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Camden NJ is definitely a ****hole, but it's almost too obvious because of the crime problem. It fits with the first part of OPs description.
As far as hole-in-the-wall nowhere places: Lawton, Oklahoma was my winner for years. Not comparable to Camden but it felt just as depressing.
Today I'd pick any one of the native-populated slum villages in Alaska. I'd only seen two in person but they occasionally show some on the TV cop shows with the Alaska TV fad going on right now. Completely third-world. Absurdly high crime, no money, ****ty weather, ****ty living conditions, lack of services, no access to anything. Lots of them are dry towns with people making moonshine out of mouthwash.
And there's no real mobility. The schools suck, there aren't jobs, and though they get a lot of benefits for college in that state I imagine they'd have a very hard time prepping children for it. They're like what I imagine Mississippi swamp communities are like, just more isolated and much colder. Even compared to Native reservations their standard of living is horrible.
Come into a "****holes of the world" thread to find 80% of posts are talking about cities or unheard-of towns in the US. sigh
Like, don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with people listing US cities/towns they think are ****, but when every 3rd post is 1-3 names of US towns and nothing else, it gets boring. This, OTOH was a post that was enjoyable & educational rather than just typing out a name and peacing out.
Its not that they don't patrol, there is just a severe shortage of cops everywhere and the gang culture is just very bold. Good luck getting any cops to show up if you call in about a minor crime. Good luck driving around there as half the cars don't bother stopping at stop lights in many areas since there is no worry about ever being pulled over (I've heard arguments from people who do this that say "well its safer not to stop at a stop light since you know you won't get jumped and you know you aren't getting pulled over"). The other amazing thing about detroit is the reforestation of the city, there are whole neighborhoods that have been abandoned for so long that trees are growing out of buildings and it really feels like you're driving through the woods with random shacks instead of inside a major city.
Its still the same as any other city though, stick to the good areas (there are still a bunch around the casino's/baseball stadiums/wayne state university) and you're fine and will never even notice any of this really imo. And like I said some of the suburbs are really nice and are really where most of the employment for the area comes from/where I go if say I'm looking to find entertainment/bars/restaurants/shopping etc.
Been to Seattle for 2 one week stays. Loved the city, people were smart and engaging (very very eccentric) and you have two epic national parks close by. Rainier NP was simply GOAT status.
Its impossible to walk around Seattle, however. The homeless there will just not stop bothering you for food and money. They'll throw their arm around you like a long lost friend and EXPECT something handed over. They will pound your car until you finally roll the window down, then immediately launch into the biggest sob story of how they ended up where they are.
The Whole Foods there is hilarious . . . the exit lane has a mile long line of homeless . . . they know every damn car coming out has either 1) food or 2) change. Usually both.
The Southern Tier/Western NY, the Rust Belt of America, an area I have much experience with, is the Existential Pit of ****ing Doom.
I'm talking about your Binghamtons, your Cortlands, your Buffalos . . . Syracuse outside of the campus is a nightmare . . . the Niagara Falls region . . . Elmira . . .
I have a friend who lives on the slopes of a ski "resort" called Greek Peak . . . about 30 minutes from Ithaca, it's smack in the middle of nothing but shanties and farmland for miles . . . I have no idea what he is doing there in his mid 20s living in a cabin in a community of inbreds and **** the universe just turned up. . . I think the population is 500 and every couple weeks a serial killer comes through to make a little noise . . . reminds me of the town in that novel Capote wrote, about the real life massacre in rural Kansas . . .
* Ithaca is a gorgeous town however, right on Cayuga lake . . . though it is still pretty ****ed up economically. It's always rated the #1 town in America and the smartest. Does have a lot of deadbeats and hippies though. Very pastoral and egalitarian.
St Petersburg, FL has some really rough ghettos, as does Trenton, NJ. I've heard Camden trumps all American ghettos but I've never been. I'll probably ride my bike across the bridge and check it out next time I'm in Philly.
The thing about large American cities that experience extreme urban blight (Detroit, Newark, etc), is that these cities always maintain some functionality due to having major sports teams and being the center for business in the area. Smaller cities, such as Irvington, and Camden who people never have any reason to visit can truly slip into the abyss.
grunching... is this a thread to crap on ****holes, or to celebrate their awesomeness? I think it's a sign of low character to crap on locations where humans live. It's poor form.
I live in Fall River, MA. Tons of charm, great food, great bakeries, lots of lowlifes, and the people are funnier than most. It's also somewhat improving.
And LFS, for shame mentioning Rhode Island as a **** hole. Providence is ****ing sweet and Aquidneck Island is the ****ing best. Perfect summer spot. 2nd beach in middletown is probably the best beach in New England.
Davis is a ****hole? lol no. It's fine. Not my cup of tea but it's clean, progressive, etc. I lived in Sac for 5+ years. Davis is quite nice. So is sac. Stockton is in a whole other category of craphole.
Chisinau, Moldova. Poorest country in Europe with an average wage of just 174Euros a month. They literally paint the trees white so taxis know where the side of the roads are at night. Though getting in a cab is a risk in itself as you are likely to be taken somewhere other than your requested destination and robbed. The food is inedible. There are dudes with guns roaming about the streets looking for innocent tourists to shake down or kidnap. Just a horrible and totally unsafe place to visit.
As others have mentioned San Jose, Costa Rica was an eye opener. Rarely ever have I felt so concerned about walking anywhere after dark. Shady characters everywhere and wouldn't trust anyone as far as I could kick them. Apparently there are beautiful places in Costa Rica, San Jose certainly isn't one of them; dirty, smelly, unfriendly and totally sketchy.
Man the people saying Brussels in here are doing it WRONG. Go to a real **** hole, then come say Brussels. Having a beer on a patio on a nice day in Brussels, followed by a good meal there, is like 1132343 times better than what you can do in a real **** hole. Some decent clubs there too, good public transpo, clean, people are nice.
My friends, if you want a European **** hole, go to Naples. I've literally never had my ******* clench up as much as when I spent time in Naples. I think some of the slums in Naples make Compton look enticing to visit.
Another **** hole that caught me totally off guard was Aberdeen in Scotland. I've never seen more grey in my life. The sky, the water, the air, the buildings, the people. It's like being inside a wormhole of sadness. And if that wasn't bad enough, the women are like 98% hidious, and the food is awful.