What or where was the shi**iest place you've ever lived?

I felt that way about Sioux City, Iowa. You’d think a city of 100,000 with 3 colleges would have something to do? Nope.

Was the college house before or after your stay in Croatia?

A tie between upstate NY, near Cortland, where it’s either snowing or August, and my first Phoenix apartment, which was an old WAC barracks being readied for demolition. All plumbing had been cut off under the building. Yup.

Before. In fact, less than a year before. I left college for a spell in the spring, and that shitty winter in that shitty house was a contributing factor to my overall state of mind.

Spent a week at a friends house when I was visiting him, told me I could stay in “the guest house” without telling me what that was. The “guest house” was literally a shed in his backyard that was just barely retrofitted to be a room. Was about the size of a walk-in closet, had a single small mattress on the floor, a small table with a TV on it, and that was about it. Had a single window that you had to leave at least a crack open because there was absolutely no air circulation inside and after 20 minutes with the window closed you could see the windows start to fog up from the inside. Their was insulation in the walls but just barely, so it would get pretty hot in the daytime, not unbearably but annoying, at least the nights were fine.

The worst part was that it was in the corner of his backyard and had no restroom, so if I had to pee in the middle of the night I had to walk 20 feet to his back sliding glass door, open it, walk inside the house and go pee and come back. Did I mention there was NO lights anywhere during this? If I had known this I would have stayed in a hotel.

I spend a bit of time in Tanzania volunteering for an NGO and they put me up in this horrific “hotel” for the duration. The mosquito netting had holes and wasn’t large enough for the whole bed. I wore three pairs of socks, because the netting would touch my feet. The area wasn’t the best in town, although truth be said, there weren’t any really good neighborhoods, and I would jump at the various noises in the night.

The hotel did come with some amenities, including the bar and the various prostitutes who would hang out there. I never did ask how much they charged. It was a really good experience, overall, but I wouldn’t have minded upgrading to another hotel.

There’s also mud season. There are a couple of crisp fall days that are very pleasant, though.

Spent a few years there in the late 70s. I lived on Kavanaugh in apartments called Hillcrest IIRC. I think now it’s a much better place (something Pointe ← with an ‘e’, so we know it’s fancy!). At the time it was known locally as “Rape Villa”. Not a good place to leave your car, or even walk into the building late at night. And of course, I had a midnight shift washing trucks. The inside actually wasn’t too bad, just a dangerous area.

For me, sharing a small cabin with 3 other oil-rig workers sucked in a lot of ways, and was among the worst living conditions for me. No privacy, everyone smoked constantly, no TV/Radio/Internet and almost no ventilation. I did this for 6 months at a time working on pipelines, and hated it by the end of each season. Weirdly enough, the work wasn’t bad, but that near the Arctic Circle wasn’t conducive to being outdoors, so each evening was listening and smelling my gross roomates while trying to read.

I honestly wonder if the previous owners of my house used the shed for a similar purpose. The shed has drywall, carpeting, a nice light fixture on the ceiling, and while there are no windows there’s a skylight and one of those turbine vents in the ceiling. I mean, I wouldn’t want to sleep in there, but it almost feels too nice to store my lawnmower in. Actually I bet someone used it as a space to work on some hobby they wanted to keep outside of the house.

Ludovic, true, those crisp fall days when the volunteer firemen built their big concrete block grills and cook up Cornell chickens to sell. Those were good days.

A rented house in the South Norfolk neighborhood of Chesapeake, Virginia. We had a window that was partially broken that the landlord never bothered to repair in the 10 months or so we lived there. It was infested with roaches to the point where the pizza we had on our first day was half-wasted because when we set it down on the counter after everyone had our first piece, it was covered. The bedroom I stayed in was so small that my bed wouldn’t really fit in it and I couldn’t close my door, and when the cats got in there, they pissed all over the mattress and I had to throw it away. And it was in a shitty neighborhood, to boot-- on the same street, someone had tossed a pair of shoes up on top of an electric line, indicating that that was a place you could get drugs.

About two months after we left that SoNo Roach Hotel and went to live in a hotel for about a year, the neighborhood flooded very badly in a nor’easter, and it’s likely that house was inundated. Good fucking riddance.

Is this something specific to your neighborhood because shoes on wires has been going on for decades and I’ve never heard that as a reason. Wiki seems to agree.

The worst place I lived was the Devon-Strafford apartments in Strafford PA. it wasn’t the quality of the apartments themselves, the buildings were made of concrete so physical damage wasn’t a problem. The problem was that it was the only low cost housing in the area and they had no trouble renting to anybody who could lay down 2 months rent… There were at least 20 buildings in the complex each known by a letter of the he alphabet. The further into the alphabet the worse the situation was. At best it was just frat boys, at worst there were murderers. I lived in the L building, only one murder there recently. The fire department said the trucks wouldn’t go in without a police escort after shots were fired at them. The sad part were the impoverished people living there, frequently evicted, they’d find themselves on the street and all their possessions gone. These weren’t people who had the means to fight this and the laws weren’t very strict it enforced much back then. However when the blizzard of '78 dumped over 4 feet of snow on us everybody came out and worked together to clear lanes through the parking lot and uncover the cars, college kids, drug addicts, and murderers all working side by side with the rest of us.

The “night-soil man” . . . that sounds like a horror movie. I’m creeped out right now.

The first time I saw it was in the early 80s in the San Gabriel Valley, and I was told because that was a place to score drugs. And it was. I don’t know if it was coincidental with the shoes, or if the shoes developed a more sanitary meaning later.

There’s a tree outside of town along a dirt road surrounded by farm fields.

This oak tree has hundreds literally hundreds of shoes tangled up in its branches. Some of the shoes go back decades. I don’t know why and I haven’t looked into it but my guess is HS graduates go out there and toss up their old shoes or they climb it to tie one one.

I’ve been blessed to have lived decent places. Shittiest would be god forgive me ma but sharing a room with sis.

A college apartment. Infested with cockroaches that got everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. I had to sleep with a mosquito net around my head to keep them out of my hair and ears, and I would still wake up to them in my bed blankets. It was embarrassing to sit down at a desk in a classroom, open my backpack, and have cockroaches scurry out and around the classroom floor. The apartment also had bad dry rot in the bathroom that eventually collapsed the bathroom floor and basement ceiling.

Well, the 80s were 40 years ago.

I don’t think anybody would call it shitty, especially since the rent was so high, but the most unpleasant place I’ve ever lived in was a downtown loft in San Luis Obispo. The romantic charm of living in a loft wore off in less than 24 hours.

The first floor was three restaurants, the second floor was offices, and the top two floors were residential lofts. The restaurants all had kitchen hoods that expelled their exhaust next to our fourth floor decks. The trash bins were filled with rancid oil and other decaying foodstuff. Restaurant patrons would hang out and gaggle on the sidewalk below our windows well after the restaurants had closed. Across the street was a 7-Eleven where every drunk in town would converge at 2am and get into shouting matches with each other. A block down the street was a railroad crossing that somehow required the 3am train to blow its whistle. At 5 am, the street sweepers would go into action EVERY SINGLE MORNING!

We moved as soon as our one year lease was up.

Keds, desert boots, earth shoes and platform wedges! Also lots of sensible school shoes from Thom MCann’s and Buster Browns.