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  #61  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 5:06 AM
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The west coast is so god damn with it.
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  #62  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 4:11 PM
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It all depends on your definition of grit. If you are imagining something that looks like the South Bronx of the '70's- with lots of graffiti-covered brick, boarded-up buildings and oppressive relocation housing (urban concentration camps) for rights-demanding blacks and other poor minorities- aka 'the projects' - then you won't find that much on the West Coast - certainly not in California. First off much of our brick buildings have been felled due to poor performance in a leading earthquake. Besides it was never as prevalent as the country backeast -for houses anyway -due to the abundance of stuccoable wood. While we do have a couple of insurance company housing projects that look a little Bronx-esque they have always been market-rate.

To me there is a particular 'grit' that comes over parts of the east side of Los Angeles Co.and the older towns of San Joaquin Valley during the hot time of the year when the smog is real bad and everything and everyone looks sun-burnt-out. Poorman's stucco-ugly, dusty, rusty, graffitied, barbed-wired places. That is a particularly California grit to me.

Last edited by ozone; Apr 9, 2012 at 8:05 PM.
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  #63  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 4:14 PM
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Charleston makes some damn fine grits.
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  #64  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 5:08 PM
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Charleston makes some damn fine grits.
They use Quaker...they usually don't make their own.
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  #65  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 6:38 PM
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  #66  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2012, 9:08 PM
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Vancouver's DTES is interesting in that it is super concentrated (two blocks either way and you're in Gastown or Chinatown) and continuing to shrink with gentrification creeping in from the west. It is super gritty and can look like a zombie apocalypse at night, but not really dangerous. Walking around Tenderloin seemed way more sketchy to me, but maybe that's just because I was more familiar with the DTES.

Before the 86 World's Fair and the massive capital investments from Hong Kong in the 1990s Vancouver had some serious industrial grit along False Creek and Coal Harbour. It was the polar opposite of the sterile glass you see today and a rather amazing transformation in such a short time.
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  #67  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 1:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozone View Post
housing for uprisingy blacks and other minorities-
What exactly is that supposed to mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozone View Post
aka 'the projects' then you won't find so much on the West Coast......We do have a couple of housing projects that look a little like those in the Bronx but they have always been market-rate.
There are plenty of projects on the west coast. SF for one has dozens of them, including some that are and/or were amazingly run down and crime ridden (to the point that several years ago a few were named by the US dept. of HUD as among the worst projects in the nation). Oakland has projects too, and LA has tons as well. Many more CA cities have projects too, including Sacramento, and I know Seattle also has them. Projects on the west coast do tend to look much different than projects in the northeast though. They tend to be 1-3 stories barracks-style buildings here (similar to many projects in the south and midwest, from pics i've seen of those ones), and are often built of wood, rather than the giant brick highrises you often get in a place like NYC. And around here, newer projects tend to be cheesy-looking townhomes that at a glance look like they belong in a middle class cookie-cutter suburb. We do have tower projects too, in SF and Oakland, at least, but they're relatively small compared to many of their equivalents on the east coast it seems (the tallest ones in SF for example are/were between 10-20 stories), and many have been demolished by now anyway as towers had a tendency of becoming overrun with extra drug dealers and shady people.

And to back it up with numbers:

Public Housing units as a percentage of total housing units:

Boston - 14,000 units - 5.5% of housing units
New York - 178,554 units - 5.4% of housing units
Baltimore - 10,000 units - 3.4% of housing units
Minneapolis - 5,800 units - 3.3% of housing units
Oakland - 3,308 units - 2% of housing units
San Francisco - 6,575 units - 1.8% of housing units
Milwaukee - 4,303 units - 1.8% of housing units
Seattle - 5,200 units - 1.8% of housing units
Sacramento - 3,144 units - 1.7% of housing units
Chicago - 16,500 units - 1.4% of housing units
Detroit - 4,000 units - 1.1% of housing units
Kansas City, MO - 1,964 units - 0.9% of housing units
Houston - 4,200 units - 0.5% of housing units
Los Angeles - 9,300 units - 0.7% of housing units
San Diego - 1,800 units - 0.4% of housing units

That list is not at all complete, and represents data taken only from city housing authority websites where they actually had in depth data on how many public housing units the city had (many other city websites had no data, or combined public housing units and section 8 vouchers into one single number). That also means that the data is not necessarily all from the same year, since they all come from different sources, which is another reason why it's not the best list...but they should all be within a few years of each other, and it's the only list there is of public housing ratios, and it should give a decent idea of where those cities stand in relation to one another.

The point is, it's pretty clear that west coast cities do have plenty of projects by US standards. Not the most, but they're definitely there.
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  #68  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 3:02 AM
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I'm surprised that Chicago is so low. After NYC, Chicago always seemed to have the biggest rep for public housing, especially with the infamous Cabrini Green.
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  #69  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 3:28 AM
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Seattle probably has more non-profit housing than true public housing. The non-profits are leveraged by a publicly-voted housing levy (City of Seattle) that funds $16,000,000 per year, primarily for new construction and purchases. Thankfully the non-profits tend to do very well. Anyway, I bet the combined number is at least double the 1.8% figure.
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  #70  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 5:05 AM
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Quote:
Boston - 14,000 units - 5.5% of housing units
But...but...I thought Boston was a boutique city playground for yuppie white people?
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  #71  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2012, 6:34 AM
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@tech12 -maybe you should have read my post before critiquing it. I specifically said we didn't have public housing that looked like those in the South Bronx. The closest we come are the two market-rate projects -Parkmerced in San Francisco and Park La Brea in LA. If you have ever been to the Bronx you would instantly what I mean. Anyway my point was never about whether or not we had public housing projects on the west coast but rather it was about the archetypal image of urban grit.

As for the uprisingy blacks-- I edited it to make it a little more clear. These housing projects were never created by the will, demand or consent of the black community but rather they were schemed-up by rich white guys -namely politicians who were pressured by 'everyday folks' worried about them black people marching in the streets and demanding their rights. They along with planner-whores, union bosses and sleazy contractors took tax-dollars and set out to disrupt ..er.. I mean 'improve' the poor black communities. The war on poverty worked as well as the war on drugs. Maybe war isn't the answer.
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