Opinion: White Plains Teens Demand Change
By Ezra Rivel, Matthew Missett, and Makensy Orzuna
It's the roller rink or bowling Alley in the 90's movies. It's the public pool or shopping mall from your parents high school stories. Fact of the matter is, teen hangouts have always fostered immense popularity. Sadly, White Plains doesn't have one.
With COVID restrictions loosening, allowing kids to once again go out with friends with new safety guidelines, teenagers want to hang out and make up for lost time. Nearly two years of pent up energy has left White Plains teens thirsty for a "hub" of entertainment and fun. Opening a new location in the Galleria will rope in sales and provide teenagers with a safe and fun place to gather.
White Plains is a dying city, and people have already felt the effects of this, especially during the pandemic. White Plains used to thrive on its malls being open and granting a general freedom of movement, however COVID took away jobs and closed lots of mall stores. If you look at the Galleria before the pandemic, it was thriving, but now there aren't a lot of stores left. Teenagers have two choices at the Galleria - eat at the food court or spend money on clothes. An entertainment hub like, say an arcade, would not only be cheap but entertaining. If it brings enough traffic, it could give stores an opportunity to reopen. An arcade could spark life in the Galleria again, which could have a positive economic ripple effect on the city and people.
As teenagers, we can say with certainty that we've never met up with friends in a designated “fun" location outside the movie theater. Movies are fun, but won't build friendships to the degree that an arcade or teen night club would. Many teenagers just shop, go on walks with their friends, or hangout at their houses. There's no single enclosed location to talk to people face to face and have enjoyment.
White Plains surely wants it's teenagers to be active instead of being home and being on social media, but with nowhere to gather, the temptation for teens to play video games or simply call to achieve that face to face communication is there. Why would a teenager go out if there isn't much to do when going out? By introducing a teen hangout spot with fun activities and a cool vibe, the White Plains community will flourish as it never has before.
The Galleria mall in White Plains could definitely use a boost. Photo credit: Google Images