each morning. We exchange hellos every morning, they all know my name.  I was  invited to an 8 a.m. birthday party for Winnie, 93 years old. We shared a piece of her chocolate birthday cake.  She was so sweet, and still up and walking around. That is what I want to be doing at 93.

Purchase spotted most often? I know that American Girl is very popular, and I am next to the Nestle Toll House cookie display and Kemps ice cream store on the other side, so, tons of cookies and big ice cream cones, which, about 1 in 10 hit the floor if the child is 4 or younger. And yes, the 10 second rule applies on a $4 ice cream cone!

Designer Arrivals for MOA

Monday, March 28th, 2011
Put in white marble floors and the designer stores will follow. Mall of America is getting Armani A|X, Michael Kors and Stuart Weitzman. All three have signed leases to open sizable stores in the remodeled south wing, where Burberry has undoubtedly been a bit lonely.
“We are continuing to lure luxury retailers to Mall of America after the South Avenue renovation,” said Maureen Bausch, MOA’s executive vice president of business development, in a statement today. East Broadway will get a makeover this summer, with a Soho vibe.
Meanwhile, Armani Exchange plans to open this summer, with its street-chic mix for women and men. Michael Kors will follow in the fall, offering the full range of accessories and shoes from the Michael Kors, KORS Michael Kors and MICHAEL Michael Kors collections, as well as ready to wear, fragrance, watches and eyewear. The Stuart Weitzman store will feature shoes and handbags. All three are firsts for the Twin Cities.
Other newcomers announced today: two international retailers, Barcelona-based clothing chain Desigual and Superdry, a British chain; Bettie Page, a retro shop featuring timeless pieces (think pencil skirts and circle dresses), retro accessories and lingerie from sizes XS to 4X; See’s Candies first year-round store in Minnesota and finally something new (again) for the fourth floor, Sky Deck Sports Grille and Lanes, which promises “Minnesota’s most unique bowling experience,” video games, sports viewing, burgers and pizza.
Meanwhile, Merrell Shoes plans to open this month on the north side and Naartjie Kids is now scheduled to open on the south side in May.

Living at the Mall

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Sometimes I feel like I live at the mall. Scott is actually doing it. He’s living in a glass apartment at the Mall of America for one month as part of an unconventional Blue Cross campaign called Human Do.Ing to encourage healthy living. (Guess he’s not eating in the food court, or at the Nestle Toll House Cookie Cafe next door). I passed through Scott’s neighborhood Saturday on my way from Nordstrom to Macy’s. What’s funnier than watching Scott check Facebook is watching everyone else watching Scott. (The bed and bathroom are private). But if you can get past the stares, having that nice sleek space all to yourself: open kitchen, modern furnishings, exercise bike and time to focus on nothing but yourself – just steps from DSW and H&M, doesn’t sound so bad.

Notes from a Saturday at MOA

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Spent the better part of Saturday at Mall of America, starting with a live broadcast of Shop Girls” at the Operation Glass Slipper Princess Event, including a visit to Sea Life Minnesota, and ending with a mad dash through DSW some nine hours later. Here’s what I learned:

People start lining up for Rainforest Cafe at 10:30 a.m. No wonder it’s so challenging to get in at dinner time.

Nordstrom is “going green,” offering to email customer receipts rather than printing it out. (They have long put a return sticker on every item at point of purchase, so the receipt isn’t really needed for returns anyway.

J. Crew has decided not to offer its swim collection at any of its Twin Cities stores this spring. Shortsighted – the cold makes Minnesotans all the more likely to take a beach vacation. And finding the perfect swimsuit is difficult enough without guessing online.

If you want to shop Nordstrom Rack on a busy Saturday, make it your first stop, while you have the patience to deal with the crowd, lines and assorted odors.

Pays to buy tickets in advance to the new Sea Life Minnesota – you save $5 each by ordering online, and you get to enter through an express lane. Now, whether or not admission is worth the $14.99 in advance ($19.99 at the door) is another question. The name isn’t all that’s changed: The mall aquarium, now run by Merlin Entertainment Group, just completed a major renovation that includes a new stingray exhibit, an enormous Poseidon figure in the shark tank, new sea creatures, and more educational elements. The good: The stingray tank at the new entryway (they flipped the entrance and exit) is cool – it’s at eye level for kids and includes a deck that allows you to walk over the stingrays. The jellyfish exhibit is striking, the sea horses are so cute, and the shark cove that lets you to experience sharks, stingrays and sawfish swimming overhead is still awesome (and seems longer somehow). The bad: The new “hands-on submarine play area” is ill-conceived. First of all, it’s aimed at a very narrow population of 2 to 5 year olds, which is an accident waiting to happen for bigger who still have the urge to climb. Second, the play structure is crammed in a corner near the exit with little space for strollers – something virtually every person stopping there is going to have. Ultimately, even with the added features, aquarium admission still seems pricey. It’s a great addition to a mall visit, but not a day’s outing, like going to some of the other museums in town. For an aquarium in the basement of a mall, it’s mighty impressive. But even with the slow moving crowd in front of us, we were done in around 90 minutes.

The Barnes & Noble Cafe is a wonderful respite from the chaos of the mall rotunda (and offers quiche and soft pretzels and other snacks beyond the usual Starbucks baked goods.

Entering the mall off of I-494 on Killebrew Drive is always faster than Lindau Lane. But parking near Nordstrom is entirely more civilized than the east side lots.

Naartjie Kids Coming to MOA

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Naartjie Kids will open its first Midwest store at Mall of America in April. I know that will make some online shoppers happy. Naartjie is known for its playful, kid-friendly fashions: Mix and match prints, vibrant colors, natural fabrics, and a soft, casual feel. Bonus for parents: Affordable pricing. The brand was started in the ’90s by a mother of three boys in Cape Town, South Africa who wanted an alternative to the basics that dominated the market at the time. Naartjie (pronounced nar chee) is an Afrikaans word for a “small, sweet citrus fruit” found in Africa. Naartjie Kids is now an international brand with stores in 30 countries, producing 11 collections a year that include clothes, accessories, and footwear for ages newborn through 10 years old.

Stay tuned: This is the first of at least a half dozen new store announcements coming from Mall of America this spring. I’m told the list consists of several stores new to the market – including luxury and European brands.

Glitz! Sale Store

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Glitz! isn’t waiting until after prom season to offer discounts. On Friday, the Mall of America special occasion retailer will open a sale store called Glitz! On Sale with nearly 1,000 gowns, separates and accessories for 30 to 50 percent off. The store, third level, east side at MOA, will be open through March and possibly into early April.

The truth about Tabatha Coffey

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Bravo TV’s salon takeover queen  Tabatha Coffey saw right through my golden highlights.

“You need your roots done,” she told me when we met today at Mall of America before her book signing appearance. (More than 200 waited in line to meet her.)

“Really,” she added, as if I didn’t get the message.

But Tabatha, who vaulted to reality TV fame for being outspoken, only offered a review when I asked – repeatedly. At risk of ruining her rep, Tabatha couldn’t have been kinder. She walked out of the green room to meet me, shook hands and came across as genuine and gracious. She traveled sans entourage and even made light of the the below-zero Minnesota weather. “It’s not that cold today!” she insisted. The over-the-hand sleeves she loves even when not in the tundra were the day’s perfect accessory (she should check out Annie Fink designs).

Always in sky-high heels, Tabatha is thin and softer than she appears on TV. And she really does wear black every day…except, “in the bedroom.”

Reality TV couldn’t exist without stereotypes. Tabatha, the no-nonsense salon owner was made for Bravo. But her enduring  appeal is in owning her persona. When she’s tough, it’s with reason, not just for ratings (although she does admit to now and then surprising even herself with her bluntness). It’s all in her book, “It’s Not Really About the Hair: the Honest Truth About Life, Love, and the Business of Beauty,” which hits shelves Tuesday, Jan. 25. And watch for my video interview with Tabatha this week at

LEGO: classes, events and more!

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

At risk of sounding like a LEGOmaniac, I think it’s worth spreading word that the fab new LEGO Imagination Center at Mall of America offers LEGO classes, birthday parties and cool events like the one starting at 5 p.m. TODAY: It’s the first Monthly Mini Model Build. Learn how to make a model and bring it home – for free. If opening day was any indication, expect a crowd. More details on LEGO events here.

« Older Entries | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved