There's an excellent article in today's NYT about Slab City, a lawless place deep in the California desert where retired people have set up their own TAZ. It's like Burning Man only more depressing.
Slab City is not so sinister as it is a strange, forlorn quarter of America. It is a town that is not really a town, a former training grounds with nothing left but the concrete slabs where the barracks stood. Gen. George S. Patton trained troops here. Pilots of the Enola Gay practiced their atomic mission, dropping dummy bombs into the sea.

The land belongs to the state, but the state, like the law, does not bother, and so the Slabs have become a place to park free. More than 3,000 elderly people settle in for the winter, in a pattern that dates back at least 20 years. They are mostly single, divorced or widowed - a whole generation on the road, independent, alone. In this place, to be 55 years old is to be young.

  2004-12-17 16:28 Z