"Where can I buy crack in the mid-Hudson River Valley region of New York State?"
"Where can I get a cheap hooker and a no-tell hourly motel in the mid-Hudson River Valley region of New York State?"
October 7, 2003: The section of 9 between the 84 and Poughkeepsie looked like, well, Hawthorne Blvd. through Torrance: a wide highway with shopping centers, gas stations, and the like on either side. Not that good, but not that bad either, as Lonewacko likes his services. Unfortunately, Lonewacko didn't have the time to check out Poughkeepsie, as it was dark and he wanted to find a place to stay. Crossing over the Hudson on the Mid-Hudson Bridge, Lonewacko soon find himself driving on 9W south through a "settled rural" area: a series of empty areas followed by a gas station here or a market or a bar there. He stopped at a Chinese restaurant at a small shopping center in Marlboro; it was actually fairly good.
Then, Lonewacko saw a few things he wasn't expecting.
Like, motels advertising hourly rates and before-5pm rates. "What the heck are these doing out here?" Lonewacko thought to himself. There are no big cities around, where could be the prozzies that would cause such hourly arrangements to be used?
Lonewacko asked someone, and was directed to go check out downtown Newburgh.
Holy Moses Malone!
The last thing Lonewacko was expecting to find just a few miles from a country road was a small city complete with a non-historical recreation of the South Bronx. While I saw areas like this in Chicago, and I've seen plenty like it in L.A., I really wasn't expecting it in this setting. Don't get me wrong, Lonewacko had to drive a couple miles into Newburgh to find the South-Central area, but, even so, it seemed quite a bit out of place. Apparently, Newburgh has been taking it on the chin for 50 years or so, and it looks like it. Bricks and yarn were big there, but the companies have since moved on, leaving some of the residents to engage in other forms of commerce. (Lonewacko did not, of course, do a complete survey of the city, so some parts might be OK.)
Other parts of the greater area have also experienced large losses of jobs. For instance, IBM brought 7000 engineers and such to Kingston a few decades ago; five years ago they closed down their operation there. Despite that, Kingston, or at least the waterfront area thereof, appears to be doing OK.