Thursday, September 20, 2007

Surprised at slums in North America?

Lately I have been getting many e-mails from people in different parts of Europe and Asia, outside the US. that are shocked at these images on this blog. People are saying such things as

"I cant believe that there is really a ghetto in America because America is a rich country..and i always dream of going there too, that's why I'm very shocked."

And so forth, this got me thinking. Does most of the rest of the world think that North America is a rich country where we all sit around in leather couches, eating expensive food, counting our gold while lighting our cigars with 100 dollar bills? If you think that way you are completely wrong.


Blogger Timothy B. Hurst said...

Very disturbing but critically important collection of photos. More Americans need to see these. Keep up the good work.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well North America is not a country; and, within North America, Canada certainly does not share in such urban ills as experienced in the US.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the past post is not nessarily true.

Most canadian cities in Western Canada are very american 'ghetto' like.

Look at :

Edmonton - Alberta
Red Deer-Alberta
Winnipeg -Manitoba

For example look up McLeans Magazine Canada's most Dangerous cities.

Did you know that in Winnipeg that auto theft is 500% higher than the Canadian average. Also that in Winnipeg you are more likely to get your car stolen than any other city in the North America!!!!!!

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With regard to the comment above that most cities in Western Canada are "american (sic) 'ghetto' like"...

Complete and utter hogwash: the worst neighbourhoods in large Canadian cities aren't anywhere near as bad as the squalor one finds in large U.S. cities.

I live in Montreal and the worst areas of Montreal would be semi-respectable areas in many of the American cesspools I travel to regularly (Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, Cincinnati, Columbus, Memphis).

8:57 PM  
Blogger Serg said...

Guys all cities in Russia (except Moscow maybe) are worse of your US ghettos... Here is shit everywhere even in downtown

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, this problem is actually way wider than one might think. People in general have very poor understanding of how other countries operate, so to say; what are - relatively objective - good and bad sides of living there, etc.

Almost no one in the USA seems to have any idea what is it really like in Russia, in Italy, in Germany, etc.

1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there are some very depressed parts of Canada - Vancouver's east side is about the saddest place i've ever been.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After hurricane Katrina nobody outside of the US is surprised by these slums. I think Katrina was an eye opener for many people that knew the USA only from glamorized Hollywood movies.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Regarding the banter back and fourth about USA vs Canada, I'm not sure what the situation is in Canada, but I can tell you from personal experience that it is SO easy to move up from poverty in the United States if you are even slightly ambitious. I grew up in a trailer park and now own a small business and a nice home and 2 nice cars. The kid in the trailer across the street from us pulled a junked Lawn-Boy out of someone's trash, put a new spark plug in it, bought a rusted-out hatchback for $500 and started a mowing business. Now, he makes $75k/yr working April-October. He's a lazy dipshit. His wife(who is a bimbo) makes $60k/yr cutting hair. In the United States, such stories are as common as corn in Nebraska. My point??? I firmly believe that about 95% of the poor in the United States DESERVE to be poor. They are mostly lazy bums who sit around all day watching network TV thinking that the world owes them a living, that "America is racist" so there's no way they can get ever ahead, etc etc... Of course, I truly feel for the other 5%, but as for the other 95% I believe we should help the helpless but not the clueless. The USA is the greatest country on earth in my admittedly biased opinion. But we have yet to discover a cure for laziness and bad attitudes.

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

On a side note...many of the aforementioned people are also the same ones who think that "George Bush ruined our economy" and that "Obama is going to save us". These dolts were poor before Bush was president and will be just as poor when Obama is gone. OK, no more from me I promise. It's almost 2am and I have to work tomorrow! Peace.

PS: I almost forgot...nice pictures!

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are neighborhoods immune to improvement in that "Society" can dump an endless amount of money in but a certain percentage of individuals will see to it that nothing improves.

And who said everyone in the US is rich or is entitled to live in a high standard off other people's dimes?

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Chloe said...

Mike, just because you found it SO easy to move up from poverty, doesn't mean everyone will have the same experience, and that if they don't, it's their fault. Your experience is not universal.

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Tanzania and people in American should realize how lucky they are. Most people have the opportunity to turn their lives around, not everyone takes that opportunity. In Tanzania, most don't even know the definition of opportunity, heck, most know they can't do anything. But what I love about this country is that, you may not be able to control your financial status, but you can control your happiness. The poorest in Tanzania could be as happy as the richest in U.S.A. Yes, there is some horrible things happening in the slums: Starvation, HIV/AIDS, Lack of water etc. But once you have the basic things, you're surviving, there's no need to demand more. The world needs to appreciate the things they have, rather then sit there and moan about the things they WISHED they had.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All cities are works in progress. some areas are built up and new and some are declining. This will go on till the end of time.

Since WWI the NE of US has gone from a heavy manufacturing economy to a service/information economy. This has essentially destroyed the economic relevance of numerous places and the result is relative economic decline.

In the US unlike Europe the poor areas are in the center of the city. In Europe the 'projects' are in the subburbs.

In the long term a city such as Philly will become an even richer place. There is a human vibrancy and history through large swaths of the city that just doesnt occur in the burbs and car oriented places.

It is not, has never been and will never be perfect
There are thousands of people striving to make it better place.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have no idea what real poverty looks like. Look at the slums of India, Asia and Africa, only fit for cockroaches to live in.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

type plattenbau in google pictures and see what life in germany and europe is like

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did some moron actually mention Germany, Italy and Russia? I have been to all 3 and all 3 are way nicer and wealthier than any place within the USA. Obviously the American is an idiot, Germany does not have the level of poverty we have in the USA and Italy does not either, and Russia is the wealthiest nation in the world, AlSO more people immigrate to the European Union & Russia than anywhere in the world. Americans are the dumbest idiots in the world, they don't realize the USA is the biggest slum, and not even close to the 1st world. Go to Germany, and you'd be surprised at how diverse and wealthy EVERYONE is!

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^Alright, so much wrong with what you just said, I'm going to need a numbered list.
1) Source for the whole 'Russia is the wealthiest nation in the world' bit?

2) Percent of people below the poverty line in:
Germany= 15.5%
Italy= 19.6%
U.S. =15.1%

3)If you think the U.S. is 'not even close to the 1st world', you obviously don't know what the first world is.
According to Wikipedia (which is a reliable source),"In contemporary society, the First World is viewed as countries who have the most advanced economies, the greatest influence, the highest standards of living, and the greatest technology." under which definition the U.S. definitely applies.
4) I know nobody will probably see this, I just wanted you to know you're wrong.
That's all.
Also, nice photos!

6:05 PM  
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7:39 AM  
Anonymous Kim Mitchell said...

Americans who don't think Canada suffers from extreme poverty have never visited (most of) Winnipeg, (parts of north and central) Edmonton or (downtown eastside) Vancouver. Winnipeg especially is probably worse than most American cities. There are constant stabbings and shootings, gangs in every high school and throughout most of the city, and seeing people with scarred and messed up faces is common due to the level of violence. It, and the neighborhoods collectively called Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, and parts of the north side of Edmonton are completely gang infested; native and black gangs are fighting each other in the slums and the bikers, mafia and the Asian gangs control the upper levels of the underworld. When you take a walk down the street and see needles, burned out or abandoned houses and empty lots filled with trash, abandoned cars, gang members and gang graffiti, not unlike the images on this site, you could very well be in any of those places. I can't speak for Eastern Canada, but I have heard that Halifax, Toronto and Montreal are not immune to such ills.

Whether you realize it or not, North America in general is dying slowly, every empire has it's time. Modern Asia is probably next to have their time to shine, and we are unfortunately likely to only go downhill from here.

12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my opinion north america isn't such as rich and safe place as it might seem to other people around the world! Poverty, abus, gun crime, rape, etc.! Even though we might look like a safe continent, the reality of it all is that there is tragedies every where! There's no escaping it! Even in Canada there are mafias, ghettos, etc!

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I've since moved, I grew up and was raised in Edmonton, and I lived there through my university years.
With respect to Canada, I agree that (certain parts of) Edmonton, East Side Vancouver (East Hastings) and some parts of Toronto should be on this list, however based on my travels, I don't feel they compare at all to some American locales (among the places I've been to and have witnessed - East St. Louis, Detroit, Gary (Indiana), Newark (New Jersey), Baltimore

9:38 AM  

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