852 Commerce Ave, Cairo, Illinois

Plug that address into Google Street View. Look around.

WAAA! How’d you like to live in that town, eh? Bet housing’s cheap.

Looks like a nice quiet neighborhood. And no bodies anywhere.

Cairo, pronounced KAY-ro, is a very special place. The last job left the area 80 years ago. The people didn’t.

If you click the “User Photos” link that comes up in the top right-hand corner, there are some nice photographs of the abandoned buildings. Creepy, and a little sad. (I mean, the buildings themselves are creepy/sad; not the fact that someone chose to photograph them.)

Can you commute from there to anywhere there might be a job? Using Google maps quickly, I see it looks to be about an hour away from SE Missouri State U. in Cape Girardeau. Anything closer?

Pretty effin’ bleak. Looks like a shot straight out of a Bogdonavitch film. So… what brought you to that particular address? Is this a place you became aware of IRL?

I’d agree that rents would probably be a tad on the ‘depressed’ side.

I’d read about Cairo having racial tensions so bad in the late sixties and early seventies that it almost boiled over into full-scale war; a years-long black boycott drove most of the downtown stores out of business and anyone who was looking forward to any kind of a future left the place. I’d seen photos of the commercial strip in 1969 and was curious to see what it looked like nowadays.

Ah, Little Egypt. My Dad’s family is from Marion. It’s a little nicer, but not much. And it has a maximum security prison…so, uh, there’s that.

And they all pronounce it “CARE-o” not “KAY-ro.”

I thought I remembered something about that being a problem city due to the rivers and flooding.

On the plus side, real estate is pretty cheap.

Carbondale is the key town in the south part of Illinois. It is home to the University of Southern Illinois. Metropolis is the nearest town to Cairo that has a hospital and any decent services.

You would think being at the junction of two major rivers, the Ohio and Mississippi, Cairo would’ve developed into some kind of a decent sized port, but that never happened.

Took a walk down Commerce with street view: Ugh.

Interesting to see brick streets with streetcar tracks still in some places.

I plugged in the address, and my thought process went as such as I turned around in a circle in Street View. “Meh, dilapidated building. Wow, there’s lots of those. Hey this one loHOLY SHIT THE FACE IS GONE!” And there’s trees growing out of the building!

It could be worse. If this were the Capitol Wasteland it would be positively civilized!

Notice there are also no streetlights. Plenty scary after dark even without radscorpions or supermutants.

I wonder if there’s anyone you could talk to about renting out the town. Maybe a thousand people could pool their money and have a reenactment of the Red Army taking Berlin with paintball guns.

My mom and grandmother were both born in Cairo. Mom says during the race riots she could go outside to the backyard and smell the smoke floating over from Cairo. (She lived just across the river, in western Kentucky.)

Yeah. Cairo’s a dump. When I was in high school I had a couple of classmates who lived there - their parents paid to send them across the river to my high school because the schools in the Cairo area were so dangerous. I always thought it was strange that a public high school would charge tuition for out-of-state students but apparently that’s how Kentucky rolled in the 90’s.

You would just presume that a huge city would grow at the river junction. You would just be wrong.

That would be Southern Illinois University.

Once the paddleboat industry picks up again, so will Cairo.

A bunch of photos I took in Cairo about a year and a half ago.
Cairo riot photos. (Not my post.)

Believe it or not, there is a good neighborhood in Cairo: the Washington Boulevard district. Scroll to the bottom to see photos of houses in that area.

My dogs exploring Cairo.