I’ve never been to a more glamorous mall than the newly opened Santa Monica Place – this project must have been started before the recession. It has that mid-00’s L.A. vibe: a glamorous lounge area with fire place for enjoying your food court treats and cocktails, a slim glass barrier between you and an ocean view, and a D.J. spinning break beats. You could envision someone saying, “Meet me at the mall for a drink,” and hanging out for a few hours. (Will it be open late enough for most L.A. hang outs?) Despite signs of a deepening recession, Tiffany, Burberry and Betsey Johnson optimistically flung open their doors. “It’s kind of like they’re trying to be Rodeo Drive,” Bryan said. I’ve always associated malls with middle-class desires and luxury brands usually prefer an on-the-boulevard kind of locale. But thanks to status anxiety (a la Richard Hofstadter), I’m sure many middle-class mall goers will enjoy window shopping the upper-crust life they’d like to lead. Whether they will buy enough to keep it open is another question.