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Caldor, Strawberries, Ken's Deli and Papa Gino's at the Middlesex Mall, Burlington, Mass.

Anyone remember the Middlesex Mall in Burlington, Mass., before it became the Middlesex Commons? This place had everything I could ever need: Caldor for general department store shopping, Strawberries Records and Tapes for records, Ken's Deli for a good corned beef sandwich and Papa Gino's for pizza. Parking was a snap and a Market Basket later opened up to sell groceries at its famous rock-bottom prices. The Middlesex Mall proved that just a few stores could cover all the bases -- for a college kid driving a decrepit Ford Escort, that is!

The Middlesex Mall clearly wasn't designed by the beautiful people set of the architectural world. This was a no frills, community mall with a small indoor corridor. Within a mile of the huge Burlington Mall, one had to wonder if the developers had a lack of vision opening the Middlesex Mall so close to one of New England's finest malls. For a long stretch, the vision worked before becoming a bit more expanded and refined as the Middlesex Commons shopping and dining complex.

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