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Old 11-20-2006, 09:08 PM
923 posts, read 3,512,886 times
Reputation: 207


Originally Posted by bluejeans View Post
I'm not seriously considering going near there, but I was given the following advice - don't wear gang colours, don't look lost, don't look any better off than lower-middle class. Some people say they've driven through there unwittingly and not even noticed it from any other bad part of town, many others warn about the dangers. I started a thread on a travel forum about this, and it generated a heated debate about asking if I just wanted to seem "cool" by going there. I just want to see between the lines and ask people with 1st or 2nd hand experience or stories of the area.
I understand it is a wonderfully Diverse area...One that all Americans and Especially Californians can celebrate as a "Triumph of Diversity" and as such should be celebrated!

Old 11-21-2006, 12:28 AM
Location: Southern California
38,876 posts, read 22,860,812 times
Reputation: 60057
Default Compton Shoppers

Compton is less than 10 miles west from where I live. As such, my local mall (Lakewood Center Mall), is visited frequently by Compton residents. Some shoppers were starting to feel a little uncomfortable with these "gang-banger" types coming to shop there, so the Sheriff's Department started maintaining a very visible presence by having both foot patrols and a community center inside the mall. (Car thefts are common there. The worst thing that happened there was when a man waiting for his family while inside a parked Lincoln Continental in the parking lot was shot and killed back in the mid 90s.)

With Christmas around the corner, there are going to be many more residents from Compton, Lynwood, Paramount and North Long Beach frequenting the Lakewood Center Mall. I personally don't have a problem with them whenever I go there, as long as I'm minding my own business.
Old 11-21-2006, 01:03 AM
Location: Concrete Jungle
240 posts, read 1,423,438 times
Reputation: 195
About five years ago I used to travel to Compton for business during the day time. Even during the daytime, I thought it felt scary to be there. Extreme poverty is the first thought that comes to my mind. Bars are on the windows of most houses and businesses. Well, actually, the windows have bars or are boarded up. I was naive about gangs and so did not pay attention to the color of clothing I had on. Thankfully, no one seemed to notice me there. I recall seeing as many Latinos as African-Americans while there. I thiink the demographics might be changing. My postal carrier owns a home there and he tells me that it has been a good place to raise his 5 children, but he admits that he has to be more careful taking his kids to the park than others do who live in other sections of town. So, I think there might be good and bad sections of Compton, just as with any other city. However, almost every night on TV I see a story about someone being murdered there, so I wouldn't risk living there if there was any way possible to live somewhere else. I don't think it is a good idea to visit there at night for any reason, unless you have some sort of weird death wish. Going there and wearing gang colors to attract the attention of the gangs sounds crazy to me.

Old 11-21-2006, 01:21 AM
18 posts, read 124,502 times
Reputation: 22
Well, yeah, it is as bad as you hear! Not a place for an outsider to just go cruising through.

I used to live in North Carson which touches Compton. Fact: In the 90s, the one block neighborhood where my mom still lives had a minimum of one killing per year for a 6 year time period. One year, a young man got shot in front of his home and the next year, his twin brother also got killed.

And North Carson is a "safer" (if you can call it that) community than Compton.
Old 11-21-2006, 12:00 PM
61 posts, read 290,762 times
Reputation: 46
There is good in bad in every city.Or at least in this case decent areas.Compton has very nice gated communities with newly built beautiful Single Family Homes. However there are other factors you have to consider you eventually have to leave you gates,and many areas are not safe.Parks,Grocery Stores,Clothing Stores would all be places that you establish a safe one to go to.I personally would not live in Compton.
Old 11-21-2006, 03:24 PM
18 posts, read 124,502 times
Reputation: 22
Sorry, but I've been back and forth, and through Compton since I was young in elementary school and I don't share that positive view about those gated communities or much else about Compton. (I do love the fact that the Williams sisters came from there and there's great basketball and football there -- yay Dominguez High!) There's enough thug mentality in the community that will poison any of those guarded places in time (you're talking about that area just north of Dominguez State, right?) You talk to anybody growing up in Compton --- I do mean anybody -- and I can almost guarantee you that everybody has known somebody personally who was killed violently -- probably multiple victims. Hey, it ain't pretty.

As far as crime, there are some places that you will have a hard time generalizing as having something bad (or significantly bad, anyway) that's the popular thing to say. Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes Estates for example. If you're waiting for a Columbine type shooting there, I guess it could happen, but I'd take my chances walking the mean streets of Rolling Hills (fyi, zero homicides and violent assaults per FBI statistics, each and every year at least since 2000, and likely for far longer; Compton -- errr, minimum one homicide per week).
Old 11-21-2006, 10:25 PM
358 posts, read 450,948 times
Reputation: 312
Since Compton is really dangerous, I decided to look at what homes in the city are selling for. I found many extremely dumpy houses going for 250,000 to 500,000 plus.

I know L.A. houses are pricey, but this is crazy! Who's actually buying these houses? Why would someone want to spend that kind of money to live in Compton?
Old 11-22-2006, 12:54 AM
18 posts, read 124,502 times
Reputation: 22
I know something about real estate in that area. I'm also a licensed broker and have sold a couple properties there.

Believe me, in Southern California, if you put up a for sale sign, buyers will come. There's such a shortage of homes, even with the current softening of the market. Yeah, even if the place is dangerous.

There are people who don't think they have other options elsewhere in LA. And you know what? That perception is closer to reality, for a variety of different reasons that I don't care to get into in this short space.
Old 11-22-2006, 03:01 AM
Location: 5 miles from the center of the universe-The Superstition Mountains
1,084 posts, read 5,789,127 times
Reputation: 606
My parents bought the house at 1109 S. Mayo Ave in Compton in 1949 for about $10K. We left when I was 4 years old in '59. My first memories of this planet were there. I can remember them talking about friends that owned a laundromat in Compton getting robbed a couple times in the very early sixties. I went back in 1980 to visit family in the LA area, so I had to take a trip down memory lane. Yes, it was during the day and yes, that was 1/4 century ago, but, that block was amazingly nice. The yards were manicured and it LOOKED like an average middle class neighborhood.

Compton has spent decades earning the reputation it has as a gangland battleground. But if it was possible to scrape the scum off the top of the pond, I think you'd find that there are still a few good, honest hard working people barricaded in their homes there.
Old 11-22-2006, 12:46 PM
18 posts, read 124,502 times
Reputation: 22
In a bygone era, Compton, was a wonderful place to raise a family and people were proud to be part of the community. In fact, there are quite a few notable alums from Compton College who have gone on to bigger and greater things. (There are notable denizens of the place there today, but in a different way.)

But alas, Compton succumbed to the same pattern of disintegration that is common in urban America. The decline was so obvious and so short of a period of time. You could chart the annual crime statistics, poor test scores, etc., from the early 60s to the awful condition today and it wouldn't take a genius to see it coming.

Same thing happened in South LA. Fremont High, Manual Arts High, Washington High, and quite a few others have graduated some shakers in industry and other fields. Today, it's known for Crips and Bloods. Funny how today how when a slight improvement is made in test scores in Inglewood schools, there's big noise about how there's hope after all. Hey, people, Inglewood really used to be a great city with great accomplishment and great test scores. But like everything else in urban America, the disintegration was so palpably visible.
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