A still pool with round rocks under it, trees in the background, and storefronts covered by temporary walls with printed murals on them of ocean sunsets.

An outdoor mall extension completed in 2020. Which wasn’t exactly ideal timing.

The courtyard was at least someplace they could set up chairs and signs reminding you to keep your distance. I saw a few people walking through on their way to somewhere else (like I was), and could hear an exercise class running in the parking structure next door.

Previously posted on photog.social.

Update October 2022: Since pandemic restrictions lifted last year, the mall has added a few restaurants and shops in and around the courtyard, more chairs and tables, a toy kiosk, and WiFi. People are hanging out here now. I’d certainly rather set up outside than at one of the seating areas inside the mall. I’ve spent a couple of mornings and afternoons here with my work laptop for a change of scenery without going all the way to the office.

The biting flies that live by this fountain are a pain, though. Literally.

That was essentially my reaction to walking into the Huntington Beach Central Library a few weeks ago (though it looks really nice), and I was reminded of it when I stumbled on this line in Lev Grossman’s The Magician’s Land. (No context for you.) Now I know why Katie laughed when I showed her the picture the day after she finished the book.