Pink Plankton

Slab City is a community in the middle of the desert in California. It's completely off the grid - there are no police, no laws, and no one owns the land.  As such, it's been described as 'the last free place in America'. I've been curious about this place for a while, as alternative lifestyles interest me.  In September 2017 I finally had the chance to visit.  Here is a bit of what I saw:

Slab City entrance barrack
There are no signs to Slab City, but if you know where you're going, it's not hard to find.

Slab City art car
One of the first pieces of art I saw. Art is everywhere.

Slab City Home for Abandoned Teddy Bears
A random home for abandoned teddy bears.

Slab City Hostel
I heard there was a hostel, and so I followed the signs and planned to spend a night there. Unfortunately when I pulled up, I found out it was closed.

Slab City California Ponderosa Thankfully I found this place instead - the California Ponderosa, which was across the street, and I semi-recognized the name from an AirBnb listing I saw a while ago. It's run by George and Jinxy, and thankfully they had space.  This was my cabin for the night, it was very cosy!  I highly recommend staying here if you ever visit, as George and Jinxy were both very welcoming.

Slab City East Jesus entrance

Now that I had a place to stay, it was time to go exploring. My first stop was East Jesus, a recycled art sculpture garden.  This place was absolutely amazing!  I couldn't believe how detailed every single piece was.

Slab City Wall of TV's in East Jesus
This is probably the most well-known piece in East Jesus - Flip Kassidy's TV Wall.

Slab City East Jesus TV wall chairs
He even included these remotes on chairs in front of the piece, loved it.

Slab City Wall of TV's in East Jesus

Slab City East Jesus art sculptures

Slab City East Jesus nos

Slab City East Jesus art sculptures

Slab City East Jesus art sculptures

Slab City East Jesus lizard art sculpture

Slab City East Jesus art sculpture

Slab City East Jesus art sculpture

Slab City East Jesus art sculptures

Slab City East Jesus art sculptures

Slab City East Jesus art sculptures

Slab City east Jesus art

Slab City East Jesus art sculptures

Slab City East Jesus car art sculpture

Slab City East Jesus spoon art sculpture

Slab City East Jesus terrible psychiatric advice

The sign reads, "Terrible psychiatric advice inside. 25 cents."

Slab City The Range

I also visited The Range, where every Saturday residents hold a talent show.  I will definitely be back one Saturday night. Slab City The Range

 

Slab City Library

There is even a 24 hour library, run by Cornelius Vango.  It was a pretty extensive library, for being in the middle of the desert.  Cornelius also runs a  YouTube channel about life in the Slabs.

Slab City sign

This was Jorge's front lawn.  I stopped to admire the signs and he came out to have a chat.  It was very interesting to hear what brought him here and why he loves it.

Slab City camp

This is a typical Slabber's camp.

Slab City

The next morning Jinxy gave us (myself and the two other guests at the AirBnb) the grand tour of Slab City.  She explained that the man who lives here built his two-storey house in a way that the wind flowing through keeps it cool all the time.  For the middle of the desert, it was pretty luxurious inside!

Slab City skate park

Jinxy explained that Slab City used to be a World War II Marine base.  It got its name from the concrete slabs that were left behind. This actually used to be the pool, but now it's a skate park. Slab City skate park Slab City skate park

Slab City street art graffiti on military bunkers

On the outskirts of town there are many more military remnants. These cylinders were once used as water tanks and for waste management. These beautiful murals were done by  Christina Angelina and Ease One. Slab City street art graffiti on military bunkers Slab City street art graffiti on military bunkers

Slab City car art sculptures

Some more random art on the outskirts.  These are bent up cars. Slab City

One last look at the Ponderosa before heading back out.  Overall it was awesome to see this alternative way of living. You can pretty much do just about anything you want out here. It's an amazing place for artist to do art for art's sake. Like any city, it has it's troubles, but for the most part, Slabbers live and let live.