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Old 06-29-2017, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
425 posts, read 294,378 times
Reputation: 732

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You will surely find poverty in the Appalachian foothills of Eastern Kentucky. You mentioned Beattyville, which is South of the Mountain Parkway. That area of Kentucky is very remote and has a drug epidemic as well as limited economic activity, so poverty is a major concern. Middlesboro, KY in Bell County is another area that has some of the worst poverty in the United States.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:44 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,823 posts, read 12,330,814 times
Reputation: 4769
Shreveport, Columbia, Greenville, and Little Rock should count as a non-cosmopolitan Southern cities though they're still quite nice places. For true rural poverty, southern West Virginia is doing quite bad unfortunately. Urban poverty in the South seems less bad than the Northeast and Midwest. New Orleans has some rough neighborhoods, but for true urban decay there's nothing in the South like what you see in Chicago, Detroit, Gary IN, or Philadelphia. Unless you count Baltimore as part of the south in which case it would be the most decayed, impoverished urban environment in the South. New Orleans is quite wealthy and genteel in many parts of town in a way that Baltimore doesn't compare with.

Charleston, Savannah and parts of New Orleans are the classic Old South plus the Louisiana and SC plantation country. You can visit the plantations outside New Orleans and Baton Rouge and they will evoke the gentility and grace of the old days. A "New South" city would be Charlotte, Atlanta or Houston though New South really just means anywhere USA.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:49 PM
 
305 posts, read 238,341 times
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Birmingham is not poverty stricken, it's a mid-major tier city in the South. It just doesn't get a lot of tourism. Atlanta pretty much cannibalizes Birmingham because of it close proximity. Smaller, more rural towns in South Alabama, parts of South Carolina, parts of Louisiana and most of Mississippi would be better examples. Basically look up the poorest states by GDP and pick any decent size town and that would fit the bill.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Nashville TN, Cincinnati, OH
1,798 posts, read 1,163,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homenj View Post
Thanks for the replies. I just figured Birmingham was more cosmopolitan because I thought it has more name recognition. Someone mentioned Charleston has a Southern feel to it. I know it is touristy but I don't care if it is touristy as long as it has a Southern feel to it. Plus my sister has been and she really likes it. The reason why I wanted to go to Eastern Kentucky was because I read in an article that six out of the ten most disadvantaged counties are here. Also, it has Beattyville, the poorest white town. I don't know if maybe I should just go to Charleston just to get a taste of Southern culture then go to Eastern Kentucky or some other rural area in the South at a later time.
Trust me you do not want to go to those places in Eastern Kentucky, nothing of note to see.
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:20 AM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,498 posts, read 14,325,180 times
Reputation: 23299
Kill two birds with one stone and go to Memphis. Drive around Graceland, Orange Mound, or Frayser if you want a look at southern poverty.
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...94506824609374
( http://www.city-data.com/forum/10918791-post1.html )
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Old 06-30-2017, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
683 posts, read 733,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
Shreveport, Columbia, Greenville, and Little Rock should count as a non-cosmopolitan Southern cities though they're still quite nice places. For true rural poverty, southern West Virginia is doing quite bad unfortunately. Urban poverty in the South seems less bad than the Northeast and Midwest. New Orleans has some rough neighborhoods, but for true urban decay there's nothing in the South like what you see in Chicago, Detroit, Gary IN, or Philadelphia. Unless you count Baltimore as part of the south in which case it would be the most decayed, impoverished urban environment in the South. New Orleans is quite wealthy and genteel in many parts of town in a way that Baltimore doesn't compare with.
It feels like Baltimore has more wealthy areas than New Orleans based on density alone. As a result it does have a high more bad areas too.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:41 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,094 posts, read 35,044,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacanegro View Post
Yep - Birmingham is very southern - anything in western Carolina (except Asheville) , anything in Mississippi, try border towns between GA, AL, NC and Tennessee.
Hate to tell you, but western North Carolina is a hotbed of affluent tourists, retirees and second-homeowners. It's hardly representative of the impoverished rural South.

I would say the Mississippi Delta region. There's a reason the "Blues" were invented there.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:47 AM
 
Location: West Tennessee
2,082 posts, read 2,900,302 times
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You could skip Eastern KY altogether & go through the Ozarks & Mississippi Delta instead. They border each other in some spots & would give you exposure to poverty in the upland & lowland south. You could also hit Memphis on this trip too.

Upland would be southern Missouri & Northern Arkansas. Lowland would be the Missouri Bootheel, Eastern Arkansas, West Tennessee & the delta region of Mississippi.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:49 AM
 
5,465 posts, read 2,303,735 times
Reputation: 16459
Quote:
Originally Posted by homenj View Post
Thanks for the replies. I just figured Birmingham was more cosmopolitan because I thought it has more name recognition. Someone mentioned Charleston has a Southern feel to it. I know it is touristy but I don't care if it is touristy as long as it has a Southern feel to it. Plus my sister has been and she really likes it. The reason why I wanted to go to Eastern Kentucky was because I read in an article that six out of the ten most disadvantaged counties are here. Also, it has Beattyville, the poorest white town. I don't know if maybe I should just go to Charleston just to get a taste of Southern culture then go to Eastern Kentucky or some other rural area in the South at a later time.
Well, the South has a lot to offer in terms of different cultural experiences. And a lot of places you mention could provide a rewarding visit.

But excuse me if I think your motivations are a little odd. Are you going to poor towns to be a voyeur? I mean, you can find backwoods places in Pennsylvania and upstate New York that have as much poverty as Alabama and Kentucky.

Birmingham is a nice place, by the way. Sure it has bad areas, like any larger city, but it also has a lot of great amenities, terrific restaurants, and plenty to see and do. But I wouldn't use the word 'cosmopolitan' to describe it.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:57 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,094 posts, read 35,044,432 times
Reputation: 15267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lennox 70 View Post
Urban poverty in the South seems less bad than the Northeast and Midwest. New Orleans has some rough neighborhoods, but for true urban decay there's nothing in the South like what you see in Chicago, Detroit, Gary IN, or Philadelphia. Unless you count Baltimore as part of the south in which case it would be the most decayed, impoverished urban environment in the South. New Orleans is quite wealthy and genteel in many parts of town in a way that Baltimore doesn't compare with.
Three words. Upper...Ninth...Ward.

New Orleans' Upper 9th Ward Resembles A Zombie Apocalypse | HuffPost
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