Living for free in California! can you imagine?
January 12, 2018 9:41 PM   Subscribe

Wonderhussy's excellent Slab City New Years Eve. Desert adventuress and bon vivant exploring ghost towns, abandoned buildings and desert oddities. posted by hortense (10 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
When I was out RVing I fully intended to go hang out at Slab City for a while, but I took a right turn instead of a left and by passed it. I still think about it. I have been to the Salton Sea, though, and it is creepy and sad.
posted by MovableBookLady at 10:44 PM on January 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love this so much!!!
  • This video works much better if you click the "gear" icon and select 1.25 playback speed.
  • Slab City has nothing to do with Burning Man. Black Rock City is nearly a thousand miles away.
I have been fascinated with the Slabs ever since I first heard about them in the 90s. I've always wanted to change my life so I could live free. Slab City is not just an artists' colony, it's the world's lowest-budget "active adult retirement community"; a lot of people drive their RVs there to spend the winter. I wish I had the skills to survive like that.

Also I just really like Wonderhussy. She reminds me of the cool girl from Heavy Metal Parking Lot all grown up.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:32 PM on January 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Also previously: Salvation Mountain, Slab City, Slab City Stories.

Companion viewing: Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea. Excellent documentary elevated by John Waters' narrative. There's not much about Slab City itself, it's mostly about the people who live in the towns, but there's a nice bit about Salvation Mountain. There's a lot of Leonard Knight on YouTube, RIP.
posted by Nelson at 7:45 AM on January 13, 2018

My wife and I rode in the Cinnabar Charm VW bus for a bit out on the playa. The host was gracious, but alas we did not partake of the chocolate martinis. It's just as intricate and amazing inside as out. Kind of trippy to see that machine again.
posted by diode at 8:21 AM on January 13, 2018

I visited Slab City a few years back and it's great to see the improvements at the Range and East Jesus, lots of new art (that airplane!), it's amazing to see how it's changed. I need to go back for a visit sometime, thanks for posting this!
posted by Feyala at 1:35 PM on January 13, 2018

I first heard about Slab City in a Sue Grafton book and at first assumed it had been made up for the story.
posted by PussKillian at 6:04 PM on January 13, 2018

One distinctive thing about Wonderhussy that distinguishes her from most "adventure travel YouTube personalities" is her willingness not to film everything. In the Slab City video, for instance, she says that she's visiting for their big New Year's Eve concert party, and then she doesn't bother to record any of it, because she's busy having fun. If you know how most "travel vloggers" operate, this kind of authenticity is unheard of.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:57 PM on January 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

in 2005, i misread the freeway sign for slab city and was thrilled that me and my friend were about to end up in "stab city." we realized the error shortly, but then he founded a band by that name that played around LA for the next eight years.
posted by wibari at 11:26 PM on January 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'd managed to remain ignorant of Slab City until this post and was really fascinated to read and watch the links about it, thanks for sharing! I'd love to read more in-depth articles about the community there, but maybe one day I'll have time to work through Slab City Stories.

I didn't particularly enjoy Wonderhussy's presentation and I wouldn't have thought she would be Metafilter's cup of tea, but it's probably a YouTube thing that's passed me by...
posted by Busy Old Fool at 8:37 AM on January 15, 2018

I neglected to link to her blog where the more cerebral and confessional histories are archived, her writing is well done .
posted by hortense at 6:04 PM on January 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

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