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Scariest place you've been?

cnyOntario

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64
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4
Scariest place you've been?

Besides inner cities, the scariest place I have been was this place called Meriden, right next to Ira, NY. Every house in this little village was falling apart. It looked like either it was just bombed or someone converted the town into a haunted house play-land. I could not believe people were living in a village that looked like it was right out of the twilight zone.

Right outside the village is a town called Ira. This place was so rural that it made me want to get OUT of there, FAST. I keep thinking, what if the car brakes down, no one will ever find us out here. No lights, no gas stations, just very scattered farmsteads. Heck, the Town Hall looked like a metal garage. Picture dangerously thin, curvy roads, fields of very steep rolling hills, and every now and then you see a rusted, old, red pick up truck. It is hard to explain how different "Ira" felt. It was not just rural, but strange rural.

Seeing these places actually change the perception, I had of my region and rural places in general. After this experience, I KNEW I was city/ suburban person.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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18,362
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I've been to Gary, Camden, the west side of Chicago, the north side of Philadelphia, and never felt threatened in any of those places. Small Midwestern and western towns ... no problem. Poor New Mexico colonias ... friendly people.

In small rural towns in the South, though ... it depends. If it's one of these ugly 'burgs with portable signs and auto parts stores everywhere, a Waffle House where the wait staff don't smile, and you notice the driver of every passing car glares at you ... it's not a comfortable experience. Cordelle, Georgia; Clarksdale, Mississippi; Blytheville, Arkansas and Lake City, Florida gave me the creeps.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
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10,624
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34
In order of concern:

1. Tijuana off the Avenue Revelucion (sp?). Day or night.

2. Chicago - near southwest side. Night.

3. New Orleans French Quarter, once you're out of the tourist zone. Night, early a.m.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
the only city place that worries me is the badlands in north philly but that's only at night (and i'm rarely there and never on purpose) and i think more or less because i'm not familiar with it.

I'll agree that the scariest places i've been have been down south. This place on the north side of ft. bragg. I don't even remember why i was there or what the place is called but i just remember coming around this bend in the road and seeing tall corn and the stars and bars flying over a trailer home and i wanted to be anywhere but there. Creeped me out Children of the Corn style.

I had a similar feeling while working in Monck's Corner, SC and driving back to Columbia. There was a detour because of flooding and i wound up on this dirt road for 15 miles or so in my little nissan. The road had a full canopy of live oaks with spanish moss hanging just above my car. The only house I saw the whole time was the old plantation manor. It was in the kind of condition that you couldn't tell if someone was living in it or not. It def. felt like a scary time warp and I def. put that suspension to the test.
 

BKM

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6,464
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29
Maybe this is my suburban white boy upbringing, but I have to admit Joliet, Illinois right when school was letting out made me real nervous. Joliet is also a prison town and just creeped me out. Not sure I would feel the same way today.

In general, San Francisco feels pretty safe to me, but Mid Market Street can be pretty hairy feeling in the evening. It may be more a feeling of sadness at the lost souls there than threat (especially since I had my big macho shepherd mix Max with me), but definitely a distubing area.

I had to edit this, because it sounds bad :(

I WAS 17 when I drove through Joliet. That's my defense, I guess.
 
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Tom R

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2,274
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25
Scared s***less!

When I was In the Army stationed at Norfolk I had two near death experiences.

We were at a Navy EM club when the crew of the JFK just got liberty. (Exit, stage left!)

And one day in the Base Exchange I accidently slightly brushed against a female Marine Sargeant Major. My entire short life passed before me.
 

Habanero

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Messages
3,241
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27
Midnight train to Moscow when communism started to collapse. Airport in Moscow stuck in customs line with thoundands of other people wanting to get the hell out of Russia.

Lost at night in Maimi, downtown, exactly in the middle of where you don't want to be.

Downtown Dallas at the intersection of MLK and Malcom X, night.
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,182
Points
28
There are some new suburbs in the metro Detroit area that are scary. The size of the new homes and the spacious lots is frightening. Wouldn't be caught dead living there.
 

nerudite

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6,544
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30
I do fairly well in North American cities... very few places scare me.

When I was 16 I got off on the wrong exit in L.A. and ended up somewhere in South Central. I was trying to find gas on the way to Venice Beach and chose the wrong place. Luckily I wasn't wearing red or blue at the time. It was the only time I have been truly scared in my own home town.

Otherwise, I visited a few run-down areas of Cairo... which were more scary because I was a Western woman alone in Cairo. If I had been with a man, the locals probably wouldn't have been following me for blocks and blocks and I wouldn't have gotten freaked out.

I also was in a rough part of Rome once and got lost. I remember being scared, more because I was unfamiliar with the area, people were scowling at me and I just had my money stolen by some gypsy kids on the subway.
 

pete-rock

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1,551
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24
As a black man, there have been some rural places in the South and West that have really freaked me out. Some of the small towns around Bloomington, IN (Dugger, Seymour, Ellettsville, etc.), when I was in school there, were not to be messed with.

On a car trip from Detroit to Calgary with my grandparents in the '80s, we got real strange looks from people in a restaurant in Montana (I believe it was Glendive). We spent the night at the only motel there, got up to eat breakfast at the only restaurant there -- and it was called the Clansman (with a C). My granddad said he'd come too far in life to pass on a restaurant because he might not be welcome, so we went in.

I've never seen so many Marlboro Men eat steak and eggs so quietly.
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
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3,179
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25
Downtown St Louis at night. Not as much scared as just eerie. We were told there was night life a few blocks away and thought we would just walk. Suddenly we realized that there was NO ONE around. Not a single soul. Kind of like a move set shooting the end of the world. I remember we look at each other and said something like.. Maybe we shouldn't be here.

Alcohol made us brave for the return walk, which was just as desolate.
 

lowlyplanner

Cyburbian
Messages
69
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4
Most of the bad neighborhoods in my town are pretty mellow - just people sitting out front of their houses, hanging out. If you smile at them first, they'll smile back.

There is one small area, though, that has been almost complelely cut off from the rest of the city - by the interstate on one side, another limited-access highway on the other, and the railroad tracks. There's one way in and one way out - about 8 blocks completely severed from the rest of the grid. Old 1910s and 20s shotgun houses slowly falling down. People stare at as you drive by. It's the one place in town I get nervous driving through.

We've been doing neighborhood plans for nearby areas, but I'm not sure what you could for this area, given the access and noise issues.
 

biscuit

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3,904
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25
two of the many times I've gone places I shouldn't have

I've never found myself too scared in large cities before, except for the time in Paris (I was not even 18 at the time) me and a friend walked down an ally to a cafe where we found ourselves surrounded by about two dozen smoking frenchmen in red berets, giving what looked like a Black Panthers salute and screaming. Most of them shut-up and stared when we walked in. We then promptly ran out.


Another scary place was Kieser, West Virginia. I was driving from western PA to Richmond, VA and took a scenic long route. I drove through what had to be one of the crudiest and run down towns I had ever seen. It was the middle of the day on a weekday and it looked like half the town was standing on the sidewalks. It was creepy b/c everyone was staring as I drove through. I'm not scared easliy but I couldn't help but think that some kind of robbery/Deliverance scenario was about to unfold.
 

jmf

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594
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17
biscuit said:
I've never found myself too scared in large cities before, except for the time in Paris (I was not even 18 at the time)
Paris, when I was 17, was not scary just odd. I was standing beside a building looking for one of my firends and this guy came up and kissed me, full on the lips, and then ran away. He probably was Canadian/American and went home bragging about how he made out with a French woman - little did he know!

Tha scariest place I've been was New Haven (or was it hartford? I really am not sure now). I was with my parents, we pulled into a Ho Jo's thinking they are usually pretty tame. There were four or five locks on the room door. All the doors were well beaten it. My mom wouldn' t let me go get ice by myself. Mom and I lay awake all night listening the cars in the parking lot thinking that the skis and other stuff in the car (if not the whole car) would be gone by morning. Surprisingly it wasn't. We drove around some of the city the next day it was pretty desolate, I couldn't wait to leave.
 

H

Cyburbian
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2,850
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24
I was in Munich, Germany in the Spring of 2000 and there was this drunken guy staggering around a pedestrian plaza. He was okay for a while, but then he took a liter out of his pocket and started smashing a light post and yelling. Instantly, 20 or so uniformed and plain clothed police appeared out of nowhere and took him down. A car pulled up, they put him in it, it drove away, the police vanished into thin air and everything was like it never happened. Mind you this all took place in about 3 minutes.

I was scared s&*tless!…it was just too surreal. “They were watching”!

I watched my alcohol consumption after that!
 

Cardinal

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10,081
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34
jmf said:
Tha scariest place I've been was New Haven (or was it hartford? I really am not sure now). I was with my parents, we pulled into a Ho Jo's thinking they are usually pretty tame.
That was the one in New Haven, I believe. I stayed there one night about ten years ago.

My own list would include:

- Chicago, lower Wacker Drive, at 2 AM. I should have thought a little harder when I found the parking place that afternoon.

- Chicago, near west side, while the Rodney King riots were going on in other cities.

- Downtown Footville, WI. The Twilight Zone.

- Several villages and cities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, where one group of people was quite friendly, but another group had a habit of firing ordnance at me.
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
Scary Place

I may offend some with this post, but read the whole of the post.

The most scared I ever was in city-sense was when I was a VISTA volunteer working for a small Mississippi Delta city. My project organization had closed down for lack of funding (for those working in the nonprofits, sound familiar?) and I was reassigned to a new project manager. My new boss gave me two options for an assignment, one of which was to join another VISTA in the city's main public housing project, as a co-coordinator of a service agency referral center.

To make a decision, I decided to visit the project to see what it was like, not really knowing what to expect. Well, as I drove through the neighborhood, began feeling so anxious and nervous of my surroundings. African-Americans started walking the street, toward my car, and some were carrying plastic grocery bags -- filled with who knows what, I thought. I was in the mid-south USA, but I could have been in South Central LA, I thought. You must keep in mind that I had spent most of my life in suburbia, not really knowing what "city" life was, basing my impression on movies and TV.

Well, nothing happened. But as soon as I exited the neighborhood, I felt ashamed. I forced myself to drive through the same street again. And without the preconceived fear, everything was okay. I would spend most of the next year and a half in that neighborhood. My only regret upon leaving was that I did not accomplish as much as I would have liked at the center.
 

Repo Man

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We called this hotel in Tampa, FL and made some reservations. When we arrived we found out why it was only 25 bucks. The bedspread was stained, there was no cover on the air conditioner, the bathroom had one towel that looked used and the light in the bathroom didn't work. The carpet was ripped up and the pool was filled with muck. There were junkies hookers and various derelicts roaming around.

It was about 11 pm when we arrieved. At 11:05 We went back and demanded our 25 bucks back and drove straight to the Holiday Inn.

By far the scariest place I have been...and not even all that scary. I went to an all night club in East St. Louis once too. Also, not too scary, you just need to be aware of your surroundings.

The kind of places that creep me out are filthy houses. Like the one in Fight Club.
 

oulevin

Cyburbian
Messages
178
Points
7
Funny

Well, it's funny. After reading the last posts before mine, I entered my story. Then I read the earlier posts and couldn't believe the similarities. The city I worked in was actually one of those mentioned by Dan in his post. I don't want to say which one, because to do so would damage the name of the town, one that I think does have some heart and civic leaders who are just as fine a set of individuals as you'll find anywhere else.
 
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pete-rock

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1,551
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24
Not to offend anyone.....

But I've often heard it said that in some inner-city neighborhoods, particularly where the drug trade is big, whites are among the safest people there. They are often seen as 1) possible customers or 2) police.

Just an observation.
 

Repo Man

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My cousin drives a white unmarked Ford Taurus. He drove into an inner city gas station while a drug deal was going down on the corner and these three guys ran like hell as soon as he pulled in. Definitly a case of them thinking that any white person in the neighborhood after midnight is a cop.
 

Queen B

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This last year my husband and I made a number of moves, one of them was an exceptionally bad neighborhood. Not uncommon to hear gunshots and one day the stereotypical drug deal was happening in front of my home so being from smalltown mid america, I think when you call the police they should respond.
I called and tell them there is a drug dealer in front of my house. They say how do I know this. So I say.

There are two cars full of black men the leader is driving a very nice cadillac and is wearing a large amount of gold. The rest of the 10 men with him are all facing different directions and appear to be on look out. The leader gets out and the other men surround him and watch as people from across the street approach one by one. They come to the leader, they hand him money. He puts it in one pocket and from the other pulls out a small packet and hands it back to the person that has given him money. They leave and the next comes over. This went on for about 45 minutes. They all jumped in the car and left.

I also called one night when I heard gun shots and was asked if I knew what a gun shot sounded like? And how long had I lived there and didn't I realized that sort of thing just happened there. I still find that appauling behavior from the local police.
 
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31
I'm more unnverved by rural areas, particularly in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and areas where klansman are the ruling class.

The scariest place I've been was on Interstate 55, somewhere in the Mississippi Delta past Jackson, late at night when the alternator went out on the rental car. There were 3 females in the car, my mom, her friend and myself (12 yrs old at the time). A guy on the other side of the interstate noticed that the lights were slowly dimming on the car and he turned around to come help us. Since it was too late to contact the rental car agency and there were no nearby hotels, the man let us stay at his house for the night. Needless to say, NO ONE slept that night. The man was very nice and he didn't try to do anything to us, but still a very unnerving experience.
 

carlomarx

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85
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Hatari mzungu

Hatari Mzungu

OK, so I was with the School for Field Studies, studying wildlife management in Kenya, and for mid-semester break we all decided to head east from Nairobi to Mombasa, an ancient port town on the Indian Ocean. It was a 12-hour overnight train ride to the coast, and we expected to arrive around 8 on friday morning. Well, apparently Someone-bin-Something bombed the USS Cole and ignited anti-American feelings in the region. ...Including Mombasa, apparently, because we got word of an anti-American rally that evening.

Our great plan was to stay alive by skipping out of Mombasa as soon as we touched ground at the train station. It would have worked, except for *BANG* -the 3-train accident we were in. (Explaining how three trains get in a wreck is something I'll leave until someone starts a thread called "I love public transit, but...")

We were waylaid 12 hours, putting us into Mombasa at the magical hour of ...some time friday evening. 15 or so freaked-out American college students waving money around and trying to get out of town before they started...I don't know...burning flags or shooting machine guns in the air or whatever else they show on TV.

Of course, we didn't have any problems. Locals were friendly and helpful (more helpful if you give them money, of course, but you expect that). We partied it up on the coast just like good little American kids.

Perception is so large a part of reality...


Peace. Have a fun weekend.

-J


BTW: The subject is in Swahili and means "Danger, stranger!" or more colloquially, "Look out, Whitey!"
 
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31
Re: Hatari mzungu

carlomarx said:
Hatari Mzungu


Our great plan was to stay alive by skipping out of Mombasa as soon as we touched ground at the train station. It would have worked, except for *BANG* -the 3-train accident we were in. (Explaining how three trains get in a wreck is something I'll leave until someone starts a thread called "I love public transit, but...")

I think I'll start a new thread........
 

Zoning Goddess

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13,853
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39
The last building I worked in, at night. It had been a hospital for 30 or 40 years before it became the county offices building. I hated having to haul my stuff from the board chambers up to my office, alone, late at night. It just really creeped me out.

A relative's farmhouse in Pennsylvania when I was about 14. My brother was supposed to sleep in the room that our aunt's brother used before he died. His hat, umbrella, etc were hanging on the wall, his stuff was on the dresser. My brother (12 then) got spooked and as brave big sister, I offered to switch rooms. Bad move. Spooky moonlight, strange noises, shadows, etc. I didn't sleep much.
 

DecaturHawk

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22
Scary and Eerie

The only city where I have been the victim of a crime was in downtown Toledo, where my car was broken into while I was singing with my old band in a downtown hotel. They broke out both side windows, took some tapes and a leatherette case that I can only assume the thieves thought was a portfolio or day planner containing credit cards. Weren't they surprised to find that it contained the New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition.

The eeriest place I've ever been has to be Nauvoo, Illinois. Although it is one of the best examples of historic preservation in America (and shows how H.P. can be done with enough resources), the smiling, good-looking young Mormons in the visitors centers and various historic buildings were earnest to the extreme. I would never criticize anyone for being committed to their faith (I certainly don't enjoy such criticism), but as a non-Mormon, the whole experience had an other-worldly, Stepford Wives-ish feeling.
 

Miles Ignatius

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368
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12
Scariest Place

Undoubtedly, Ft. Stockton, Texas. It was 1981, and I was driving from Phoenix, Arizona to Austin with my then pregnant wife. We we driving one of those early Toyota Tercels - a car with not too much power.

About 50 miles outside of Ft. Stockton, a couple of "good old boys" decided it would be fun to play tag with us on I-10 at 70 mph. There were two of them, and they were driving 1.5 ton pickup trucks with service bodies and dual rear wheels...the kind used in the oil industry and had no identification. The license plates were muddy and illegible.

One got in front of us and the other in the rear. The guy in front slowed down and the guy behind us tailgated. We were boxed in...anytime I tried to pass, I was blocked and the guy behind me wouldn't let me stop. Oh, for a cell phone.

This angst-ridden chain of events continued until we reached the outskirts of Ft. Stockton. If you've been there, you know there's not much to the place. The good old boys pulled off at a diner and we stopped at a gas station nearby. We called the local sheriff, but the dispatcher said they couldn't send anyone out for an hour or so...basically we were on our own.

We drove to the other side of town, found a motel and tried to sleep, but couldn't. We headed on to Austin about 4 a.m.

I never want to see that place again.
 

Super Amputee Cat

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Pigeon Forge, TN

A neverending serpentine crudscape of craft stores, pottery barns, fast food outlets, strip shopping centers, gift shops, hotels, theme parks, and an orgy of bloated pretentious shrines to overrated country music pop stars.
 

Super Amputee Cat

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Re: Scary and Eerie

DecaturHawk said:
The only city where I have been the victim of a crime was in downtown Toledo, where my car was broken into while I was singing with my old band in a downtown hotel. They broke out both side windows, took some tapes and a leatherette case that I can only assume the thieves thought was a portfolio or day planner containing credit cards. Weren't they surprised to find that it contained the New American Bible, St. Joseph Edition.

I live in Toledo! Where and when did this happen?
 

donk

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I have to second downtown toledo as a scary place.

We went to a tragically hip concert there in university.(almost 10 years ago, if things have changed, good) The show ended and we tried to get a cab back to our hotel out by the interstate. It took almost 2 hours of wandering around until a cab driver picked us up. Once in the cab the cabbie told us that the only reason he picked us up was that he felt sorry for us and could not have lived with himself if on the news the next day he heard about a group of kids hurt. He also told us that cabs almost never go downtown after dark for fear of being robbed.

The other experience, from university, was walking to Tiger Stadium from the Windsor tunnel. This was the first weekend of the school year and none of us were too bright about certain neighbourhoods in Detroit. I think the only thing that saved us was that there was 20 of us and it was too early for the junkies and criminals to be up.

New York City Port Authority Bus terminal at 3:00am, enough said.

There are only 3 areas in Toronto I avoid at all costs, Regent Park (low rise projects from the 50's and 60's), Jane Finch (high rise projects from the 70's) and Queen Street between Bathurst and Dufferin (scary ukranian transexual hookers, area in transition, home to the loonie bin)
 

BKM

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Hey, Cat. How can you criticize Pigeon Forge?

Are you just mad because the Buford Pusser Museum and Hee Haw Village were closed? :) :)
 

Chris

Member
Messages
19
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1
no kidding:

my own appartment after three days of solid drinking. I was off to work on monday, hardly got any lines right on the screen and I praid everyone had left by the evening.
 

The Irish One

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2,267
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25
Boyle Heights 2:00 am weekday night lost, wasted, very bad.

A small business section just off Crenshaw Blvd. waiting for a bus.
 

sleepy

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42
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2
Planderella said:
I'm more unnverved by rural areas, particularly in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and areas where klansman are the ruling class.

The scariest place I've been was on Interstate 55, somewhere in the Mississippi Delta past Jackson, late at night when the alternator went out on the rental car. There were 3 females in the car, my mom, her friend and myself (12 yrs old at the time). A guy on the other side of the interstate noticed that the lights were slowly dimming on the car and he turned around to come help us. Since it was too late to contact the rental car agency and there were no nearby hotels, the man let us stay at his house for the night. Needless to say, NO ONE slept that night. The man was very nice and he didn't try to do anything to us, but still a very unnerving experience.
It's a little bit odd that the man's friendliness is what unnerved you.

The scariest place I've ever been in was in my hometown of New Orleans--Bywater, the 9th Ward. The streets would be packed with pedestrians during the day, but as soon as the sun set, it would be deserted. I used to be terrified walking to the neighborhood bar at night. Normally, two people would leave together and watch each others' backs until they made the two or three blocks to their houses.
 
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