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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Shopping At Westfield Topanga - A Review

It may seem that all I do is go shopping and hang out at malls. Trust me, it's not true! While I probably shop for clothing and accessories more than most people, the majority of my time is not spent in malls. With that out of the way (and me hoping I don't sound like a hypocrite), here is my brief review of one of my favorite southern California malls - Westfield Topanga. Recently, this mall has undergone some major expansions and construction, including a new Target store and a soon-to-be-opened Nieman Marcus. Walking through the mall, it's evident which parts are new and which are remnants from earlier decades. What I like about Westfield Topanga is that it's located outside of Los Angeles, in a suburb called Canoga Park. Due to its location in the San Fernando Valley, there is a diverse mix of shoppers who frequent the mall. Last weekend I saw everything from working class families to rowdy spoiled teens, trendy hipsters, and pampered young professionals. The mix of high and low end retailers at Westfield Topanga certainly reflects the suburban landscape. I like being able to shop at either Nordstrom or H&M in the same place. There is also a Pinkberry location for diehard fans of frozen sweet treats. The two complaints I have are that the mall sorely lacks an Urban Outfitters store, and parking in the garages on the weekends is a nightmare! I highly recommend parking in the open air lots near Topanga Canyon Blvd. and Victory Blvd. You may have to walk more, but it saves the frustration of endlessly circling the one-way parking structures looking for a space. The Owensmouth garage is particularly bad.
Westfield Topanga mall

Above, large windows near the ceiling allow natural light to flow into the mall and greenery minimizes the feeling of being in an enclosed mall.

Westfield Topanga mall

Each part of the mall has different rest and relaxation areas. Near the Target there is a carousel and play area for kids. Above is one of the more relaxing, oasis-like areas of the mall. I like the use of rocks, plants, and water to create an outdoors-y feel.