Sunday, May 08, 2011

Old and new come together in Vision City Mega Mall grand opening

Caption: Fireworks light up Vision City Mega Mall at last Friday's grand opening


PEOPLE at the Vision City Mega Mall on the opening day on Friday may be excused for thinking they had entered a time warp.

 Outside in the car park they were greeted by the Ovia Group singsing troupe from Hisiu dancing with kundu drums and grass skirts.

Inside, were the colourfully-attired and painted Huli dancers of the Southern Highlands.

Then the visitors stood, many with dropped jaw, to find the mall's three-storey atrium darkened space lit up to pounding techno music and the eyeball- splitting spectacle of laser beams slicing through the air to list the range of business and services provided by the Rimbunan Hijau PNG.

They range from forestery, shipping, airline, computer, supermarket and the newspaper business.

Pay-week shoppers already crowding the mall in the afternoon were joined by more throngs wanting to be part of this milestone in Port Moresby's growth, the opening of a retail presence with floor space the area of four football fields, dwarfing many of the present shopping spots.

This, in the words of one of the people there, is "a city in itself", self-sufficient, with shops, a medical centre, supermarket, ATMs, phone service centres, pharmacy and restaurants.

And at long last, there will be a cinema, taking us across time again to a fond Port Moresby memory, of the Wards Cinema and Skyline Drive-in movie place of the 1960s, which closed when public safety became an issue.

This shiny new mega mall will be even more complete over the next decade, when Vision City adds on a hotel and residential apartments.

All this on ground previously a dusty wasteland, a stone's throw from Parliament and down the road from the abandoned infamous "pineapple building".

We have a ways to go, however.

Consider the big splotch of red betelnut spit spotted in the corner of the pristine main ground floor walkway last Friday night. 

Sympathy to the team of cleaners.

Someone at least has yet to be accustomed to the civic conscious "new age".

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