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RestedTraveler

Greenville Grit

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While discussing the top of Paris Mountain in another thread, the thought came to me that we really should have a photo thread dedicated to the oft-overlooked, seldom-discussed not-so-pretty side of Greenville. Yes, we all love it here. We are quick to extol its many virtures when asked (or not) about Greenville at every opportunity. However, we must admit - Greenville, too, like any city, has a not-so-pretty side. We have litter. We have graffitti. We have poverty. We have homelessness. We have crime. We have sprawl. We have traffic. We have eyesores. ... All sitting right along side of the things that we have all come to embrace and love about our community.

This thread is dedicated to that side.

Feel free to post photos of anything that you feel will spark a value-added discussion of things that are overlooked, swept under the carpet, ignored in hopes that it'll go away, or just plain ugly/nasty/gritty ... things that we all have the power to change if through no other means than to raise awareness of them.

NOTE: This thread does not imply by any means that any of us love Greenville any less. If anything, it should be clear that by calling attention to things that need it, we love Greenville more.

...

I'll start this off with a photo from the top of Paris Mountain:

113282486_408aaae5af.jpg

For more details, click the photo itself.

This area at the summit of Paris Mountain is seldom seen by anyone other than perhaps George Hincapie and the Greenville Cycling community and others that go up there to park to watch the sunset. It seems to be Greenville's version of lover's lane. The summit is dotted by towers and antennae. The buildings and fences are covered in graffiti. The hillside is blanked by kudzo and litter. Sadly, the area beneath these towers at the summit is one of those places that, if seen by more people, would be a black eye for Greenville County (the summit is outside of Greenville City Limits).

Optimistically, this same area (if shown the proper attention by the property owners and perhaps in partnership with the Greenville County Recreation District) could be another of the many small sparkling jewels in Greenville's crown. For starters, I could envision nice paved and marked parking areas surrounded by stone walls, landcaping, flowers, plants, shrubs, and with installed lookout binoculars (the summit offers stunning views of Greenville and the surrounding area), picnic tables, trash and recycling recepticles, benches, etc.

Edit: 26-APR-2008. I changed the Title and Subtitle and Tried to be More Succinct with the Opening Description for What this Thread is About.

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LOL. Did Lsyed talk you into this thread. You know how he loves the grit that exist in cities. I think that part of a city cancel's out the good part of the city. Every city Ive been to has a side like this.

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LOL. Did Lsyed talk you into this thread. You know how he loves the grit that exist in cities. I think that part of a city cancel's out the good part of the city. Every city Ive been to has a side like this.

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I understand your point about "equal time," but focusing on negatives/ugliness for that sake alone is not something people usually do when showing their home to others. No, I am not afraid to share this with others, but I am more willing to let them come see things for themselves, since photos of this nature often do more harm than intended - unless that is your intention from the start, and we know some would love to join in. I personally believe that scaring people away will effectively cause the less visible "ugly side" to grow worse instead of improve as it has been doing lately. My philosophy is to show potential newcomers enough to whet their appetites for more in hopes that they will be drawn to visit. Once here, our visitors are immediately able to experience the city we know and love in a way that our photos are unable to convey. This is just my two cents on the subject, but since I am sure it will fall onto closed eyes and deaf ears, carry on as you were.

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I don't think the intent was a malicious thread. There are some forgotten and neglected parts of town that in bringing forward may spur action to correct.

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I don't think the intent was a malicious thread. There are some forgotten and neglected parts of town that in bringing forward may spur action to correct.

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You are both correct. If we can use such a thread to bring positive change by discussing possible alternatives to the negative aspects of the city, we will all live in a better place. :)

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Bring it on! I'd love to see some Greenville grit.

A gritty thread is rarely about focusing on the negative aspects of a city. In soooo many case, the grittier areas of a city are really the most interesting from a structural and urban standpoint. It's always fascinating (and of course a bit depressing) to see how neighborhoods with such a strong past and strong potential could have decayed, as well as what it would take to turn them around. Gritty upper King St. and the upper peninsula in Charleston, Harrisburg and Olde Town in Augusta, Little Havana in Miami, and tons of other neighborhoods in the south are great examples of areas that are (figuratively) a giant coat of paint from being premier urban neighborhoods. I have no interest in seeing a gritty bombed-out meth trailer in the suburbs, but a formerly vibrant urban neighborhood that's unfortunately fallen to poverty and blight makes a beautiful subject for a photo thread...

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Greenville was so small back in the early days that there aren't too many formerly beautiful old neighborhoods with blight and poverty. Most of the ones we could include in this thread were mill villages that have since been overtaken by the low-class-high-crime element causing most of the problems in society. There are plenty of these neighborhoods on the Westside of the city, as we have stated numerous times throughout this forum. The City government is aware of the problems and is really doing a great job of working to revitalize these places a little at a time, spreading outward from downtown. The photos will not indicate this positive change.

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Greenville was so small back in the early days that there aren't too many formerly beautiful old neighborhoods with blight and poverty. Most of the ones we could include in this thread were mill villages that have since been overtaken by the low-class-high-crime element causing most of the problems in society. There are plenty of these neighborhoods on the Westside of the city, as we have stated numerous times throughout this forum. The City government is aware of the problems and is really doing a great job of working to revitalize these places a little at a time, spreading outward from downtown. The photos will not indicate this positive change.

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I don't think the intent was a malicious thread. There are some forgotten and neglected parts of town that in bringing forward may spur action to correct.

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I think the gritty areas in downtown make for a nice contrast against a lot of the newer stuff--like the unoccupied storefronts in the West End, or alleys--stuff like that.

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RT, your tune has changed considerably since you decided to hightail it out of here. If these areas were so interesting back when you were praising the Upstate in every topic, why did you not indicate that by posting your photos then? No offense intended, my friend. I am just sincerely curious why you seem so unhappy lately.

The question we should be asking is what have we done to help these people who are less fortunate or who have chosen to live lawlessly and suffer from many wasted years of life. Such photos should not be shown only for the sake of adding "grittiness" to this forum, but should include the true stories from the mouths of those living there, in my opinion. I seriously doubt most of us have ever lived in these neighborhoods, so simply capturing a few images is not going to tell the true story of what life is like and what problems exist that need to be remedied. We need vital inside information in order to accurately speculate and ultimately cause positive change to occur.

Would a good question to start with be,

"What is the root problem behind criminal activity and the lack of respect for personal and public property?"

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Damn Skyliner.

I think RT was just trying to come up with a good idea for a photo thread and not pass judgment on anyone.

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Skyliner, I don't think creating a documentary of the 'hood is what this thread is all about.

There have been all kinds of photo threads for Greenville. This is just one out of many to show another side of the city. I took it as focusing on some of the downtown areas that are ripe for revitalization, or just those that are naturally gritty in a functional sense (e.g., alleys, loading areas, etc.).

We all love the polished, shiny Greenville obviously. But many people also find beauty and value in the "grittiness" that's to be found in cities as well.

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RT, your tune has changed considerably since you decided to hightail it out of here. If these areas were so interesting back when you were praising the Upstate in every topic, why did you not indicate that by posting your photos then? No offense intended, my friend. I am just sincerely curious why you seem so unhappy lately.

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I think this is a great idea for a thread. If we're truly confident in the many great things our city has to offer, we won't be threatened to analyze and discuss the things about our city that need some attention.

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One point that has yet to be made is that many of these "gritty" areas being referenced are not even in the City. Now don't get me wrong, I am well aware that grit does exist within the city limits ... I just think in all fairness to the City of Greenville, when "not-so-pretty" pix are posted they should be attributed correctly.

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One point that has yet to be made is that many of these "gritty" areas being referenced are not even in the City. Now don't get me wrong, I am well aware that grit does exist within the city limits ... I just think in all fairness to the City of Greenville, when "not-so-pretty" pix are posted they should be attributed correctly.

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Has anyone here gone on the homeless tour? I have a friend who works for Homes of Hope and she has encouraged me to go - she said it's really eye opening

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I don't have any photos of them but something I wish would be addressed would be the abandoned Ingles stores in Travelers Rest, Poinsett Hwy and Simpsonville to name a few that come to mind. Ingles is certainly not helping with the looks of our area by allowing these buildings to stay vacant. The same now holds true for the Winn-Dixie stores. I realize the real estate people may want to sell the buildings for renovation purposes but the Ingles stores with the ugly stone walls do not look like they would fit anyones ideas of acceptable building design. They look like they are relics of the 70's or something. If the buildings aren't occupied after so many years they would be better off being torn down. All I see now is boarded up windows, grafetti and possible unsafe havens for the homeless.

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Ingle's is the absolute worst. I can name at least 4 locations in Spartanburg alone, and more elsewhere, where they just leave their crappy old buildings to rot, often right next to their existing stores! Its horrible. This is why I make it a point to not go there unless I have to.

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One point that has yet to be made is that many of these "gritty" areas being referenced are not even in the City. Now don't get me wrong, I am well aware that grit does exist within the city limits ... I just think in all fairness to the City of Greenville, when "not-so-pretty" pix are posted they should be attributed correctly.

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Alright. Let's quit arguing and let's start seeing some skanky pics.

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