It’s funny how we get attached to certain places, isn’t it?
We all have the usual childhood memories: playgrounds, carnivals, grandpa’s house, the video store. That said, I know each one of you reading this has super fond childhood remembrances of somewhere not quite as ‘standard’. Places like a skeezy boardwalk, or a gross bar and grill your family would go for dinner, or the weird gymnastics hall you had a birthday party at.
Growing up I loved stuff as much as I do now, a fact you may have gathered from how I’ve posted about toys a number of times already. And as you might have noticed, a lot of the stuff I liked was either from slightly before my time (Ghostbusters and Transformers), a little harder to come by through the normal means (anime crap, import Famicom games), or both. For a very long time, if you lived in Southeast Michigan, the best place to get any of that stuff was a little place called Gibraltar Trade Center.
Clearly using “trade center” as a gussied-up synonym for “flea market” or “dirt mall” (as my sister and I would start calling it after we first saw Mallrats), Gibraltar was a paradise of whatever random purchases the 90s could throw up on you. Unsharpened swords, wolf paintings, comics and toys from the past 10-15 years, overpriced import anime goods, T-shirts with your name lovingly airbrushed over a picture of a sunset, computer parts, and some of the greasiest goddamn pizza you can imagine. Gibraltar quickly became one of my favorite places in the world as a child, and would remain so other than a brief and sad period in the mid-2000s wherein it was overrun by gross white people that super wanted to sell your Confederate flags and “war memorabilia”.
It was a constant fixture in my life, the kind of place I could always go whenever I needed to find some Game Boy games.
And suddenly, I heard it was closing.
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