Cairo, Illinois is mostly abandoned. It was once a thriving city of 15,000, but the Mississippi barges don't stop there anymore, and racial turmoil, including a three-year boycott of white-owned businesses that refused to hire black workers, killed the town's economy. The Cairo Project, from Southern Illinois University, is a good overview of Cairo's history and its current situation. Can punk label Plan-it-X start a rebirth by moving to Cairo and opening a coffeeshop? If it helps, there's still good barbecue.
Jim Carroll has died. Avant-garde writer, punk rocker, doped-up downtown scenester, never-made-it schoolyard hoop-dreamer. He couldn't have expected to live to see a master's thesis in English at San Diego State written about his journal/novel The Basketball Diaries, or to be interviewed by Jon Stewart about being played by Leo DiCaprio in the movie of his (early) life. [more inside]