"The Last Free Place in America" lives up to its nickname. Want to hang out nude in thermal mud baths or skateboard stoned in the bowl of an Olympic-size pool? Go for it. In the mood to construct outlandish pieces of art with scrap metal, dig an SUV-size trench for no particular reason or play 18 holes of golf on a grassless course to the sound of bombs in the distance? This is the place. Yet despite the anything-goes reputation, those who stick around the Slabs long enough insist they are made to feel welcome, provided they have the right attitude. Free meals and entertainment are on offer, capped by Saturday-night concerts at the Range, a clapboard venue that showcases live acts of varying quality. This bohemian aspect was featured in the 2007 film Into the Wild, rare mainstream attention that drew a surge of newcomers to Slab City.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Slab City Coverage in Mainstream Media
I've mentioned Slab City here before. It is a former military base (and adjacent to a current military base) in the southern California desert, where an impromptu community of RV tramps and off-grid types has sprung up. Life is hard at the Slabs, but the rent is free and no community development types come around to hassle you. For some people, the sense of freedom there is more important than the comforts of a modern home. They are enough of a minority to keep Slab City out of the mainstream press, most of the time. But there are exceptions to every rule, as this article on Time proves: