True Story: when the Mall of America first opened in 1992, I was almost 12 years old and I was obsessed with it. I vividly remember poring over every single word of the Star Tribune's Variety section pull-out feature prior to the grand opening. I knew, before even stepping foot inside its walls, the color of the (then) carpeted floors of the South Avenue wing of the mall and best entrance to use to go straight to the movie theater.
If you had told me that I would someday be offered the opportunity to stay, shop, dine, and play there with my family and get paid for it, my 12-year-old self would have been blown away. In fact, my 35-year-old self was sort of blown away when the offer came in a month ago to do just that in exchange for some photos of the experience. I knew my kids would absolutely love it. I also knew the Mall has come a long way since 1992 and recent updates have made it highly photogenic. Having a press pass - and the authority and confidence that comes with it - was an added perk to the gig and one I wish I'd used even more. Here are a few of the DSLR images I snapped while there.