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A fascinating article in the NY Times about city in the California desert that had big aspirations but is now mostly vacant:
..."People lined up to buy them," said Cheryl Hoffman, a local real estate agent. "They were being told, 'This is where you're going to make your fortune.' "
Now those lots cost $3,000 again. Graded flat, they make good weekend camping sites. The sandy streets are popular with the off-road-vehicle crowd. ...
But the only year-round residents of California City's empty reaches are coyotes, jackrabbits and rattlesnakes who don't mind the triple-digit summer temperatures that turn this country into a convection oven.
..."Its monumental folly is evocative, especially in this era of widespread home foreclosures," ...
"When we think of ruins, we typically think of European castles and churches,... but the U.S. also has ruins. It's just that they're made of different stuff. In this case, it's the ground itself and what was done to it."