Carr Mill Mall Cop and Weaver Street Lawn Policies--What's The Deal?

Hi, I'm new to this site (which I was pleased to discover via google), and I have some questions regarding Carr Mill Mall/Weaver Street Market's policies.

 I'm a fifteen year old Durham resident, and my Chapel Hill/Carrboro friends and I have a tendency to hang out in Carrboro on Fridays, and we have been doing so off and on since February, but now that school is out, we hang out every week, and we are patrons to Rita's, CVS, Harris Teeter, Weaver Street, and other Carrboro establishments. We're boisterous more often than we should be, but we aren't being harmful to anyone (although, we ARE teenagers--I'm highly aware that our age range is infamous for being up to no good). Recently, we have had the intriguing and utterly annoying opportunity to meet Carr Mill's finest--Mystery Mall Cop, who has started to dislike our social habits. The fact that some of my acquantances purposefully tried to annoy him by dancing in the mall (he politely-yet-coldly recommended that we all leave), and we've drastically cleaned up our behaviour since then, but he kicked us off again the other day (to be blunt, it was incredibly daft of my friend to try to "run over" our other buddy with one of Weaver Street's carts), and we spent the evening over at Amante instead (another establishement where we are very loyal and considerate customers).

 So, I know that we've done some very mindless things, and that this Mall Cop guy is predisposed to consider us a disturbance of the peace, but I'm wondering--what are the rules for the Carr Mill territory (yes, I've seen the sign; unless it's been updated recently, we've been within the rules)? We can clean up our act even more, and be better (i.e., more frequent) customers at, say, Weaver Street, but is it even worth trying, or should we find ourselves a patch of grass somewhere else to sit and talk for a few hours? Thanks in advance for answering this--my friends and I can be rowdy, but we mean the best.

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44 Comments

try writing

You're a good writer, very open and graphic. Why don't you visit a local coffee shop and write a story about your experiences as a rowdy teen?- from a 50 yo old lady

not the definitive answer

I don't claim to know the "rules", but I can tell you this:The lawn and security are both controlled by the management of Carr Mill Mall. Weaver Street Market does not own the lawn, nor do they police it. So while you should certainly consider shopping at your locally-owned co-op more often, it won't save you from scrutiny when your friend is hurling grocery carts.  By your own admission, every run-in you've had w/ the security guard comes as the result of poor behavior. Beyond the guidelines posted on the sign, there are a wide array of people and activities generally permitted on the lawn. The secret is to be good community members. Respect that the security guard is doing his job, and that his job involves more than persecuting errant teens. Respect that there are others on the lawn who may or may not want to share in your boisterous conversations. Respect the business-owners who have put a lot of time and money into their endeavors. In short, you get what you give. I believe you when you say "my friends and I can be rowdy, but we mean the best". If you make good on those intentions, there's no reason why you shouldn't be welcome on the lawn or anywhere else in town. Good luck, and enjoy the summer.  

Thank you very much. Having

Thank you very much. Having had a few days to think about it, I'm even more aware of just how unpolite we have been in regards to social ettiquette, and it pains me especially to know that many of my comrades are only thinking about cleaning up their behavior now that there's a possibility of, well, what-have-you. May you also have a lovely Summer!

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Hey you kids, stay off the grass!

A lot of the answer can be found by browsing the past entries about Carr Mill here on OP: http://www.orangepolitics.org/tags/carr-millIn my opinion, your friends should probably try to be more mindful, and they'd find the world much more friendly to them. But I wouldn't bother trying to impress the powers-that-be at Carr Mill Mall. They've demonstrated a total disinterest in culture and diversity on the property. You can get away with being yourself at Weaver Street most of the time, but nicer folks have been treated worse for much less.

Nail on the head, Ruby

Philippa, there are many ways to answer the thrust of your question, all with merit. My attempt says this: For better or worse, teenagers have a stereotype of obnoxious gits that need watching. For some, this is well-deserved; for the vast majority, it's not. You're job is to recognize that people are where they are, teenagers and adults alike.

This means that you might be aware of how certain actions look, even if innocuous in reality. For instance, though you may be trying to decide which cookie to get at the cookie stand, your constant opening and closing of the glass door may lead the security guard — already hyped to be wary of teenagers — to think you're stealing. Similarly, you might not be aware that your "just jumping around" caused cereal boxes in the next aisle over to fall down. You did nothing wrong, but someone has to clean up the mess because of you.

Ruby has hit the nail on the head: be mindful of more than yourself, and you'll at least be able to see from where someone else is coming.

Okay, thank you. I'm trying

Okay, thank you. I'm trying to be mindful, of my own actions, and that of others, even those of the older people who are likely to look down on my actions no matter what they may be. One hopes that this will not only help me and my peers with this situation, but to become a better citizen, and perhaps even help to teach others that not only teenagers, but everyone, is put into a stereotyped shelf (including the mall security).

Aint no cure for the summertime blues

I'd start by approaching "Carr Mill Mall Cop Guy" in the same way you approached OP, but: (1) Learn his name, and (2) approach him individually, so he doesn't feel ganged-up upon.While patronizing the businesses improves your position, he probably doesn't truly care much about that.  What's more likely important to him is that nobody gets hurt and that nobody complains to his boss about rude, disruptive or dangerous behavior.

(if that's a Who reference,

(if that's a Who reference, you have a marvelous taste in music!)Thanks, I should do that, but I've hesitated to, considering all that has happened. I have a bit of a phobia of people in such positions, which has, sadly, made me forget that he's just another guy doing his job. 

Well,

...given the lack of regional rail system, I'd guess car. Probably driven by parents or friends. Why ask?

any number of ways

Oh gosh, lots of ways. Shall I enumerate a couple?

  • He's 15 and probably has friends in the 16 and 17 range.
  • Parent. My father was awesome about making sure I could get where I wanted when I was a teenager.
  • Friend's parent.
  • Bus. It's 2 bucks.
  • Bike. If he lives in Woodcroft, that's about a 30 minute bike ride.

Though I haven't been 15 in a long time, I still take offense when I see adults take unnecessarily power-presumptive stances towards teenagers. Being confrontational ... well, does it work when others are with you? I know I sure don't respond well or amenably to folks trying to one-up me in some sort of power game.

His question and thought process are legitimate. Please treat them as such.

Hey, I thought it was a

Hey, I thought it was a pretty good question.  I like questions that probe at assumptions everyone else takes for granted.  The first think he said was that he was a 15 year old Durham resident that hangs out in Carrboro.  That didn't jump out at anyone else? He could be taking the bus but that sounds doubtful.  Maybe there is an unnamed Durham friend driving him here.  If so, why is the person left out?  Biking from Durham?  I hope not.  Biking from there would be dangerous for anyone, especially a 15 year old. Everyone gets up in arms about people using cars to do even necessary things so it's interesting no reaction about someone frequently coming from Durham to Carrboro just to hang out? And this may just be me getting old and not understanding how things work today, but do parents let their 15 year old kids go to a non-specific location several miles away just to hang out?  That's nothing like how my folks were with me at age 15.

Thanks. I neglected to

Thanks. I neglected to mention it before, but the reason we hang out in Carrboro is that we all know each other from taking an acting class at the ArtsCenter, and so it's smack dab in the middle (one of my friends is from Pittsboro, but his parents use the drive by shopping at Weaver Street, 'cause there isn't as much health food in Pittsboro). As for my transportation, my parents use the car rarely, and it's much more fuel efficient than our last automobile, a trashed out Subaru that was almost older than me. Oh, and you're not getting too old, it's not exactly normal, but neither are my parents (who are very aware of where I am, and cautious of my safety, as am I).

Plenty of people do it

Here's an assumption you are taking for granted:

 Biking from there would be dangerous for anyone

Another entirely unfounded assertion:

He could be taking the bus but that sounds doubtful.

Granted I'm assuming they're

Granted I'm assuming they're coming from Durham to CH on the main roads, but if that assumption holds then it's simple observation that it's dangerous.  As far as  someone that says they're 15 and coming from Durham to CH to hang out, I think them taking the bus is less likely than having their friends or parents drive them and that turned out to be the case in this instance assuming the writer is being straightforward.  

Car. My parents don't drive

Car. My parents don't drive me much, though, which I understand. I often go to my Chapel Hill (edge of Durham, though) friend's house for a while to help her baby-sit her sister, and then we take UNC public transit.

Catherine DeVine's picture

Horse-hockey

Am I the only one who doubts that Phillippa is an actual fun-loving 15-year-old?  "My friends and I can be rowdy, but we mean the best."  Oh please...

Well, I'm not particularly

Well, I'm not particularly in tune with any certain generation, even my own, but I am an oddity--most of my life has been homeschooled, with many years of voracious reading and interest in the English language, and an upbringing that has incouraged the ability to express oneself eloquently. For what it's worth, I have never heard anybody use the term "phat" in a non-sarcastic way, but I encounter something new every day.

you're being too judgmental

Folks, you're being way too judgmental, and frankly are exhibiting the exact attitude that legitimately merits teenage rebellion. I'm 25, and the immediate jump-to-conclusions offends me. Teens don't know everything, and need to realize as such; but it's all too often that folks think age brings wisdom. Age brings experience, but wisdom is utilization of experience with common sense. In other words, just because you're older doesn't make you right.

If you weren't there watching what Philippa & co. were doing, you have little idea what "rowdy" means. Context is everything. Teenagers get a bad rap because they're impulsive, but by no means does it make them bad people. Without evidence to the contrary, I believe what Philippa says. So no, Catherine, you probably aren't the only one, but I see little to make me doubt the validity of his post. At this point, I think he is a "fun-loving 15-year-old."

That said, he and his friends should also realize the stigma that they're up against. Three people joking and laughing in a store is seen as good business. Three teenagers joking and laughing in a store is a sure sign they've already stolen merchandise. It's unfortunate, but it's the current way-of-things.

It may not be racist or sexist, but it sure is ageist.

Thank you. I am not trying

Thank you. I am not trying to rebel against anything, but a plethora of my peers are--against their (relatively, but not wholly) close-minded parents. I'm aware that my age range gets a bad rap, and for reasons that are in many cases justified, but by all means not by all of the teenagers of the world--however, I have done some idiotic impulsive things, and learned my lessons from them. Ageism is another thing that I am becoming more and more aware of, and slightly ironically, it is giving me much life experience.

Anita Badrock's picture

My job change means I am now

My job change means I am now in Carrboro and I go to Weaver Street Market a lot at both lunch and dinner times.     I have only seen one instance in the past two months where someeone was "hurried along" by mall security, and I thought it was compeltely justified.  The person was cussing a blue streak at the top of his lungs in the guise of a "conversation" where he got very mad at his friend.  I didn't want to listen to that mess and neither did anyone else.    I apprecate the mall security's presence there and in the past two months have enjoyed being able to visit there more frequently.      I think of it as a restaurant's  outdoor dining area and conduct myself accordingly.  That seems to work for me and perhaps it will work for you too Phillipa.   

Thank you very much, it's

Thank you very much, it's good to see different points of view. I haven't cussed anyone out audibly, but some of my friends do shout. I completely understand that mall security, whether or not a necessity, has many benefits. I'm trying to learn how to work with it pleasantly. 

Mark Marcoplos's picture

I'm sorry, Philippa

I was mainly just joking around. I admire the initiative you took to post your thoughts on this blog, the kind of initiative I've always appreciated in homeschoolers. And you do write well - keep it up.  

Thank you very much, sir. As

Thank you very much, sir. As you surely know, it is entirely too hard to judge emotions over the internet, especially of strangers. I will certainly keep writing, especially when, as now, I have something of great interest to flame that ol' inspirational spark. And, of course, being even more well-behaved in public!

I have a jolly good idea.

Perhaps Philippa Adam & some of her 15 year old friends would agree to an interview with WCOM about hanging out in Carrboro?  Aren't they always looking for interesting, articulate new voices in our community? Or Mark Schultz could arrange something over at Orange Chat?Maybe a luncheon with Philippa, Elvisboy and a mountain lion. (I'm with you, Catherine.)   

As a parent of one of the kids involved

As the parent of one of the kids involved, I want to say that Philippa is indeed a 15 year old girl, and a very nice one at that. And Mark, you probably know some of the kids as several of them are Clapping Hands Farm Camp kids. It is hard for nondriving teens to find a safe and reasonable place to hang out. In front of the PO? I don't think so. I don't feel comfortable with them on Franklin Street, Southern Village, or Southpoint. Weaver Street seemed like a safe location, where they are regularly observed by parental units and/ or their friends. 

WeaverGuy's picture

A Good Coming of Age Book

One good coming of age (for people of many ages, in fact!) book to read is Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography.  You can see many of his suggestions about how to get along with other people reflected in many of the best and most effective people, political operatives and otherwise.

Carr Mill Mall Security has selective vision.

A few monthes ago I sat with friend on a bench on the lawn nearest the parking lot and was shocked when mall security stopped a male senior citizen from drinking a beer on another bench, but ignored  the same man when he smoked the joint he had just sat and rolled in plain view. Yes, really!

Seems like if the teenagers are dancing, having fun but not "disturbing the peace" they should be allowed to hang out on the lawn like any 20, 30 ......70+ year olds are allowed. If they were too loud, needed not to play on shopping cart, etc. why not just respectfully ask them to stop first before running them off.They openly stated that they are supporting local businesses.  In these hard economic times can local businesses afford to have $$$$  ran away because it is in the pocket of a teenager? Don't underestimate the $$$ spent by the teen market group nor underestimate a mall cop possibly age prejudice, judgement against this group and maybe a mall copon a power trip.

Hopefully ALL are welcome to enjoy the lawn and support local business.