I have been to Peachtree Center Mall multiple times before, because of Atlanta parades, visiting the Georgia Aquarium or the World of Coca-Cola, and watching the Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta. The mall became a popular stop for me when visiting Atlanta, because most of Atlanta major attractions were near it. Often when I visited the mall, customers were jammed inside making the area crowded. For example, the Chick-Fil-A parade, hundreds of people were watching the parade near Peachtree Center Mall. Each year, thousands of tourists and football fans flock to Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A bowl, a college playoff game. Before the game’s kickoff, the Chick-Fil-A parade happens downtown. Often the parade happens on New Year Eve when the weather tends to be colder. In the morning, the parade begins around ten and ends around noon. A lot of people attend the parade, because this parade finishes the year off. After the parade concludes, hundreds of people descend to Peachtree Center Mall to escape from Atlanta’s harsh winter and for a warm lunch or cup of coffee. Restaurant lines become packed with customers eager for something to warm them. Other customers crowded the mall just to use the restrooms and to have a chance to warm up.
On February 22, I went to Peachtree Center Mall via M.A.R.T.A., because Atlanta parking combined with Atlanta traffic can be a nightmare. Also, I found traveling on the train to be an easier and cheaper option. After Civic Center station, the train conductor announced the next station will be Peachtree Center Station. Once the announcement finishes, I started to gather my belongings and noticed a few other commuters gathering their belongings too. The passengers were a mixture of tourists with luggage, college students, and a couple of white collar workers. My morning commute often looks like this experience. I exited the train to my right to avoid collision with incoming passengers. I preceded up a short escalator ride and tapped my card to exit the station. To enter the mall, passengers must ride a steep escalator for a minute. Slowly, I approach the escalator shaking with a little bit of anxiety. This escalator felt terrifying to me because of the steepness and the constant shake of the escalator. Finally, the escalator drops me off at the top and I speed away from this death trap as fast as I could.
Immediately when I entered the mall, I noticed the crowds of people lined up at Willy’s Mexicana Grill and Checker’s. The line stretched outside of the restaurant and people were waiting on the stairs. I slowly pushed through the crowds of people trying to enter further into the mall. Finally, I escaped the crowed staircase and found myself in even more crowded area. I started to scan the room for an available table. A customer will leave a table and another one will replace that customer. To find a seat, customers must be quick and on the lookout. I walked to another part of the mall where more of the retail stores were located. I decided to do my research in the area near Caribou Coffee and the Hyatt Regency walkway. I thought this spot will have the most foot traffic and a wide variety of customers. I noticed the sitting area did not have a lot of tables or benches. Tired of walking around the mall, I decided to wait patiently along the side for a seat. I started to scan the area waiting for a person to clear their table. I spotted one table near the Great American Cookie on the other side of the room. I started to “run” towards the table to secure a table. I have been waiting for a table for ten minutes and grew tired. I did not get to the table in time and had to wait again along with another customer. Towards one of the pillars, I noticed a woman finishing her lunch and gathering her things. I approached the lady and asked her nicely if she still needed the table. The lady said she did not need the table anymore and allowed me the table. Finally, I had secured a table and began to start my observations.