Greetings from Antioch: Bordertown to the End of the World
Posted on March 16 2015
Over the past two months, we've been moving from our place in Oakland to a new place in Antioch, about 45 minutes away. I've talked about the move itself, but there's something truly interesting about our new, weird, suburban life.
Our subdivision was built in the early 90s. The houses, streets, and paths are approaching 30 years old and are showing their age. Our house is less than a block from the edge of all the subdivisions in the area -- I can only assume they meant to build out to infinity, but all the roads unceremoniously and abruptly end, and beyond that, expanses of fields and hills so brilliant green they look like the default Windows background stretch on forever.
All the street lights work, but are set to blinking, indicating a 4-way stop. The crosswalks all have buttons as if there would be some amount of traffic to contend with, but there is none.
Here are some photos from Antioch: Bordertown to the End of the World
Bike trails run through the whole town, though they sit mostly unused. It seems like someone did some burn prevention here by burning the chaparral.
Houses sit at the edge of nothingness... an unreal brilliant green.
This mysterious gift shop sits on an empty road. The shop itself is an ancient barn. It was closed when I went by. What could be in there?
Not far from our house, where every piece of ground is taken up by housing, there is a road that goes off into the nothing. No one seems to drive on it. It is a dead end.
Despite being just a block from a major development of strip malls, it is surprisingly rustic. Here, a fence protects nothing from nothing.
A circuit board sits in the mud of the ditch.
A nest of fallen barbed wire also runs through the ditch. Without any need to maintain the fences, they have fallen apart and the metal is returning to the earth.
As with any boring suburb, there are rebellious kids. This graffiti implies that the sign is a hoax and the road doesn't actually turn.
This sign is about 100 feet from the end of the road, so even if you turned, you wouldn't have far to go.
With an abundance of land and conscientious urban planners, there are miles upon miles of paths winding through the back yards of the subdivisions -- a secret network of connections that those confined to cars would never see.
Nothing is a through street at the End of the World.
The fields are yellow with wild flowers.
The skies are explosive with color -- every night a different spectacle.
(there is no filter on this photo. this is actually what it looked like)
It is a nice place for us to live -- in the bordertown at the end of the world.