If you are staying near Damansara Jaya for a long, long time, you will know Atria. Long before the current Atria Mall was built, the old Atria was a three-storey building that is a nice and cozy shopping mall.
In the old Atria, there was Parkson where I got most of my clothes there. Hardly anyone goes there, so the fitting room is all to myself only. I would go there and shop for hours and I find they have all the clothes that I like. Below this Parkson is a small Giant where I do most of my groceries. It was so convenient.
When I worked in one of the shop-office along Atria, I used to go Atria like few times a week. Sometimes for lunch. Sometimes for shopping. I just like the convenience. I can get flowers for the altar without having to worry about parking. I can buy lime with no issues. It was all very good.
The newer wing had BIG Bookshop where I visit quite a bit too, for stationery mostly when I was still in school. Then when I was older, I used to visit Aster Spring for facial.
Food wise, there was quite a number of decent restaurants, like Dave's Deli, Nando's, Penang, Esquire Kitchen, etc.
In short, I really like the old Atria. It wasn't as crowded as most big shopping malls and it was very convenient. No need to worry about looking for parking.
Then it happened. Someone bought over the land and demolished the whole old Atria and rebuilt a new Atria Mall. It took them like 4-5 years I think. At the same time, Starling Mall was being built too at Damansara Uptown.
The new Atria Mall opened first. The moment I stepped into it, I can't feel the excitement like I had when I visited the old Atria Mall. I don't know what's the feeling. It's bigger, more storeys, more shops, but other than that, doesn't have that Omph factor. The decorations are not that great, certain places are very dimly lit and the overall feeling is it's not fun. The shops too are not that exciting, except Mothercare which I have visited many times over the past 1 year.
I don't know. It feels like something is missing and I can't really pinpoint what is it. It has most of the common shops that other malls have. Like pharmacy, ice cream stall, sushi place, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, fast food, florist, grocery place, book stores, clothes, kids stuff, kids playground, etc. But something is still lacking.
Then earlier this year, Starling Mall opened. And although it is located further from where I stay, I find myself visiting it more often than Atria.
What I like about Starling? It's bright. The place is brightly lit. Parking is very convenient. Parking is free for the first hour in which Atria will only give free parking if I purchase RM50 in 2 receipts combined. In terms of shops, Starling has almost the same shops as Atria. No fast food though (can't find any yet). But there's ice cream stall, Korean, Japanese, Thai, no Vietnamese though. In terms of clothes, there's Nichii and Kitschen and Padini, where Atria has Terranova and Mango. Starling has Popular while Atria has Times. Starling has Bookxcess while Atria has Tea Garden.
But Starling is much more exciting and I can't put my finger on it. There's cinema which Atria doesn't have. But that's not it. I can't tell what it is. Probably the design, the lighting, it gives a vibrant feeling compared to Atria, which is dark and gloomy.
I find myself going to Starling more than Atria. The vibes feels better too. But why, I really don't know.