Slab City no longer like Easy Rider era
Slab City. It was a mysterious place floating in my mind for decades, ever since seeing Easy Rider. In my memory the movie showed Slab City as a place in California you can just setup and live, on empty slabs of concrete out in the desert. In preparing to go to Slab City recently, I read up some about it. It was supposedly still a lawless place where the police did not go, and were not wanted. I was actually concerned about safety issues trying to just drive through Slab City. I expected to be met with very unwelcome looks, as an outsider. Slab City, I thought, is not a place for casual visitors.
I was very disappointed to quickly realize that Slab City was not like the time of Easy Rider nor the lawless, unwelcoming place it professes to be. To put it plainly, Slab City is a low-rent tourist trap.
East Jesus is an art museum
This culminates in the East Jesus outdoor art museum. For sure the art is way out there and not what you’ll see in any gallery, but it is well organized and families with kids unloaded from their minivans and romped around carefree as if at the mall. Not only that, but driving through Slab City I saw no less than three police cars! So much for not welcome and do not come in!
I really did like the nostalgia trip it was to walk around the many art pieces made from 1980s technology, from pop culture items, and from whip-its! In particular I liked seeing the old CRT TVs with their UHF dials on them and knob controlled tint. Ah, getting that tint right was always a challenge!
Slab City may not be the anarchist realm I thought it would be, but it is still an eccentric place to visit, albeit too safely for my liking.