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Thread: Which City is the Armpit of the Earth?

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Which City is the Armpit of the Earth?

    AIB: the best medium-sized Great Plains city discussion that mentions Kileen, TX, Beaumont/Port Arthur, TX and Clovis, NM as armpits of the Earth.

    I would create a poll for this, but I could probably name 20 cities in Texas worth nominating.

    So which city is the armpit of the Earth? Let's keep it between 100,000 and 250,000 and try to give reasons why it sucks so bad. Also, let's do places that you have lived or visited, rather than convicting on reputation.

    My nomination: Midland/Odessa, TX
    Well, it's in the middle of the West Texas desert for one. Severe duststorms. Of all West Texas cities, probably suffered more from the oil bust than any other. The Savings & Loan scandals also caused a lot of difficulties. Downtown is MAYBE 50% occupied, despite it's impressive skyline. Only place for pedestrians is on the hood of a speeding car; town is all about wide roads with chicken lanes and has horrible access management. Few cultural opportunities (art museums, theater, etc.). Most fences are made of unfinished concrete block due to duststorms. Two hours from nearest "quality" university (Texas Tech in Lubbock). Everyone seems to have an oil pumper in their backyard. You are greeted by salvage yards and questionable housing (reminds me of Mexico) on the way in to town. Very little investment going on there--town seems a little economically distressed.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    I will have to nominate the city I was born in, Port Arthur, TX. Their only big claim is that Janis Joplin was from there, but that's about it. Port Arthur was a great city during its day, with a great longrange plan, good density, very walkable, etc. It was hit really hard by the oil bust, though, and has never recovered. In fact, it is constantly losing people every year. Downtown is full of boarded up, abandoned buildings, the streets are full of pot holes, the crime is insanely high, and the unemployment rate is probably over 20%. It is the most depressing, worthless waste of space I can think off. I'm ashamed to have it on my birth certificate

  3. #3
    I'm going to go with Fresno, CA, Hemet, CA, or Athens, Greece. All are hot miserable places filled with people of the same nature.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michiganplanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by solongfullerton
    I'm going to go with Fresno, CA, Hemet, CA, or Athens, Greece. All are hot miserable places filled with people of the same nature.
    its ironic to me that you throw Athens, Greece in there. One of my friends of greek descent went there and came back dispointed also saying the same thing.
    I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

  5. #5
    maudit anglais
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    Hamilton, Ontario is often referred to as the "armpit" of Ontario - right Geobandito?

  6. #6

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    There are, of course, so many.

    I would have to throw out the auto parts belt of Indiana: Marion, Anderson, Kokomo, Indiana. Muncie at least has Ball State University, but no other redeeming virtues.

    Las Vegas, NV. Yuck.

    Flint, Michigan

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Flint, Michigan
    Have you ever been there?

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman
    My nomination: Midland/Odessa, TX
    Well, it's in the middle of the West Texas desert for one. Severe duststorms. Of all West Texas cities, probably suffered more from the oil bust than any other. The Savings & Loan scandals also caused a lot of difficulties. Downtown is MAYBE 50% occupied, despite it's impressive skyline.
    Even by West Texas standards, I tend to agree with you. I've been to Abilene, Lubbock, San Angelo, Midland/Odessa, Amarillo and most points in-between and M/O is definitely barren relative to the others.

    My vote still goes to Clovis, NM, especially now since Cannon AFB is closing according to the BRAC report.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Budgie
    Even by West Texas standards, I tend to agree with you. I've been to Abilene, Lubbock, San Angelo, Midland/Odessa, Amarillo and most points in-between and M/O is definitely barren relative to the others.

    My vote still goes to Clovis, NM, especially now since Cannon AFB is closing according to the BRAC report.
    Oh... that's gonna kill Clovis! Their economy is pretty reliant on the military presence as I recall.

    I consider Abilene the best of the West Texas bunch, but wish I could transplant Texas Tech University in there to help balance things out and get some more coeds in there.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    Have you ever been there?
    Only briefly, and it's been a while.

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jeff Spicoli
    Gary, Indiana
    I don't know about that. It's a poor, depressed little town, but I didn't get the "Gates of Hell" impression walking around it as I got taking the train through the East Chicago/Hammond/Port of Indiana area. The US Steel works are fairly well hidden from the town and rail line.

    You can add East Oakland to the Industrial Wastelands areas.

  13. #13
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Between 100,000 and 200,000, you say?

    Pueblo, Colorado. Thread closed.

    Seriously, i've never seen a more desolate downtown. It's large for a city its size, but it's as if nothing was built after 1920, and from that point started to empty, save for a few restaurants.

    Communities in Colorado tend to have very strict sign regulations. Pueblo is the one exception; the forest of high-rise signs that greet you as you drive south from Colorado Springs rivals the scene along a frontage road in a large Texas city, and continues all the way south to the city line. Other trademarks of Colorado current planning - strict architectural control, tough landscaping requirements, and model access management regulations, are absent; it's corporate prototype architecture, asphalt, and continuous curb cuts. There's a distressed historic neighborhood, a somewhat nice middle class subdivision, and mile after mile of rundown 1960s-era starter homes, with scattered mobile homes dropped on various lots. Every neighborhood has a LULU as its central feature, whether it's a steel mill or a prison.

    The only redeeming factor of Pueblo? Decent Mexican food. Not great, but okay. That's it. It's basicaly a smaller version of El Paso, Texas, which should say something.

    Armpit runner-ups in the 100,000 to 250,000 category? Jacksonville, North Carolina; Laredo, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Youngstown, Ohio; Springfield, Missouri; Valdosta, Georgia; and Terre Haute, Indiana.

    If I was exiled to west Texas, I'd hang my hat in Lubbock. It's isolated, the topography is non-existent, the landscape is desolate and it's more conservative than the caller queue of the Sean Hannity show, but it's easy on the eyes compared to many Texas cities, and it's home to Texas Tech.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Between 100,000 and 200,000, you say?

    Pueblo, Colorado. Thread closed.
    "Abuse of power". I want to start a protest movement and get myself kicked out of here.

    I bet several people here would support my nomination of Columbus, GA.

    jresta? anyone else? Can I get an Amen to that?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    If I was exiled to west Texas, I'd hand my hat in Lubbock. It's isolated, the topography is non-existent, and the landscape is desolate, but it's easy on the eyes compared to most Texas cities, and it's home to Texas Tech.
    Have you been to Austin?

  16. #16
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    How about Snyder, TX.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    If I was a wiseguy smart axx I could submit Fossa, Italy. I have never been to Fossa, Italy. A "fossa" is a depression and there is a medical term for armpit that might include the word "fossa". But I am not a wiseguy smart whatever.

    I would guess that if the rules allowed larger cities, Detroit would show up often. I wouldn't vote Detroit in, though. I can think of NO city that fits this category. I like cities too much and have never been to one (1) I didn't find interesting.

    Maybe it is because this Bear has never been to Texas. There sure are a lot of nominations for Texas cities. If all these Texas places are so bad, why the hexx is that state's growth rate so incredible? Help me understand.

    Bear In The Boot
    Occupy Cyburbia!

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Grrrr......um on second thought.....

    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Pueblo, Colorado. Thread closed.
    While I think your being a little harsh on poor little Pueblo by comparing it to El Crappo (er..El Paso)....your not that far from the truth (sadly ). The signs are the worst I've ever SEEN , including third world countries (I've had other posts on this topic )...because they can't afford these HUGE monster signs off I-25.....But I thought a lot of those were the fault of Pueblo County.... It doesn't help that the State Fair grounds look like a nuclear testing site and the campus of the University of Southern Colorado looks like an abandoned millitary base from the 60's

    I think Wheeling WV might be on the list, if it weren't for the nice local scenery and river.....

    Farmington New Mexico should be on the list......even over pueblo in my opinion....but I think its too small for this poll....

    You notice most eastern cities aren't on the radar, because they have TREES hiding all their CRAP!!! The west takes the hit for this lucky bit of extra rainfall..... I would nominate every city in Northern Indiana and Ohio between 100k and 250k first......Others are Casper Wyoming and Cheyenne...though better in the last 10 years.....Green River Wyoming....even though too small for this list
    “The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But, the way of non-violence leads to redemption and the creation of the beloved community.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    - See more at: http://www.thekingcenter.org/king-ph....r7W02j3S.dpuf

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    I would nominate every city in Northern Indiana and Ohio between list
    I disagree completely. My hometown, Fort Wayne, Indiana, for example, despite its manifest urban design problems, is hardly an "armpit of the country." It has beautiful historic neighborhoods, fantastic parks, including riverside trails, a classic children's zoo, some interesting older industrial districts, some great public buildings downtown (the only thing left, but still, that classic domed courthouse is fantastic-and even the gleaming white City-County building is one of the better examples of 1970s brutalism.) Schools are fine, housing is affordable, and traffic, while sometimes congested, is livable.

    It has dull countryside, Republican politics, and lousy weather, and I love California, but I can't totally dismiss the place that is still my hometown.

  20. #20
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Have you been to Austin?
    I've been in Austin, and I love the place. However, it's not one of the little Hank Hill mini-metros that dot the flat West Texas scrubland.

  21. #21
    maudit anglais
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    Actually, if we`re talking armpit of the Earth here, I don`t think any North American city would win...

  22. #22
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I'll step up to defend Hamilton. there are actually some nice neighbourhoods in it, if you can get past teh view from the burlington bridge. The limited amount of time I have spent there recently makes me think if you had a good job it would be an ok place to live.

    Now my nominations, definitely smaller than what many consider mid sized but are mid sized in the context of their regions....

    Sydney Nova Scotia - Love Canal has nothing on the tar ponds.
    Sarnia - Canada's chemical valley.
    Any place that relies on pulp and paper for its primary source of income. While it is the smell of money, just thinking about it makes me taste the air.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  23. #23
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner
    Actually, if we`re talking armpit of the Earth here, I don`t think any North American city would win...
    Yeah, I was just thinking that. But it's all perspective I guess. And as a N. American, even armpit-like places in other countries have their charms, because well... they're not America. I've been to some pretty rundown, nasty places in Egypt, but they are beautiful too in their own way. Maybe because they still seem 'human'. It seems like many rundown places in the US seem desolate and void of humanity.

    As for my nomination, I pick Bakersfield, CA. Smoggy, full of oil emissions, hot as hell, dusty and a pretty uninspired (and downright bleak at times) urban landscape. The nearby Sierra Nevada mtns (which you can see from time to time, often through a brown haze) is the only saving grace.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner
    Actually, if we`re talking armpit of the Earth here, I don`t think any North American city would win...
    Well, my first thought upon seeing the thread title was Mexico City. But I have never been there and...I don't know, it just seemed kind of rude or something to nominate it. <shrug>

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nerudite
    ...... As for my nomination, I pick Bakersfield, CA.....
    Did you forget about the Crossroads of Opportunity? Barstow CA.

    http://www.barstowca.org/
    Annoyingly insensitive

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