Editor’s Note

My first memory of the Galleria was when it was still Kaufmann’s. My mom and I would make the drive from our (gasp!) Robinson Township home. It was easier than going Downtown and had better selection than overcrowded South Hills Village stores. Plus, we loved riding the escalators into the bargain basement, which always held treasures. On that first visit I remember, Mom drove to a garage parking space near what is now Sola Salon. And then I heard it … a grinding scrape. She had hit the support pylon and dragged the fender of the car against it.

Well, that was it. My tears immediately fell. She would be going to jail for her offense and I would be growing up without a mother, which would surely be the cause of my quick descent to skid row. I wouldn’t even be able to find work as a clown or mime or White Swan Park midway sweeper, all because she had a cruddy sense of depth perception.

Over the years, my intestinal fortitude grew and so did memories of the Galleria. Meals at favorite bygone restaurants like Hotlicks and the London Grille, checking out lamps from Today’s Tiffany, admiring the clothes at Larrimor’s. When my son was born, I spent hours at classes at Gymboree—my husband and I still sing that crazy song: “Jimbo The Clown goes UP and DOWN, UP and DOWN!” Arrrrgh. Make it stop! Classes conveniently dumped you into the Gymboree clothing store, where I spent more than a paycheck or two. But hey, you couldn’t beat taking your toddler to burn off energy without going outside, thanks to my mom’s favorite parking garage.

We bought my son’s earliest custom party invitations at Signatures, where I couldn’t resist putting boxes of Crane stationery into my basket. I loved socializing with other young moms over coffee in the atrium or meeting with a volunteer committee there.   

I still make great memories and love eating and shopping there. Williams-Sonoma, Footloose, Anthropologie, Learning Express! My running group meets there Thursday nights and runs (UP!) Washington Road, toward Rollier’s, and returns to have a late snack at one of the restaurants. 

Read all about the Galleria history in writer Carrie Moniot’s story. I would love to hear your memories, too.

Also, Mom … thanks for passing on the cruddy depth perception gene. You couldn’t have given me your acting talent?