Strangest/Most Unusual City

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    Dec 21, 2010 2:47 PM GMT
    What is the strangest/most unusual city you've been to? For me it would have to be, hands down, Detroit. The utter desolation, unusually wide streets, below-grade freeways, abandoned buildings, urban prairies, and wild animals roaming the streets, and the infamous 8 Mile Road, among others, all come together to create some other-worldly city unlike anything ever seen.

    Feel free to post some pics as well.

    Michigan Central Station (At West Vernor Highway and Michigan Avenue)
    detroit.jpg

    GM Headquarters and abandoned buildings (Taken near the intersection of East Jefferson Avenue and Riopelle Street)
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    An urban prairie on Saint Cyril Street (near the intersection of Van Dyke Avenue and I-94) in inner Detroit
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    Wild dogs at an abandoned factory
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    The abandoned Packard factory on the, at one time grand, Grand Boulevard
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    One of the many below-grade freeways that characterize Detroit. This is I-696 which is affectionately referred to as 'The Autobahn' given that people tend to do well over the speed limit.
    The interchange with Woodward Avenue is one of the most unusual I've ever seen. One the top level are the local lanes for Woodward Avenue, 10 Mile Road (which serves as the service road for I-696); the middle level is I-696; and the bottom level are the express lanes for Woodward Avenue.
    i-696_eb_exit_014_01.jpg
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    Dec 22, 2010 9:45 AM GMT
    Ahhh that's awesome. I wanna visit Detroit now. Seems to be the biggest semi-ghost town. They used to think it was going to be the next New York at some point. That is until White flight lol.
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    Dec 22, 2010 10:07 AM GMT
    Thats my dad's and grandparents' home town.. yup, Im from the Detroit stock by root
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    Dec 22, 2010 1:50 PM GMT
    Savannah's gotta be it.... BEAUTIFUL place, but strange peeps... (I love it there, though...) icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 22, 2010 4:00 PM GMT
    Those pics of Detroit look cool. It almost makes me want to visit, especially at night. It'll be like a scene from Silent Hill.
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    Dec 22, 2010 4:13 PM GMT
    Vancouverite2004 saidThose pics of Detroit look cool. It almost makes me want to visit, especially at night. It'll be like a scene from Silent Hill.


    It really is a very cool city. Detroit has a lot going for it but it has fallen on VERY hard times. The city really does look like a scene from 'Silent Hill' and is perhaps the 'Athens of America' in many ways.

    Another image of the abandoned Packard factory on East Grand Boulevard near I-94
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    detroit_ruins.jpg

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    Taken around the intersection of 14th Street and Temple Street just outside of downtown
    2008-12-27_detroit1.jpg
  • Nayro

    Posts: 1825

    Dec 23, 2010 12:23 AM GMT
    Las_Vegas.jpg

    seriously, a rollercoaster through the city? A small eiffel tower? Little venice? Can it be any stranger?

    Super cool city though!! I loved it!
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    Dec 23, 2010 4:53 AM GMT
    Tokyo, hands down.

    It’s like being in a bizarre alternate universe. It’s like being in one of those Star Trek episodes where everybody on the planet worships some weird old comic book left behind by a crew of space junkmen.

    It’s been 20 years since I visited, but I doubt its gotten any less strange. This is what I saw:

    In department stores, they employ pretty young girls whose sole purpose is to bow to everyone coming on and off the escalators.

    20081022_escalator-girls.jpg


    In the subways, they employ men in white gloves to physically jam people into the cars – because the Japanese are much too polite to squash up against each other of their own accord, but with a little nudge from a man in uniform it suddenly becomes socially acceptable to pack in like sardines.




    In the Ginza, a single canteloupe in a fancy gift box can sell for as much as $250 – it’s considered a very desirable gift.

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    Proof that we don’t have a monopoly on bastardizing our own sacred culture for the sake of a little profit: the Zen Mall, a collection of very un-Zen clothing stores in the Shibuya district (here’s a pic from their website).

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    Since most people live with their parents until they marry, there’s a whole industry of “Love Hotels” that charge hourly rates for couples needing a place to hook up. They’re ridiculously gaudy outside; the rooms inside are full of mirrors and Day-Glo colors and cheesy furnishings, and sometimes bondage gear or odd fetish themes – but somehow they’re considered romantic, instead of tacky.

    10949346_3b22f7ed05_m.jpg


    But the thing that really got me was the statue.

    In a public square in a western suburb, there was a statue of a naked Marilyn Monroe, wrestling a sumo. Allegedly it started out as part of an advertising display for a noodle company (?!?) but the locals liked it so much they decided to keep it as public art. I wish I had a picture of it; unfortunately, my camera crapped out and I got no photos at all from the entire trip.


    Hmm. Maybe the whole thing was just an odd, elaborate dream. Maybe I was in Kansas all along...