Nominate the Armpit of America

In an article in last Sunday’s Washington Post, columnist Gene Weingarten solicits readers’ nominations for the Armpit of America.

State your case in 100 words or less. The article gives an email address, fax number and snail mail address at the end.

But of course, we want to know your vote, too!

Me, I spent a summer in Terre Haute, IN, and that’s all the evidence I needed. Nothing to do, nothing to see, hot, humid, and BORING.

Westline, Missouri was a thriving town of over five thousand people thirty miles south of Kansas City in the late 1800’s, when the railroad was laid down after the Civil War. A massive relocation left the town with only a few hundred residents after the railroad’s move five miles west in the early 1900s, and has continued its slow degradation. Currently, Westline has less than fifty residents, dozens of slowly rotting buildings, and is haven to methamphetamine factories and marijuana fields. Westline has no legitimate business and no legitimate economy. Westline also smells bad, as does its local aging pedophile.

100 words.


Las Vegas Nevada.

All glitz to those looking in from the outside and to those who only visit a certain area. The outskirts are also wealthy, full of the famous and rich that can afford to have a “winter home”. If you actually look at it though you will begin to notice every gang tag spray painted on every phone pole and blank wall, all the desperate people, all the homeless sleeping in the park median and rooting through the trash for cans, all the people hitting you up for change, all the dirtyness and sadness. Thats Vegas. Ask yourself if the casinos and the strip do anything to help that. I think you know the answer.

I’ve got two:

Avondale, Arizona

It pains me that this is one of the faster growing communties in the greater Phoenix area. To sum up; the entire plot of land the town sits on used to be entirely farm land and cattle pastures. Now, $120K houses are going up everywhere, along with shopping centers and the like. The only problem? The farms and cows are still everywhere that the housing companies haven’t reached yet, therefore: Avondale smells like the armpit of America. Everyone knows to roll up their car windows prior to entering, and not to stay for very long. It blows my mind that people can get used to the smell of methane…I guess anyone could for $120K.

Blythe, California.

Enough said. But to add insult to injury…they somehow manage to charge about a dollar more for a gallon of gas than the gas stations right across the Arizona line.

If these cities have one redeeming factor…both have IN-N-OUT Burgers.

I could go on…but I’ll stop for now.

[Blatant Hijack]
Hey is that the same Gene Weingarten who is a close friend of humor god Dave Barry?

[Chris Farley]That would be awesome…[/Chris Farley][/Blatant Hijack]

Youngstown once boasted the third-largest complex of steel mills in the United States. Its citizens now enjoy an income 35% below the national median and a poverty rate of 53%.

Google results:

+youngstown +poverty 2690 hits
+youngstown +crime 7170 hits
+youngstown +armpit 95 hits
+youngstown +hellhole 11 hits

We’re talking a city of only 82,000, folks - that’s smaller than Parma. This is the city that elects James Traficant to Congress. You can buy a two-story house there for sixty-eight hundred dollars. Sheriff went to jail for racketeering and extortion. Youngstown is so bad, Bruce Springsteen wrote a song about it.

100 words.

“Currently, Westline has less than fifty residents, dozens of slowly rotting buildings, and is haven to methamphetamine factories and marijuana fields.”

Hmm, sounds like a fun place to me. :wink:

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Headquarters of RJReynolds Tobacco. For a few days a couple of times a year, the entire downtown smells like a freshly-unwrapped pack of cigarettes.

Town motto: “Shirt and shoes optional, smoking required.”

Tallest building looks like a dildo.

I have 2 potentials:

Pascagoula, Mississippi
There is nothing to do there(you have to drive over to Biloxi/Gulfport for casinos, and if you’re not into those, then too bad) and the town stinks, especially in the summer. This is due to the papermills around, I believe, but this smell hangs over the town like the plague.

And, Lyons, Georgia. I’ve had the unfortunate delight of spending 3 weeks there in the last year. This is a town where the only thing to do in the evening is go to the new super wal-mart. And if you’ve seen one wal-mart, you’ve seen them all.

and I have to go back there in October shudder

I’ve thought of one, but I don’t wanna get banned. :wink:

Gary, Indiana.
Actually, this may be more like the sphincter-crust of America.

Los Hideous. I mean Los Angeles.

My god. I hate it here.

Pine Bluff, Arkansas which is located an hour south west of Little Rock. It is almost impossible to find a decent place to eat. In fact the best place to eat in town is at a restaurant in the mall called Garfield’s. Dine in restaurants have a habit of being unable to stay in business.

There aren’t any good places to go shopping. The mall I mentioned doesn’t have many good stores and those that do don’t have what I want. I can’t buy the latest computer games, role playing games, or find a decent selection of DVDs without driving all the way to Little Rock.

There are very few good jobs here. But on the bright side if you get a high paying job you can really take advantage of all the low priced housing.

And finally there are a series of road signs that say “What’s cooking in your neighborhood? Report any methamphetimine labs at this toll free number and get a reward.”

Florida, why thats America’s Wang. - Homer Simpson

Gotcha’ beat, City Gent. El Paso, Texas – the one and true armpit of the United States.

+el paso +poverty 11000 hits
+el paso +crime 25100 hits
+el paso +armpit 208 hits
+el paso +hellhole 104 hits

El Paso is where billboards go to die – you’ll see more billboards in El Paso than in any other city in the United States. No landscaping. Outrageously high poverty rate – it’s one of the poorest metropolitan areas in the United States. Car thefts are a regular feature of television news, just as the weather is, with newscasts displaying “top 10” lists of the most stolen cars for the previou week, and maps braking down car thefts by neighborhood. Choking air pollution, partly because of temperature inversions in the valley, partly because folks in Juarez, across the drainage ditch called the Rio Grande, burn tires for heat during the winter. You’ll also find a disporportionately large number of truckstops, unlicensed motorists, high-rise signs, and television commercials for secured credit cards and drug rehab clinics.

Using the term “armpit” for such classics as Buffalo and Detroit gets a false high score, because of the presence of professional sports (“Buffalo Bills QB grabbed in the armpit”; etc) and large number of research hospitals (i.e. “Cleveland Clinic studying armpit disorder”) in those cities.

Lima, Ohio, and you don’t even have to slow down the car for it. They have a Cooper Tire factory and a Heinz ketchup factory there. On a sultry summer night, the scents of the boiling tomatoes and hot rubber blend in a simply indescribable way.

San Angelo Texas

First off, unless things have changed, it’s in a dry county. That in itself is bad enough. Add to that the fact that the only thing to do there is visit one of about 200 terrible restaurants or go to the mall, and you have the makings of a true armpit.

While I am at it, I would like to nominate Naples Italy as the armpit of the world. It’s only redeeming point is the fact that my eldest son was born there.

Any place in the Oklahoma panhandle.

They get the worst of the heat, the worst of the winter and more tornados come through there than make it to Tornado Alley.

They have the highest incidence of teenage pregnancy in the state. One of the probable reasons given in a state wide study that was discussed in one of my classes is that there’s nothing else to do but screw around and their schools teach absteninace as pretty much the only form of birth control*.

(*Not that that’s limited to the Panhandle of Oklahoma, but in conjuction with boredom, it’s bad.)

Gary, Indiana.

Industrial hellpit. Wasted, rotting, industrial hellpit.

(And I come from Flint MI, which was featured as a challenge on a Sim City game. I kinda like Flint. I try to hide under the car seat driving through Gary.)

Washington, D.C.?