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  1.  (6477.21)

    I'll definitely have to make an effort to steer a road trip in the direction of one of those towns now that I know where they are. Thanks.
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2009
    There's a town that's not quite abandoned but pretty damned close called Soldier Kentucky...
    it's located very close to the infamous haunted Mushroom Mines...(which were purchased a couple years back by an Information Storage company...)

    they say there's eleven thousand people there but I don't know how...
    it's nothing but one road and maybe a couple street lights.

    I got lost there one night with a couple of girls and we felt a distinct Deliverance type aura...
    I wanted to post pictures, but this town doesn't have any.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2009
    @Icelandbob- so in a country with a population of a few hundred thousand, virtually no immigration and a low birth rate, who exactly was expected to buy all those apartments even before the economic bust?
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2009 edited

    Well the answer is pretty long detailed, and would probably depress you greatly. But essentially Icelanders "Love to take risks" if it gets them rich quickly. Plus there wasn´t really a lot of thought into if so many new flats were actually needed. At the time there was just the thought that if it was built, then they could sell for massive profits and go and spend the money on Range rovers and Porsche Cayennes. Naturally when the banks went tits up, the companies lost their flows of easy cash and buyers found they couldn´t sell their existing properties or get loans to buy new ones...

    I would recommend spending an afternoon reading back entries in Economic Disaster Area and the Iceland Weather Report for more details into how everything in Iceland turned into a massiv clusterfuck.
  2.  (6477.25)
    In the US (perhaps more; I don't know their distribution) the History Channel has been running a series called "Life After People" which is about this sort of thing. The idea is to examine what would happen to the world if all the humans disappeared. I've only seen a little, but my wife really enjoys it, and she's smarter than I am, so there must be something entertaining to it.
  3.  (6477.26)
    @ Pooka:

    Soldier, Kentucky eh? Old mining town? Groovy.
    Looks like it's just off I-64 somewhere east of Mount Sterling.
    Depending on weather and curiosity, that's along one of the two routes i take when i drive home to the bluegrass.

    If i got that way this next time, I'll check it out. I still need to stop by and check out Centralia, PA soon.
    When I still lived in KY, I remember driving through various old small town communities that appeared to have had a strong beginning at some point and then suddenly died, leaving behind a few families that stuck around to farm or run the local general store type of thing.
    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2009
    it's grocery store, is it's post office...and unless they've fixed it since that distant three a.m. drive through, it really should be condemned...
    as should most of the houses on the street...
    I've heard if you go back a little ways from the road, there's houses covered in animal furs...

    You wanna scary place though...try Hazard kentucky...there's burned out school buses in people's yards...and the city doesn't care...they have animal furs too...only some of them look like dogs and cats...
    you'll get shot at if you go ex girlfriend was a native...
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2009
    more pics from Iceland

    Julia Staples is a photgrapher Living in Reykjavik and she created a art work called Free market about the Contruction of Iceland and the crash. Her intro..
    The disparity between the rich and the poor was one of the initial subjects of my work. As the country expanded and gained wealth, the neighborhoods which were built in the 1950’s to house the poor were forgotten about. Though barely true, they have become known as the “ghettos” of Iceland, housing mostly immigrants now. These neighborhoods are reminiscent of the treatment of poor communities in America. The neglect towards these districts is possibly a denial of the hardship that this nation experienced as recently as a few decades earlier. Since there is a lack of interest in maintenance of these areas, the neighborhoods take on a unique style which breaks free from the trends of the times.

    It´s interesting as i live right by where most of these photos were taken. It´s an ode to souless concrete..
    Some pics...

    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2009
    New houses sitting empty.

    People living in slums.

    You know I can't help thinking these two problems might have a single solution.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2009
    @ Kosomopolit

    Oh you would think that there would be a proper solution. But this is Iceland. the normal rules odn´t apply. I mean how are the developers going to get rich if you just assign poor people to live in them (none of the new properties that have been developed have been by the state, and they don´t have any money to buy them off the developers anyway. the developers would still demand a high price so that they would make a profit off it)
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2009
    @Kosmopolit - Ah, but not one that makes people money. Blood from a rock, and all that.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2009
    Not far from where I work, there's a car dealership that's been abandoned. (Once I've a proper camera, I'll post pics.) It's ... eerie, KNOWING it USED TO BE something and is now literally a shell of its former self.

    There's also a place that looks like it's been bombed, down the street. And a Coptic church with a pharmacy/walk-in clinic attached to it.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2009
    At this point I'd imagine most of those buildings are owned by the banks and as I understand it the banks are all bankrupt and owned by the state.
    • CommentAuthoricelandbob
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2009

    At the moment they are still trying to sort everything out. This is a fairly good article about the mess of ther banks at the moment. The problem is that the banks don´t seem to own these properties at all. I´m looking into it, but essentially, these places will just lie fallow until someone moves in, or they will be demolished. Either way it´s all complex and a mess
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2009 edited
    I highly suggest googling "Involuntary Park" if you like this kind of stuff. Places where politics or economy or technology have failed and the result is areas going feral. Chernobyl and the Korean DMZ are really great examples.

    @icelandbob, the situation you describe in Iceland is very similar to what happened in Thailand. The legal mess is so bad that it's easier to just build a new resort than to fix up the nearly finished ones. One of the places I saw had squatters in it who seemed to be working on the construction of a new resort next door.
    • CommentAuthoratavistian
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2009
    There was an article in the Wall Street Journal a few months back about the spate of partly-finished housing developments being razed because they would cost more to complete than they would be worth on the market (something that reminded me of the Vietnam war line of "it became necessary to destroy [Ben Tre] in order to save it", which promptly spawned a longwinded and rambling blogpost). One of the specific developments bulldozed was done so, in addition to the cost-to-finish angle, precisely because it was going wild. The complex was battling squatters, drug users, vandals, graffiti, elemental damage, and mounting fines due to ongoing code violations due to their unfinished nature. These weren't in the city, either; these were in posh, upper-crust neighborhoods, so you can imagine that the neighbors saw their property values going down and had the code enforcement division out quicker than some urban areas can get a fire truck. All in all, the WSJ story was interesting.