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Old 12-28-2010, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Kerkrade, Limburg, Netherlands
262 posts, read 464,462 times
Reputation: 167

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Hello there,

for a few weeks I have been reading this forum and as a European/German-Dutch person I noticed an interesting thing about Americans moving to other cities.

I saw a lot of topics with questions like:
- what are good areas?
- what are bad areas?
- where do we not have to move?
- what about robbery?
- where's there ''ghetto''?

From what I know from home, we just move to what We think is a nice place, we look for a job and we're ready. And that's mostly for everyone here. Also I can say we have some areas which I would consider ghetto, but according to a few of the ghetto threads (with pics) I have to admit that is not something I have ever seen around here. There are some areas where a lot of immigrants live, which mostly in the case of my country means the level of education is rather low, the unemployed rather big and the crime rate is high.

But at the end, I would still be able to walk around there without too much worrying about what would happen, and would even have no problem with living near there.

So my questions are:
- Like how bad are these ''bad areas''?
- Are they really a big problem in the US?
- Are these areas in like every big city?
- How come these areas do not change, or do they?

I think this is an interesting theme as I'm going to the US in the summer and was actually thinking about visiting some ghetto's, just to see them.
- Would you advice this or is it Totally impossible? I don't mind taking a bit of a risk as I always take risky vacations, however, I would mind getting a bullet in my head for just walking around in the street?

So as you see, I do not have any real idea how it is there but would be really nice if you could explain a bit.

Thanks in advance
Bram
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,668,317 times
Reputation: 4508
I'll try to answer your questions.

Quote:
- Like how bad are these ''bad areas''?
They aren't as bad as many believe. IMO, it's very unlikely that you would be killed while passing through any of these bad locations. But, if you're visiting a "ghetto" like so many people visit Europe's grand cathedrals, with camera in hand, the locals would probably find that offensive. If you look like a target or tourist, you might get robbed or assaulted.

Quote:
- Are they really a big problem in the US?
Yes. Most in the US turn their backs on areas that become bad, even though these areas often turn bad because so many people have abandoned them.

Quote:
- Are these areas in like every big city?
I can't think of a big city that doesn't have a "ghetto." Although, the "ghettos" in some cities aren't as bad as the "ghettos" of other cities.

Quote:
- How come these areas do not change, or do they?
Sometimes they do change. This is often called "gentrification."
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:27 AM
 
3,644 posts, read 9,015,596 times
Reputation: 1798
I live in a city with a lot ton of ghetto areas. It's a problem here definitely. Especially since the campus where I go to school is very close to the ghetto. Break-ins and muggings are extremely common. Most people I know have had this happen to them at least once. My brother (along with a lot of other people I know) has been held-up at gun-point in broad daylight. But we're all pretty much used to it, and it's kind of expected, sad to say. Experience has given us street-smarts. Students at my school are probably tougher and have more common-sense than the average college students. Nothing has every happened to me personally, so I often make foolish decisions like driving around the ghetto at night, getting out and talking to people that live there. I guess I have strong faith in humanity or something. Best thing to do is bring up Jesus several times in the conversation, this will guilt them (as most gangsters were raised up in church and they probably have moms who are church ladies) and they won't harm you.
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,463,501 times
Reputation: 13015
Quote:
Originally Posted by BramH View Post
From what I know from home, we just move to what We think is a nice place, we look for a job and we're ready.
I subscribe to the theory above. However, many Americans look for neighborhood first, and then job, without regard to personal commute, convenience, common sense, etc.

The "what are good/bad areas" questions are usually closely related to general consensus, and the racial, ethnic, and/or socioeconomic makeup of a neighborhood.

In my experience, a lot of times the words "safe" and "good schools" are codewords for people seeking out majority "White American" areas. This statement won't win me a lot of friends, but I stand by it.

"Ghettos" in the USA are typically majority (or plurarlity) black, Hispanic, mixed minority, or immigrant neighborhoods. Many times, neighborhoods with large populations of these kinds of folks are singled out as ghettos simply because their racial/ethnic makeup isn't "ideal".

Some "ghettos" are perfectly fine, and are nothing to worry about. Some are mostly abandoned. In others, you'll find threatening people walking up to your car door to discuss "business".

Every city has an area in which the locals will deem as "ghetto". Some of them, you have no business in visiting. Others, you'll get out fine. For instance, here in Denver, Colorado, there is nowhere where I think you'd have to fear for your life, even though some of our neighborhoods are labeled as "ghetto".

Enjoy your trip to the US. I think you'll find us to be most different.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,541 posts, read 17,778,300 times
Reputation: 30911
For many Americans, the simple presence of a grafitti covered wall or a dark skinned person in an economy car marks a 'bad' ghetto neighborhood.

There are definitely some dangerous areas in most large American cities but Americans are taught to be extremely paranoid of crime by the nightly news and the demand for false utopias is becoming an ingrained trait in the minds of many Americans.
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Kerkrade, Limburg, Netherlands
262 posts, read 464,462 times
Reputation: 167
Thanks for the answers, helps me kind of what I wanted to know.
However, if the local government notices an area will like go to the direction of a so-called area, is there nothing they can do or is it like they just dont do it or what?
From here I do know that cheap housings will always result in the same ''social class'' be grouped together in one area. That's why the cheap housings which have been built together like cheap high houses, will be demolished as soon as the middle classes leave, to avoid this sort of area-problems.

Also, I was planning to south west. That is like from San-Fransisco driving with an old truck to Dallas or New Orleans as an endpoint. Any advice of possible 'bad areas' to visit without coming across serious problems ?
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,241 posts, read 24,463,501 times
Reputation: 13015
Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
There are definitely some dangerous areas in most large American cities but Americans are taught to be extremely paranoid of crime by the nightly news and the demand for false utopias is becoming an ingrained trait in the minds of many Americans.
I wonder if the home builders' lobby has a part in this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BramH View Post
Thanks for the answers, helps me kind of what I wanted to know.
However, if the local government notices an area will like go to the direction of a so-called area, is there nothing they can do or is it like they just dont do it or what?
This is America. Many of us don't want any form of government doing anything for us (with the exception of the military). If our neighborhoods become bad, we can just move away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BramH View Post
Also, I was planning to south west. That is like from San-Fransisco driving with an old truck to Dallas or New Orleans as an endpoint. Any advice of possible 'bad areas' to visit without coming across serious problems ?
You can visit Home Gardens, CA (http://www.city-data.com/city/Home-G...alifornia.html), which is 40 miles or so SE of Los Angeles.

I grew up in this neighborhood. Signs everywhere are in Spanish (some Americans don't like living in neighborhoods where the signs aren't in English), there are young Latino gangs, graffiti, and many homes have bars on the windows. We were burglarized several times over the course of ten years. Shootings are a rare, but are an occasional occurrence.

I think you'd be fine in visiting, it's a small town inside a large urbanized area, and you can probably pickup some good Mexican food while you're there.
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Old 12-30-2010, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC NoVA
1,105 posts, read 1,950,107 times
Reputation: 775
Quote:
Originally Posted by BramH View Post
Thanks for the answers, helps me kind of what I wanted to know.
However, if the local government notices an area will like go to the direction of a so-called area, is there nothing they can do or is it like they just dont do it or what?
From here I do know that cheap housings will always result in the same ''social class'' be grouped together in one area. That's why the cheap housings which have been built together like cheap high houses, will be demolished as soon as the middle classes leave, to avoid this sort of area-problems.

Also, I was planning to south west. That is like from San-Fransisco driving with an old truck to Dallas or New Orleans as an endpoint. Any advice of possible 'bad areas' to visit without coming across serious problems ?
how bad these areas are depends on what city you're in. if you go to new orleans, that city has possibly the most dangerous neighborhoods of any developed country in the world. american cities have high murder rates for developed countries but most of it is gang violence here so you should be okay. it's mostly just gang members killing other gang members.
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Old 12-31-2010, 08:06 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,328 posts, read 19,597,329 times
Reputation: 13112
Nobody wants to live in a ghetto (even if they pretend to). Trust me on that. If given a choice, anybody would move out in a heartbeat.
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