WootBot


quality posts: 15 Private Messages WootBot

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Detroit gets a lot of flak in the media for being a sort of ground zero of the recession: every media outlet has at one point run a story about how it's a bombed out, abandoned, lawless city and how we should all feel terrible for the poor souls doomed to live there. Thing is, East St. Louis has been doing that stuff for damn near 50 years. And now you can catch a haunting, oddly beautiful glimpse with Doors of East St. Louis...

 

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 12.16.35 PM

 

I have a weird, unearned affinity for East St. Louis. My parents both grew up there, and to hear their stories things were already pretty bad in the '60s. I grew up just 15 miles away but in a completely different world of suburban, white bread America; and I owe my good fortune to my folks' determination to get the hell out of their hometown and find a better life. I've driven through it, both on guided tours of my parents' history with my dad and on my way to the casino parking lot to catch a MetroLink train to a hockey game. After living in Los Angeles I can honestly say I felt safer and more welcome in Compton.

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 12.16.10 PM


But East St. Louis didn't disappear once my parents left. It continues on like a bizarre zombie city, from all outside appearances completely dead but still lurching on. When I showed my mom this site her only response was, "Glad we made it out alive." But people still work there, people still have homes there, and people are still fighting to improve their community even in the face of overwhelming odds.

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 12.17.59 PM


It's easy to look at photos like these and feel sad, or grossed out, or just dismiss the whole place as a lost cause, another bombed out city. But I think these photos are really cool looking. They're well composed, which always helps, but in a weird way they're like extremely long exposures: underneath the graffiti or grime or decay, you can see the hints of the city that used to live there. You can see that parts of the city are still standing, almost defiantly. And I think that's really neat.

 

Screen shot 2011-07-27 at 12.18.54 PM

gbear711


quality posts: 1 Private Messages gbear711

Another democrat controlled city.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
gbear711 wrote:Another democrat controlled city.



Yes, that HAS to be it.

MrShake


quality posts: 0 Private Messages MrShake

So where is this 15 miles from there you grew up?

Josephus


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus
MrShake wrote:So where is this 15 miles from there you grew up?



Hamel? or Edwardsville? lots of lovely little towns on the east side of the river.

skippykj


quality posts: 16 Private Messages skippykj

I misread the tweet thinking there was a contest with a trip as a prize. Now I'm glad I didn't win a trip to East St. Louis.

hazeleyeflgal


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hazeleyeflgal

I grew up in the south side of St. Louis, so I know what you are saying. That area is still blighted. If you miss your turn off downtown, and have to turn around there, it's like going thru a war zone.

kazoovirtuoso


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kazoovirtuoso

This makes my ghetto in Louisville seem not that bad, and I live in the 14th poorest ZIP code in the country. And that means something.

Josephus


quality posts: 25 Private Messages Josephus

reminds me of portions of Chicago, south side and near west side.

llandar


quality posts: 32 Private Messages llandar
MrShake wrote:So where is this 15 miles from there you grew up?



Nice try, potential identity thief!

lewisll


quality posts: 0 Private Messages lewisll

I was born and raised in E. St. Louis Ill and lived there until I was 18 and went in the Navy. My father passed a few months ago and I went home to see him in the hospital and eventually he passed away. My Mother and Dad raised 9 childrens, some of us have degrees a couple with Masters and my neice just got her in June. None of us have ever been in trouble. I have a degree in Electronics and 2 Oracle database Certifications, I support Oracle, MSSQL, Cache and MySQL. I work for a health care organization in Washington State and the last two I have worked at they asked for me to join them. I ride a Harley 2008 Streetglide, have never had a ticket or been arrested. A rose can grow from a crack in the side walk even if it has to endure a little crap, but that is what life is sometime, you make the best of it and move on. Our parents taught us, success starts in you head and heart. If it won't kill you, it will probably make you stronger.

jeffandmonica


quality posts: 6 Private Messages jeffandmonica

Ditto for me, which probably explains my lack of empathy for those who "choose" not to get off their arse. My parents started penniless and had their first child while living in an E St. Louis garage in the late 50's. Moved to Cahokia (getting to be as bad as E. St. Louis now) until the mid-70s. All three children are now very successful, two of us millionaires, with the other not far behind.


lewisll wrote:I was born and raised in E. St. Louis Ill and lived there until I was 18 and went in the Navy. My father passed a few months ago and I went home to see him in the hospital and eventually he passed away. My Mother and Dad raised 9 childrens, some of us have degrees a couple with Masters and my neice just got her in June. None of us have ever been in trouble. I have a degree in Electronics and 2 Oracle database Certifications, I support Oracle, MSSQL, Cache and MySQL. I work for a health care organization in Washington State and the last two I have worked at they asked for me to join them. I ride a Harley 2008 Streetglide, have never had a ticket or been arrested. A rose can grow from a crack in the side walk even if it has to endure a little crap, but that is what life is sometime, you make the best of it and move on. Our parents taught us, success starts in you head and heart. If it won't kill you, it will probably make you stronger.



MrShake


quality posts: 0 Private Messages MrShake
llandar wrote:Nice try, potential identity thief!



Really?? Identify theft by knowing the hometown of a screename on the woot blog? are you joking?

I asked because I grew up in Lebanon, IL, about 15 min from E.STL