Saturday, March 31, 2018

Pretzel Fight at The Avenues in Jacksonville, Florida

I personally witnessed my very first mall fight on the evening of March 28, 2018.  This was historic for me because I had never personally seen anything like it by pure chance.  I've watched things like that in Itipar videos, which I saved largely because seeing such things in public was odd, and I had rarely or never seen anything like them myself.  Since a few days ago, that changed, as I witnessed my very first Itipar video-style fight personally.  It was amazing.  Best of all, I even recorded the fight with my SpyTec camera glasses, which I was planning to use only for mallgeeking!

The fight is available on my YouTube channel - and is actually a reupload since the original version had audio and video sync issues.

Anyway, I had gone to Jacksonville a few days ago because I hadn't been there since April 2011, and I wanted to see the beach again - as well as take some videos of writing foreign languages in the sand, my Russian car flags and my TeleVideo TS-803 in the car, and my HP 15-ay039wm laptop pretending to be a DOS computer in the car.  Although I took some videos when I went to Jacksonville in 2010, my videos were of less-than-ideal quality, and since I now had my Sony HDR-CX240 camcorder, I wanted to record some higher-quality videos - as well as take pictures of things that I hadn't done on my previous trips.

One thing that I hadn't done in Jacksonville in 2010 and 2011 was visit a mall.  I decided to do that this time, and since I had no particular interest in open-air malls, I narrowed my choices down to The Avenues and Regency Square Mall.  I settled on The Avenues since it looked very fancy and upscale - just like North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Georgia.  Although I wanted to see Regency Square Mall, too, I chose to see only one mall in the interest of time, and I was more attracted to the flashy, modern two-story mall compared to the more dated, one-story Regency Square Mall (although it seemed cool in its own way).  Also, while there were a number of YouTube videos about Regency Square Mall, there didn't seem to be many about The Avenues - making it good "mallgeeking" territory.

Anyway, after spending a few hours at the beach, I finally got to The Avenues in the evening.  I didn't have time for a lengthy, in-depth tour of The Avenues, but I walked through part of Belk - and recorded the stores in the downstairs and upstairs of the mall corridor.

I was close to finishing recording upstairs when I heard some fighting downstairs.  A number of people had gathered around the railings to watch.  A lady in a light blue shirt was yelling at someone else, and I never did figure out what exactly started the whole thing, but it sounded like it had something to do with a pretzel.

The yelling was interesting enough, and I started to leave, but then, I heard something get knocked over, and I looked back down, and it seemed that a trash can had been knocked over.  Shortly after, things got real when another lady in a white shirt started shouting and thrashing around, and everyone around her tried to restrain her.

That wasn't the end of it, though - not by a long shot.  The icing on the cake was when another lady in a white shirt actually went into the nearby Auntie Anne's, snatched a pan of grease, went around the store, and splashed the grease on some random people!

The pretzel fight was really a big event in the mall.  A whole bunch of people had gathered around the upstairs railings - watching the downstairs fight as if it were some kind of zoo attraction (no offense intended).  I eventually left and sat down in a seat near the Belk, and a lady came up and asked me what was going on, and I told her.  Even fairly far away from Auntie Anne's, people seemed aware of the fight.  I later went back once or twice and not surprisingly saw security and police officers.

That was a truly historic day for me.  Never had I ever seen a random, public fight among strangers on that scale.  It was truly epic, and it was so awesome to get to see something like that in person - as opposed to seeing YouTube videos of others' experiences.  I even recorded the fight with my camera glasses, which was exactly what they're good for - capturing spontaneous moments.  On a side note, interestingly enough, the pretzel fight was actually the second spontaneous moment that I captured while at the mall.  The first was only a few seconds after I had gotten out of the car to start filming in the mall - and a guy parked next to me started talking to me about my car - saying that he had a model like mine when he was younger, asking me how many miles it had, and so on.  In any case, I was thrilled to have gotten to see my first mall fight, public freakout, and/or Itipar-video style fight in person.

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