Hidden deep within the deserts of southern California, the first signs of life can be seen from the numerous artistic displays that lie scattered all around. A close look reveals that many of them are made out of mangled vehicles and old pieces of machinery.
Within Slab City, there's a place called East Jesus, which is essentially a sculpture garden made completely out of recycled materials. There are quite a number of artists who actually live inside East Jesus, thus causing it to constantly keep changing and expanding.
The above piece is called 'TV Wall,' and is probably one of East Jesus' most popular attractions. Designed by an artist called Flip Kassidy, it started out as just a couple of rows, but people just kept adding to it over the years. It even has five chairs with remote controls attached to them in front of the TVs.
Most of the artistic installations are incredibly detailed, and seeing all of these seemingly random objects beautifully repurposed makes a lot of visitors stop and think about the waste we all get through, during the course of a lifetime.
Anyone planning to stay at Slab City overnight will be pleased to know that apart from having their own hostel, Slab City also has quite a number of trailers and cabins available for short stays. You might need to book in advance though, as they can often end up fully booked fairly quickly, particularly in the winter months.
One of Slab City's residents actually set up a home for abandoned teddy bears on their own front lawn. To be fair, teddy bears are a lot more durable than grass in a desert.
Slab City even has its own library, which has far more books than you'd probably expect to find in the middle of the desert. Apparently, most of them were donated by kindly visitors over the years.
Some of the people who stay there live in pretty basic camps. However, there are others who are living in pseudo-luxurious properties. The two-story house seen above was actually built in a way that forces the wind to flow through the entire structure, keeping it cool all year round.
Here's one resident's front yard, which has a great number of powerful and controversial quotations scattered all over it, one of which reads "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
The history behind the birth of Slab City is a very curious one. Apparently, it once was a World War II base for Marines, and ended up getting its name from the many concrete slabs that they left behind them. It just goes to show that art and beauty can truly be made out of anything.