In the desert 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles is a suburb abandoned in advance of itself: the unfinished extension of a place called . Visible from above now as a series of badly paved streets carved into the dust and gravel, the outer edges of California City are like some peculiarly American response to the Nazca Lines. The uninhabited street plan has become an abstract geoglyph—unintentional land art visible from airplanes—not a thriving community at all.
Atlas Obscura and BLDGBLOG will lead a photographic expedition to this ghost-grid, a mirage of suburbia in the middle of nowhere, . The visit is open to anyone, though questions of transportation (including over dirt roads), adequate food, fuel, and water, personal safety (including protection from flat tires, sprained ankles, and snakes), and navigation are up to the individual participants.
View of the prison, Google Maps
DETAILS AND DIRECTIONS
We will meet in the parking lot of Rite Aid in California City: 9482 California City Boulevard, California City, CA 93505 at , for a brief group introduction, before setting off to document the uninhabited streets outside town through photographs, short films, sound recordings, and blog posts. If you arrive late, simply head out Randsburg , onto 20 Mule Team Parkway, and look for the cars; our eventual destination is approximately 15 minutes’ drive northeast of town.
ABOUT OBSCURA DAY
Obscura Day is an international celebration of curious places happening around the world on March 20, 2010. It is sponsored by Atlas Obscura, a guide to the world's wonders, curiosities, and esoterica. To find out more about the Atlas and Obscura Day, or to find out how you can host an event in your city, visit ObscuraDay.com, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.
While you are out exploring, we encourage you to take pictures and tag them on Flickr as Obscura Day and tweet using #obscuraday so we can all watch Obscura Day unfold all over the world.
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