By Angela Bussone and Joe Kiesa
Destiny USA: you could basically live there. Destiny USA (formerly Carousel Mall) is the sixth biggest mall in the country, ranging 24 million square feet, according to The Daily Orange. With dining, shopping, and entertainment, this place is almost impossible to stay away from. The $540 million expansion finished in Nov. of 2011, and added 1.3 million square feet, according to New York Construction. Now, it has over 260 stores, restaurants, and other entertainment places. This is quite the attraction, one of the largest in New York. But how do student at Jamesville- DeWitt High School feel about having such a place just minutes away from their home?
The extension brought many new things to the already enormous mall, but students at J-DHS think the best thing about it are the new restaurants. After surveying twenty students, it seems that a favorite place to eat is The Melting Pot. This is a high class fondue restaurant where “the food melts in your mouth,” says freshman Hannah Butler. Seniors Cameron Buck and Morgan Sawyer both agree that P.F. Chang’s is “definitely the best place to eat in the mall.” Freshman Tate Horan says, “I don't get to go to P.F. Chang’s that often so when I do go I eat so much of the delicious food.” Freshman Lizzie O’Brien, sophomore Melissa Murphy, and junior Hayley Shultz also prefer P.F. Chang’s. Senior Brian Kelner, and freshmen Emily Pomeroy and Caroline Darcy can all agree that the brand new Cheesecake Factory is a top place to eat. But others, like freshman Maddie Pereira, prefer to take the simpler choice and just get Taco Bell.
The mall even attracts people who don't like to shop. “I honestly hate shopping,” says junior Maddy Frank. She would much rather be enjoying the entertainment at Destiny USA, such as bowling at Revolutions. Freshman Alex Catanzarite also likes the new entertainment at the mall; she says she enjoys going to Wonderworks.
However some people avoid it as long as possible, like senior Tom Canfield and junior Hayley Shultz, who only go when they needs something. Sophomore Mary Kate Scheftic only goes to the mall once in a while with her friends. “I love Forever 21, but I barely go shopping there,” says Scheftic. She said she would go more if she had more time and money. “I definitely go more often now that I can finally drive,” says junior Manpreet Singh. Senior Alison Semmel also loves Forever 21 because the clothes are “so cute and are very low priced.”
A huge concern lately has been safety at the mall. Many students at J-DHS don't feel safe at all. Recently, there was a stabbing in the food court, which started with a 20- person brawl and ended up with a man being stabbed in the back. Freshman Julia Kelner was “really scared” when she heard about the stabbing because now whenever she goes to the mall, her life could be in jeopardy. “There are crazy people there and the security is not good,” says Scheftic. Senior Morgan Sawyer is also skeptical of Destiny USA; “I do not feel safe because people get stabbed and robbed.”
The mall has many great things, but also there are things that people dislike about it. “It is too far away and when you're there you have to walk so much,” says sophomore Aryana Dee. Freshman Lizzie O’Brien agrees that you have to walk too far from store to store. Many students such as freshman Alyson Shapiro, freshman Lizzie O’Brien, and junior Maria Bussone agree that the mall is too crowded. “If I could change one thing about the all, it’d be the amount of people there,” says Shapiro. Some of the more often mall attendees, referred to as “mallrats” are a very unpleasant sight for some people like Shultz. “I don't see how (mallrats) can stay there all day and walk around for hours on end,” says Frank. Also, many student dislike the rule that you can't be wandering the mall without a parent after 4 p.m. “I hate it because it’s just really inconvenient. I usually break that rule,” says Pereira. Pomeroy and freshman Tate Horan both strongly agree with her.