Xanacan’t, Xanawon’t, Xanadon’t stop.

The Meadowlands is a sports complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It is the home of the New York Giants, the New York Jets, memories of rap-rock shows that I attended in my teens, and Xanadu – the planet’s largest and most questionably colored retail and entertainment thing that has been under construction for eight years. It’s a partially completed, $3.8 billion mall with an indoor ski slope. And what a ski slope! Designed by Deborah Chrysanthemum’s “FunTime Art Jamborwhee! for Children Aged 3 Through WOW” initiative,  Xanadu’s slope promises thrills, chills and the sense that you are skiing inside a gigantic farming implement. Kind of like a wood chipper, or that thing with the conveyor belt that dissects cows with 100,000 tiny robot arms. A Cow Juicer? A Beef Maker? Something like that, except you’re skiing and it’s August and it’s fun.

It's the world's largest one of these things.

73% of New Jersey’s economy is mall-based. The other whatever percent is split between diners, beach parking lots, t-shirts adorned with The Situation’s abs and crime. It’s no surprise that we’re all really excited for this new mega mall to open and start selling us stuff. Everyone’s like, “When’s that blue and orange thing going to open?” and the state is like, “The what?” and then we’re like, “That big thing over where the teams play the games,” and the state is all, “We Xanadu not know what you’re talking about lololololol.”

Now Canada is swooping in to finish the job that lower America couldn’t –

The stalled $3.8-billion project—formerly known as Xanadu and since renamed American Dream at Meadowlands—has bedeviled two previous teams of developers over eight years. The partially-constructed project now stands stalled.

Now, its new developers, Canada-based Triple Five, are looking to restart it with the help of three forms of tax-free financing that could raise as much as $800 million, the developers say.
Wall Street Journal

Some interesting facts from this blurb: a) Xanadu is now known as American Dream at Meadowlands. b) It’s going to cost at least another $800 million to finish this thing. c) I’m going to refrain from making any references to maple syrup or back bacon mall kiosks. It will literally be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Speaking of kiosks (and not those associated with the rich, musky scent of Canadian pig farmers or syrup tappers), here are some stores that would hawk their wares at the Xanadian Dream @Mdwlnds if they hadn’t gone under since the construction of this monstrosity began –

Circuit City’s Digital Playground: According to the internet, Circuit City was an actual electronics “store” from the turn of the century, wherein customers could purchase VCR head cleaners, digital pet keychains and something called “wires,” which presumably carried information to and from electronics via an antiquated rail system. I couldn’t find any information on their “Digital Playground” branding however, so I’m going to assume it was kind of like World of Warcraft but real life Orcs were teeter-totter salesmen.

Muvico 26: Again, according to the internet, “Muvico Theaters planned to open a 26-screen, 6,500-seat, Egyptian-themed 160,000 sq ft movie theater. The theater was to include its own restaurant and bar, nine balcony auditoriums, a rooftop terrace featuring a 60-foot outdoor screen, and an on-site helipad. The theater was later reduced to 17 screens, and then later canceled.” Come on down to Muvico 26. We’ve got, like, more than half that many screens.

Virgin Megastore: I don’t know what this is.

I want to play Brick Breaker, but I don't want to get off Route 3.

This is ridiculous, we’ve got to get the American Dream at Meadowlands ready for its 20xx grand opening! Fuck Canadian developers Triple Five, I’m taking over. Step one: flood the entire building. We need to future proof this thing, and no one’s going to be shopping at stores in about five years. Let’s focus on something you can’t buy over the internet, and that’s a huge swimming pool at the bottom of an indoor ski slope. Get the Circuit City Orcs lifeguard certifications, turn some of those Muvico screens into rafts, I’m just spitballing here. Find out what a Virgin Megastore is, get some of that involved somehow. Step two: and really, I’m just taking some saliva, attaching it to paper and shooting it across the room here, but can we stick with one color for the outside of this thing? Beige is nice. Or a light green… something that doesn’t look like a two color ClarisWorks gradient. This isn’t a thresher-shaped circus tent, it’s American Dreams @ Xanalands. And step three, change the name to American Dreams @ Xanalands.

And what did all that cost? What’s the cost of water? Or rafts made from movie screens? What does an American Dream go for these days? I hate when people list three things, the cost associated with the first two things, and then say the third thing is priceless. Oh, I get it, like the credit card commercial. I’m not going to do that. Nor am I going to list three steps, leave the second step blank and then label the third step “profit.” That episode of South Park aired in 1998. People are still referencing it! Where’s the beef? The end.

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