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This is a question Rubbish Towns

I once went to Basildon. It was closed, I got chased by a bunch of knuckle-dragged yobs until I was lost in a maze of concrete alleyways and got food poisoning off pie. Tell us about the awful places you've visited or have your home.

Thanks to SpankyHanky for the suggestion

(, Thu 29 Oct 2009, 11:07)
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Savannah Georgia
Savannah Georgia is well known, there's books and movies which feature it's southern culture, beautiful atmosphere and - modernly, even it's creative and artistic flair.

It hosts a film festival each year run by Robert Redford showcasing independent films and has a few different arts colleges, booming fonts of creation - and supposedly a rockin night life.


We went down when my gf was considering going to the University of the Arts in Savanna and ... holy shit.

I live in Washington DC and have wandered the streets at night passing nods with junkies, killers and and armed thugs. I'm 6'4, 225lbs and I've backed down professional football players (though it was just american football so...)

Savannah made me feel unsafe walking around in the middle of the day.

In DC we kill each other from time to time, and hey - that's understood. But nobody feels like it's "ok"... you know?

In the cultural mecca of Savannah - there was a level of desperation mixed with a righteous victim tinged "I deserve everything I want and it's your fault I don't have it" mentality that outright scared me.

The place reeked of pain, and resentment - and then you take that as a base and you add in the college kids on top - self absorbed, spoiled, oblivious - walking so ripely and tantalizingly through the poorest, most unhappy, and (rightfully perhaps) angry down trodden sad bastards you've ever seen.

Maybe it could have been different, maybe it could have just been a poor town where people worked and tried and did what they could and people would have accepted it ... but those fucking kids... a constant reminder of how easy it was elsewhere ...

I'm not making excuses for muggers, rapists and killers... but imagine a starving beaten carnivore and then drag a fattened prime rib in front of it everyday, day after day while it lives on mud and shit ...

Some people can handle that, but everyone gets angry.

And rich parents keep shipping these rich kids into this dying town, not so much with spending money - but with ipods, jewelry, cd collections and nice clothes and nice cars... and go figure, crime is impressively high there for some reason.

Schooling there was 38k a year. To go to art school. They had degrees in Video Game design, modern art and "design your own degree" degrees (I shit you not)

(The school is so desperate for intelligent students (rather than their usual rich / spoiled / useless ones) that if you score a perfect SAT - you automatically get a full scholarship and can go for free. Which was the only reason we were considering the place really ourselves ... the instructors we talked to responded to my gf like water in the desert. The poor fuckers. )

In an inspired idea deserving it's own reward for brilliance, the university is spread across about 5 miles square of city, a nice idea in a nice city ... a death trap in this one. Campus buildings were dotted across the city between abandoned buildings, angry hungry people out of work and a lot of secluded privacy for fun encounters.

Students were expected to walk or bus across this putrid pit at least twice a day, and up to eight times depending on which classes they're taking.

We toured a few of these building, my favorite classroom had docking stations at every seat - students were expected to bring their laptops everyday as a requirement. When I left and saw a "Used Electronics" store literally a block away, I laughed out loud. Then I felt dirty.

Of course that was one of the few stores I saw open in the city at all, there was a short strip of tourist stores which huddled in the corner of the city (afraid and shivering and knowing their time was coming) and a fair number of bars - and Three separate places where you could get gold teeth made on the premises.

How many businesses can your town support solely dedicated to making gold teeth out of ... "found" gold?

Seriously, if that's not a measure of how fucked up a place is I don't know what is.

Though the fact that every bus in town and most every other advertising surface I saw was dedicated to advertising bail bondsmen was probably another sign. I mean, bailing out your recently incarcerated friends was a booming business.

I have a picture of three drug dealers easily identifiable because of their admirably spot on costuming and their apparent full time jobs of leaning on a drug store wall next to the word "DRUGS" written in 5 foot tall letters on it (Advertising from a more innocent time I assume... maybe.)

I had to admire their moxie and sheer balls for taking advantage of the free advertising and placement.

The whole place smells of rot and decay, partly the southern swamp atmosphere that you can get anywhere but mostly the pungent odor of buildings and people slowly decomposing.

I've lived in Florida across from a paper recycling plant for a year and thought I'd never find a more unholy stink than the rendering and rotten milk (from the 'empty' school milk cartons trucked in, aged in the sun for a week or two and ready to be made into new fresh cartons to put new milk in...) and I found that less unpleasant the stink of flop sweat, fear and despair that this place seemed to have in it's woodwork.

Savannah boasts over 200 individual parks within the city, making it in he city councils opinion one of the most beautiful and natural cities in the world - from what I saw, the population needed them to sleep and shit in.

When taking the tour of the campus and being shown the living arrangements (smaller than usual dorms rooms in converted motels, with bad lighting and secluded stairwells of course) 6 different guides and current students said to us, unprompted and unasked "Yes, the crime is a problem - but you learn to adjust" and then gave us advice for handling it.

"Adjusting" included for these people:

Never traveling in a group smaller than 8.

For one guy - Leaving all his car windows down at all times - because he had learned that no longer having a radio or any belongings in the car wouldn't stop someone from breaking the window anyway, in his case the last time to take his empty slurpee cup out of the cup holder.

One girl explained that owning a personal Taser, and budgeting to keep it charged and to replace it when it wore out was the way to go, though she was thinking about getting a hand gun. "Rape alarms" - hand held sirens you can set off to call for help and scare off a bad guy ... "just weren't effective."

Another girl just decided to give up having a life outside her room for 4 years. In her words "Invest in broadband, it's just... safer. I've made a lot of new friends online."

The crowning moment for me was walking the main street (which if you left at all, you were in danger) and looking between two stores to see a guy who was selling handguns on a little table. He had them spread out quite nicely and a few more on his person and apparently (if I understood the transaction I was seeing) was willing to take trade ins.

I'm betting there wasn't even a waiting period.

All in all, my gf decided to go to another college.

I really am sorry about the length, the memories just came pouring out, I think I lanced a memory-puss-pocket with this one.
(, Mon 2 Nov 2009, 19:49, 3 replies)
well written
if a little worrying
(, Mon 2 Nov 2009, 20:25, closed)
thank you
I really feel for the place, it left a heck of an impression on me.
(, Tue 3 Nov 2009, 16:05, closed)
ha ha!
went there earlier this year for a 'romantic' weekend, and my main memories are of a) the smell, b) the road to Tybee Island (where we actually spent the weekend; although it's a shithole too) and c) the dead armadillos everywhere.
not a town I want to revisit...
(, Wed 4 Nov 2009, 10:22, closed)

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