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New Queens Mall: A Note of Appreciation

A reader passed along the link to The Shops at Atlas Park, a new shopping center and two-acre park, adding the comment, "Have you seen upscale suburbia comes to Glendale, Queens?" We admit that, normally, we would pluck this low-hanging fruit and make a cheap funny out of it. You know how it goes by now. We'd probably use the fact that it's in Queens to start off the ribbing, then move on to its self-proclaimed billing as "New York's first lifestyle center." Then if that went well, we'd move on to the Atlas' welcoming invite to "go barefoot in the grass" and "frolic in the fountain," even though it is, after all is said and done, a mall. And if that wasn't enough, we'd finally move on to the Atlas' boasting of its amazing and classy shopping experience, one that includes the high-profile likes of Gymboree, Claire's, Johnny Rockets (opening this month!) and others.

But, you see, we're not going to do any of that this time. Why? Have we turned over a new leaf? In short, no. But here's the thing: they're opening up a Chili's there in September, which provides another option for Chili's-starved Manhattanites. No longer will we have to go to Jersey City or the bowels of Staten Island to get our fix of unlimited chips and salsa for $1.99 (try it with ranch), bottomless stawberry-lemonade and that slice of vegetarian heaven known as the ground-peppercorn black bean burger. Ever since the 42nd Street Chili's closed almost three years ago, a part of us has been missing. Does this fill that void? Not in the least, but one thing's for sure: we're not fucking with it. Not in the least.
· The Shops at Atlas Park [theshopsatatlaspark.com]
· Chili's [chilis.com]