The South Side of Chicago has a (well-deserved) reputation for being the “bad” part of town, as do South-Central Los Angeles, west Philadelphia, etc. What are the “bad” parts of London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Buenos Aires, etc.? And for that matter, what (geographically speaking) are the high-end parts?
There isn’t really any “bad part” in Paris proper. Like in most other European cities, affluent people tend to gather in the down-town, and “bad neighbourhoods” tend to be situated in the suburbs.
Besides, Paris has the peculiarity, contrarily to many other cities, to be still contained within the limits of its 19th century walls (walls that don’t exist anymore, of course). There’s no “greater Paris” like there is in London. When you cross the limit, you end up in another “independent” municipality. Note that even though you won’t see much difference crossing it, there’s a strongly ingrained perception that Paris proper and the so-called “banlieue” aren’t the same thing at all.
However, generally speaking, the most popular districts are situated in the north-eastern part of the city, the most upscale in the center and west of Paris. Still, that’s relative. There are many more immigrants in the popular areas, rent and real estate prices are lower, but you’ll still have a hard time living there if you’re really poor (apart from some housing projects), and there aren’t any ghettos or areas where it would be dangerous to walk around, even at night (not to say there isn’t any way you could be assaulted in Paris, but there aren’t specifically unsafe areas).
As I mentioned before, real “bad parts” are situated in some areas of the suburbs, where essentially nobody not living there has any reason to go or went through (which in fact might compound the problem of these “ghettos”, since they’re completely apart from the city life). Again, speaking very generally, those bad parts are more likely to be found in the north-east suburbs.
From the Master:
Is the south side always the baddest part of town?
London’s East End has typically always been rougher than other parts - generally less affluent, has more crime and violence. I think this is due to several factors, including the fact that it suffered a huge amount of bomb damage during WW2. However, London has affluent pockets and less affluent ones scattered all over the place, sometimes right next to each other. Notting Hill, of movie fame, for example, is right next door to Ladbroke Grove, which is definitely less upmarket.
Often the bad side of town was downwind of the good side. For example, in London, the East End is poorer than the West End; and the winds come mainly from the West to the East.
This was probably more important when most buildings were heated by wood or coal fires, and the wind carried a lot of dirty soot downwind. Might not be as important now, but once areas of town get known as a good or bad part of town, ti seems to be largely self-perpetuating.
Baltimore would be an exception to this. The few rich people living there tend to cluster around the harbor and, IIRC, upper Charles Street, whereas West Baltimore is (according to author David Simon) known to law enforcement as “The Land of the Misdemeanor Homicide.”
The main factor is that it’s just outside the borders of the old (tiny) City of London. When people wanted to do things that weren’t allowed inside the city walls, like brick-burning or plays that criticise the monarch or bear-baiting, they’d go to what is now Bethnal Green, Wapping, etc.
That was well over a thousand years ago and the reputation hasn’t changed since, although people are no longer living in conditions so bad that the Old Nichol estate was widely considered the worst slum in England.
Also, of course, the East End is downriver of the West End and the docks were on that side of the city.
There are some “bad” parts of South London as well (Brixton, Camberwell and so forth) but like the rest of London it’s very much a mixed bag, often depending on which street or which side of a railway line you live on.
What I mean is that the East End was the bad suburb of the City of London long before the West End was even a suburb - it’s not dependant on its relationship to the western half.
The East End was also the bad part of town long before the Luftwaffe redecorated. It’s not exactly coincidence that it was poor folks who got bombed most. They lived near the military targets because they worked at them and because it was less desirable to live next to the battery manufactory, the ball-bearing plant, etc…
The bad part of Dayton, Ohio, is the west side.
The bad part of Bombay is the eastern suburbs.
The bad part of Washington, D.C., is the southeast.
The bad parts of New York are in the north and the east.
The bad parts of Chillicothe, Ohio, are in the south and in the east side.
yup, it sure is. I have reason to drive through the west side occasionally and the number of blue-light crime cameras mounted on telephone poles to provide continuous surveillance is pretty remarkable. I’m usually driving a state vehicle and I make sure I stay on the main roads and keep my head on a swivel. Not unusual to see blatant drug deals, and lots of guys just hanging out in the middle of the day, obviously not working. Well, not traditionally employed at least
In Budapest, the general feeling is that the hilly, Buda side (west of the Danube) is considered more upscale than the urban, Pest side (east of the Danube). Buda is also, on the whole quieter with more green space, so, along with the hills and views they offer, it’s no wonder why it’s generally considered more upscale (although it does have its Pest-like urban parts, too.)
No, that gets it almost completely wrong.
Firstly, the development of outlying areas to avoid to control of the City was true all around London and was most true not to the east but to the south in Southwark. The outlying parts of Westminster in the west, such as Tothill Fields and Millbank, were just as grotty before they got engulfed by the expansion of the West End.
Secondly, the East End outside the boundaries of the City hardly existed before the late seventeenth century. Before then, what would become the East End was still largely rural, except for some ribbon development along the main roads and along the river. You specifically mention Bethnel Green. That was then actually rather middle-class and, as Weinreb and Hibbert put it in the London Encylopedia entry on Bethnel Green, the area in the seventeenth century was ‘a pleasant country area attracting wealthy residents’.
Now contrast this relative lack of development in the east in the mid-seventennth century with the developed area to the west of the City boundaries. That was then roughly as extensive as the City itself. The West End, especially around Covent Garden and St. James’s, was already developing fast as the fashionable, upmarket alternative to the City. It was the West End that was the good suburb before the East End even existed.
That’s a big part of it. But remember that the East End docks didn’t really develop until the early nineteenth century. Until then, ships still mostly used the City quays, as can be seen in the Rhinebeck Panorama.
In London I lived where City, Islington and Camden met. You could often seen “good” and “bad” right across each other.
The East part of London has seen some gentrification recently, for example the Docklands. They provided the stage for Vietnam in “Platoon”.
It was Full Metal Jacket.
South Tehran is the slummy side, while the north is the plummy side. The south is sprawling over the plains; the north is built in the mountain foothills where space is limited.
The posh part of St. Louis is the Central West End, while the really, really bad areas are across the river in Illinois. Both in terms of crime (East St. Louis) and pollution (Dupo).
The posh area of Kuala Lumpur is the hilly Bukit Damansara along the western edge, and the slum is Chow Kit, centrally located a bit to the northeast of downtown.