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The Creeps

Miles Ignatius

Cyburbian
Messages
367
Points
12
Re: The Kingdom of Patio Man

Originally posted by BKM
Most suburban Denver communities (Aurora, Colorado, but especially that huge hyper-planned, ultra-engineered wonderland of Highlands Ranch);

With you all the way on this one, BKM. Had an interesting experience over Thanksgiving. Was doing some volunteer work delivering meals in some of Denver's toughest neighborhoods. I didn't feel uncomfortable in those places but when I had to traverse Highlands, I'm overcome with a sense of "nauseatic anxiety" and couldn't wait to get back to the "badlands."
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,832
Points
25
Dear Municipal Official:

Recently your community has been deemed "creepy" by one or more members of the community planning website Cyburbia. Despite your best efforts you have been unable to prevent your community from maintaining an image which can either be described as "po-dunk," "depressing," "inbred," or perhaps just plain "weird."

Rest assured we at Cyburbia offer solutions not mere criticism. As a collective of the world's finest city and town planners we would like to extend this one time offer of our services. For a small consulting fee of $60,000 the Throbbing Brain of Cyburbia will use all of its resources to revitalize your community and reverse its image as one of your country's crappiest crap holes [copyright Biscuit]. Cyburbia's planning staff ranges from generalists to specialized planners and its worldwide membership means 24 hour assistance. Members can attend public meetings via the web so we don't actually have to visit your town which if you remember is on our "creepy" list.

The choice is yours . . . spooky backwater or revitalized model community.

For more information just post something and we'll read it.
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
creepy

I've heard that Athens Ohio (home of Ohio U.) is one of the most haunted towns (if you believe in that kind of stuff.) I guess there's an abandoned insane asylum there that has a few spirits haunting the place. (Sounds like a nice place to take a freshman coed after hitting the bars, but I digress.) Any Ohio U alumns out there?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,069
Points
34
JNA said:
?Aren't we are worth more than that?

Pricing depends on the size of the community, of course. The US$60,000 price is for communities with a population under 15,000. Travel and materials are extra, including the required face-to-face meeting of the Throbbing Brain in Wellington, NZ.
 

Hceux

Cyburbian
Messages
1,028
Points
22
Re: Re: Not much of a list

ablarc said:
That's right, you did.

You seem to spend a lot of time cruising by the outskirts of cities. The outskirts of cities are pretty much all awful.

Take the time to see a city. You have to go to the center to do that.

I wonder what you'd think of New York if you only saw it from the South Bronx interstate.

Albarc, yes, you're correct that I do spend a lot of time cruising by the outskirts of cities, which tends to be the not-so-great parts of any communities.

My list of "creepy cities/places" largely reflect of the long-distance travel that I have done with my family when I was younger. I used to sit up and watch whatever is going by me instead of being cooped up sleeping or reading away. I was always so interested in what I'd see that go by me.

So, my memory of the outskirts of Charleston, SC, Jacksonville, FL, Riveria Beach, FL, and Trois Rivieries, QC is just what I saw on the outskirt of these communities...and they weren't wonderful impressions.

But, I'll be sure that I won't let my initial impressions of Charleston, SC, prevent me from seeing the gem of the old city.

I did go to NYC for a school field trip last year, but didn't make it to South Bronx interstate (dunno where it is). I did make it to some areas in Brooklyn as part of my field trip. Oh yeah, we also visited the Alphabet City (Lower East Side beyond Chinatown) with a graduate student of a well-known geographer whose name I can't remember exactly, but it might be Neil Smith. Visiting Alphabet City and the two particular areas in Brooklyn were interesting visits!

I'm typing more tonight because I'm done with exams - yippee!! It's the start of Xmas holidays....yaaaaa
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,986
Points
31
the [b]north omaha star[/b] said:
Chester, PA
Marcus Hook, PA
Claymont, DE
Thurmont, MD
Roanoke Rapids, NC
Leavenworth, KS
Benton Harbor, MI
a large section of East Baltimore

Please explain how Leavenwoth KS made your listing. Really, I'd like to know what makes it creepy to you. No flames, honest.

Was it the prisons or was it the NE corner? Or was it the lack of east-west streets.
 

UpstateNYRox

Cyburbian
Messages
44
Points
2
National City, CA
Carol City, FL
Camden, NJ
NW Indiana suburbs of Chicago (Gary, Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago)
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,900
Points
23
krebstar said:
for some strange reason:
ithaca, NY

Ithaca??? all those earthy-crunchy old hippies and college students?

I agree with Elmira and Poughkeepsie, NY

Albany, NY at night is kinda creepy... no one is there... so vacant.

I don't know why,, but Philly, PA always seems a bit creepy to me. Maybe because I have mainly been there in cold nasty spring weather... early March.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,539
Points
71
My turn!

Most of 'Da Region: Gary, Hammond, Whiting, East Chicago, etc.

El Paso, Texas south of I-10: a mix of industry and neighborhoods that really have a south-of-the-border feel.

Clarksdale, Mississippi: Perhaps the most tension-filled place I've ever visited.

Camden, New Jersey: Dark, huge billboards, lots of porno book stores and strip joints.

Cheyenne, Wyoming: In-your-face cowboy; and collectively very suspicious of vehicles with out-of-state license plates (even Colorado!), or who doesn't look like them (i.e. dressed in full Western regalia). Downtown is dead (except for some Western clothing stores), and the city is ugly to boot.

Pueblo, Colorado: A huge downtown for a city its size, but almost entirely vacant. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

Alamogordo, New Mexico: No sign regulations, lots of junkyards and used car lots, lots of old missile-themed buildings and signs, lots of very downscale businesses catering to military based at Holloman AFB. Huge billboard when you drive into town: "JESUS CHRIST IS LORD OVER ALAMOGORDO!" Lots of bumper stickers reading "JET NOISE - SOUND OF FREEDOM!" and "THE LIBERALS WILL GET MY GUN WHEN THEY PRY IT FROM MY COLD, DEAD HAND!" Looks like there was a building freeze in place since 1963, with the exception of mobile homes.

Clovis, New Mexico: See Alamogordo, with the added bonus of being on the Texas border. Had a girlfriend who was from Clovis; she left after college and never looked back. Thank God; I would never have met her if she didn't. She's one of my best friends to this day.

Tifton, Georgia: Sign and billboard clutter, incredibly ugly, not at all friendly, and home of a hotel called The Family Values Inn. 'Nuff said.

Any "Trucker Town": South side of Indianapolis; West Memphis, Arkansas; Anthony, Texas/New Mexico; Winter Garden, Florida; Ehrenreich, Arizona, Effingham, Illinois; Kingdom City, Missouri; west suburban Oklahoma City, or anyplace with an economy and built environment dominated by truck stops, mechanics and dealers.
 

Wannaplan?

Ready to Learn
Messages
3,252
Points
31
Re: Re: Not much of a list

1)

Some places that give me the creeps are some of the affluent, mostly white suburbs in Michigan.

2)

ablarc said:
The outskirts of cities are pretty much all awful. Take the time to see a city. You have to go to the center to do that. I wonder what you'd think of New York if you only saw it from the South Bronx interstate.

From the interstate, I bet it looks like a tourist destination! Wanna go?!
 

ablarc

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
713
Points
20
Wanigas?,

You want supercilious snobbery? Check out the thread we are on.

I like your Avatar.
 
Messages
1,260
Points
22
I forgot about Breezewood, PA. Anyone who has traveled from the East Coast to places such as Detroit or Cleveland has probably been to this abonimable place. It has fast food and gas stations as far as the eye can see. The PA Turnpike has the major facility there but it's disjointed. Say you're on I-70 coming out of Maryland and you have to pick up the PA Turnpike (I-76) in Breezewood. You cannot seamlessly get onto 76 without stopping on the major fast-food and gas station strip first. It's just plain awful. By the way, I have honor of going through their on Christmas Eve on the way to visit my future in-laws.
 

Maltodextrin

Member
Messages
2
Points
0
Creepy to me:
Oil City,PA
Poughkeepsie,NY
Jackson,MS
Pascagoula,MS
Riviera Beach,FL
Toledo,OH
Dayton, OH
Almost all of Louisiana
 

cnyOntario

Member
Messages
64
Points
4
Dryden, NY

A little village between Ithaca and Cortland. For such a small town, there are all sorts of tragedies happening there all the time. When I visit family in Elmira I drive through there. It always gives me the creeps.
 

octa girl

Member
Messages
20
Points
2
although creepy seems like a fuzzy term - and I am not sure I ever really feel creeped out - but I feel some gut reaction to

- all the neighborhoods where the houses all look exactly the same except for the change in the color of the exterior paint.

- Pretty much any neighborhood that has the generic 'suburban dream' street names.

- lots of those small upstate new york towns that look like has-beens with people living in the wreckage.

- those casino towns you run into in the back roads of the rockies

- Butte montana - home of the largest hole in the ground and the sketchiest nightlife around (granted I only saw it at night, and when we woke up in the morning the town was full of fog)
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
I am not a city person, but the only big cities I have actually felt the "creeps" in are Detroit and parts of San Francisco. There are small towns that just feel wrong (and a lot of those places do have KKK or militia, but so do some small towns that feel great), but that's not the same sensation to me. I try hard to be amused by the places that are all plastic and filled with chains (or where there are 1000 dwellings, all in just four plans) rather than creeped out, but I can understand how it could be creepy!
 
Messages
44
Points
2
Some creepy towns...lets see downtown Elmira, NY is empty and no pedistrians exist. Other towns that gave me the creeps are Memphis, Detroit, and Celebration, FL.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
Oh, I have another major, major creepy town:

Stockton, California.

Its been awhile (several months), but I remember an absolutely abandoned downtown building stock, including one of those classic Mission Revival railroad hotels. Its spooky to see so much adandonment. Plus, the streets just feel dark. There are overhead pedestrian walkways and tall government concrete monsters that really seem to shadow everything. Even with the new multiplex, I see downtown Stockton requiring quite a period of revival before it becomes a pleasant palce. The City is also marred by a violent gang problem and, on the other side of town, an uber-tacky megamansion suburb on the northwest side-its got the brand name golf course, the guarded gates, the whole shebang.

Parts of mid-Market Street in SF are major creepy. Before the crash, there was just the beginning of talk about revitalization/gentrification. With the crash, I don't see any change in that area for the near future. Its the kind of neighborhood where the City runs chlorine trucks down the alleys in the morning to disinfect 'em. Pretty sad area. :(
 

octa girl

Member
Messages
20
Points
2
mid-market is not a creepy area - if anything it is sad, or somewhat disheartening but not creepy. It does thrive with life - just not in the way that makes most people feel incredibly comfortable.

There is actually a major planning effort to revitalize the mid-market area - the redevelopment authority has been working on it since 1993 I think. In any case - the sf better neighborhoods program also is in the middle of a better neighborhoods planning process for the market-octavia area (hayes valley plus). so there are efforts to 'revitalize' the area. But I think the only thing that will make it seem less creepy to you is some response to the homelessness problem that dominates the area. care not cash, or what?

mid-market survey area

SPUR piece on mid-market redevelopment

chronicle article

mid market page - not too much info

I know more links than you care to look at - but I was curious to find out what was going on with the project since I last heard.
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,225
Points
25
Question for San Francisco people

[ot]If San Francisco is so expensive, why are there ghettos and why are places like The Mission full of poor Mexican immigrants?[/ot]
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
why are places like The Mission full of poor Mexican immigrants

Four familes per house. Three jobs per working adult.
Plus, many residents bought/established tenancies before the mid-90s boom skyrocketed rents from "ridiculous" to "screaming."


mid-market is not a creepy area - if anything it is sad, or somewhat disheartening but not creepy. It does thrive with life - just not in the way that makes most people feel incredibly comfortable.

I disagree. There is certainly life in Mid-Market, but there are also blocks of abandoned buildings. Too many hidden alleys with the lost living in them. Litter and garbage everywhere. To me, the feeling of Mid-Market is creepy. And, I like "urban" edge.

It is certainly sad, disheartening, and all of the adjectives that you used, but I cannot deny the creepiness factor, either. Not that I really feel endangered in Mid-Market (I am male, not usually very well dressed, and usually have my pack of dogs with me, so "danger" per se is not really the problem). But, nonetheless, my middle class sensibilities, which the whole thread of "creepiness" is at least partially based on, does feel the creepiness factor. (The other side of me finds San Ramon as "Creepy" in its own way :) )

I am aware of the neighborhood planning efforts. We'll see if they can successfully turn the neighborhood around. With 20-40% vacancy rates for commercial and office space in "better" neighborhoods, I remain skeptical. Still, they've been planning since 1993, so.... :)
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,554
Points
35
The stretch of U. S. 321 south of Columbia, South Carolina to near the Georgia state line is rather creepy. This is the most direct route to Savannah, but since the construction of I-26 and I-95, most people take that route even though it is some 25 miles longer. U. S.321 is the hypotinuse of the triangle.

The region is one of the most destitute I have ever seen. There are town names like Denmark, Sweden and Norway, but I didn't see too many residents of Scandinavian persuasion. There were lots of abandoned ranch homes, gas stations, boarded up storefront, and truck stops. Gas stations that were open were debranded and looked more like overblown cigarette outlets.

Better than driving the interstate though.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,900
Points
23
bizzo34 said:
Dryden, NY

A little village between Ithaca and Cortland. For such a small town, there are all sorts of tragedies happening there all the time. When I visit family in Elmira I drive through there. It always gives me the creeps.

You know.... I just drove through there 2 weeks ago... and I said the same thing to my passenger. You couldn't find a town that is more plain jane all-american small town. But between that guy who murdered the girl next door... and the other fellow who murdered that whole family and torched the house.. then went on a shopping spree with their credit cards throughout Upstate NY.. with his mother......... really creepy......
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
Messages
914
Points
21
Where NYC's stolen cars go to be stripped...

Adjacent to Shea stadium in Queens is a huge district of auto repair shops and junkyards. All the buildings seem to be corrugated metal sheds or rusting Butler buildings. Junked cars everywhere. The pavement of the streets seems like it was pulverized into an oily, rusty dust. Everyone looks real grungy. Lots of garish, amateurly painted signs. Like some kind of third-world industrial district. I got detoured through there while going to an interview with NYC Parks once.

That's probably the only place I've found in all of NYC that I would call creepy, and I've been through the south Bronx.

I would also have to name all the abandoned state psychiatric hospitals I've seen. Not as a patient, mind you! There is one near me, partially closed, with Olmsted-designed grounds, but it still creepy. I helped develop a NU town plan for the redevelopment of another in NJ, but the town wouldn't hear of it. So I guess it'll stay creepy.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,463
Points
25
Re: Where NYC's stolen cars go to be stripped...

boilerplater said:
I would also have to name all the abandoned state psychiatric hospitals I've seen. Not as a patient, mind you! There is one near me, partially closed, with Olmsted-designed grounds, but it still creepy. I helped develop a NU town plan for the redevelopment of another in NJ, but the town wouldn't hear of it. So I guess it'll stay creepy.

Are you talking about the Richardson Complex in Buffalo?
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
Messages
914
Points
21
No, not Buffalo.

The Olmsted-planned one is the Trenton Psychiatric hospital and the other one is the North Princeton Developmental Center, both in NJ.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,463
Points
25
boilerplater said:
No, not Buffalo.

The Olmsted-planned one is the Trenton Psychiatric hospital and the other one is the North Princeton Developmental Center, both in NJ.

Olmstead designed the landscape around the one here I believe and another park he designed is up the street and there are other ones as well throughout the city.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,431
Points
25
tsc said:
Albany, NY at night is kinda creepy... no one is there... so vacant.

you must catch it between 6:00 and 8:00 pm or when the legislature is not in session. The arena has been packing in a lot more events and then there is the bar...er...theater district that does well. it could use more bodies, but i've seen worse. the problem is there is no residential down the hill from Lark St and Center Square.
 
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