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The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

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The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby jb » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:39 pm

Here are the results of my very non-scientific survey.

Definitions matter:

Suburbs do not count. They are essentially mirrors of the nearest larger city. To be eligible the city must stand alone. This eliminates crap holes like East Cleveland and Campbell.

Can't pick on one-stoplight towns. We know many suck to the point of having zero redeeming quality and purpose for existence and places like Palmyra would qualify, but it's too easy. Same goes for all of SE Ohio outside of Athens.

Any major city has some redeeming quality and at least one decent area. You cannot seriously slam Toledo, for example, compared to these places that'd be better off with a Zombie apocalypse.

1. East Liverpool - When you can look across the river to West Virginia and see a better place, that tells you all you need to know. This place is an abandoned, hollowed out crap hole of all crap holes. Plus it has that Appalachian gross out factor. The boarded out buildings and people with strange stares looking all inbred and sorts vaults this hell hole to the top of my list. Bonus factor of suck: a walmart strip mall in Calcutta is the destination for these sorry assed godforsaken blokes the first of the month. The area contains the nearest open non-liquor stores.

2. Steubenville - The area by what passes for a mall isn't all that awful, but it's like one of those malls where every anchor is dead and there's a bunch of generic stores. The Macy's is cool because it's the closeout store for the region like the Dillard’s at dead Euclid Square. The downtown looks like a perfect setting for a "_____________ of the Living Dead" low budget movie. There are parts of this unloved hill jack region that you take your life in your own hands walking in day or night. Bonus factor: lots of super-ugly Stiller fans.

3. Springfield - This place is a total arm pit. It's the place where there are boarded up motels by the dozen and junkies walking around brazenly looking in vain for any unstolen copper at noon time with utter impunity. I get lost there once and was pretty sure I was gonna get shot at a hardies for my ray bans. Bonus factor: Let's face it. You get south of Dublin and you are essentially in the mid-south.

4. Lorain - This place is every bit as dangerous and ugly as Detroit and every bit as nasty as Steubenville, but it is at least on the lake and not so Appalachian. I think it has an open business downtown. Bonus factor: They built a community playground near the old A-K HS and the locals set it on fire.

5. Warren - One could EASILY make the case for warren at one as it is amazing how such a small city can have so much ugliness and blight per capita. This is a place where the people are so stupid and economically stunted that GE was gonna keep a light bulb plant open by converting to CFBs from the old tungsten’s and the old farts voted "no" to concessions so they could take unemployment as a bridge to pension. 200 younger employees lost jobs. It is possible that actually happened in Niles but it is so apacraphal I don't really care. Every industry imaginable has an abandoned factory here. This place is so butt ugly it makes you wish that wild fires were an Ohio phenomenon. the only reason it's not higher to me is that there is a decent shopping area on the outskirts that is technically Warren. Bonus factor: Eddie Money at the Warren Ampetheater is the big summer draw.

Honorable mention: Lima. I've heard it sucks maybe worse than any of these places but have never personally been.
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby Spin » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:34 pm

Agreed on most, I would have put Warren higher up. The ballpark keeps them out of #1 for me. David Grohl Alley is different, if you're driving through and you're into David Grohl (I'm not a fan, but admire anyone who makes that kind of comeback).

Ohio River towns 1-2, that says it all. If Wheeling were in Ohio it would have made it the top three. Even the one bright spot (the casino) looks like it's about to collapse.

10 years ago Youngstown would have been #1 on my list, but they made a hell of a comeback. Lorain and Elyria isn't quite as deadly as Ytown was, but are every bit as ghetto. I agree the lake does save Lorain though, as it does Ashtabula and Sandusky.

Toledo, you have the speedway, ball park and Tony Paco's. Mansfield has some cool places to get shit faced and forget you're in Mansfield. It also has Mid Ohio nearby and someday Mansfield Speedway again.

Massillon could be on the list, once the Tigers drop to Division 2 and can't recruit the same talent it did in D1.
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby jb » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:54 pm

Spin wrote:Agreed on most, I would have put Warren higher up. The ballpark keeps them out of #1 for me. David Grohl Alley is different, if you're driving through and you're into David Grohl (I'm not a fan, but admire anyone who makes that kind of comeback).

Ohio River towns 1-2, that says it all. If Wheeling were in Ohio it would have made it the top three. Even the one bright spot (the casino) looks like it's about to collapse.

10 years ago Youngstown would have been #1 on my list, but they made a hell of a comeback. Lorain and Elyria isn't quite as deadly as Ytown was, but are every bit as ghetto. I agree the lake does save Lorain though, as it does Ashtabula and Sandusky.

Toledo, you have the speedway, ball park and Tony Paco's. Mansfield has some cool places to get shit faced and forget you're in Mansfield. It also has Mid Ohio nearby and someday Mansfield Speedway again.

Massillon could be on the list, once the Tigers drop to Division 2 and can't recruit the same talent it did in D1.



Massillon actually has done the best job humanly possible on their downtown for what they have I think. There's life and stores. I give 'em credit. The common denominators of many of these crap holes are bloated HS football delusions and massive de-indistrailization, but Massillon seems to overcome.

Y-town is awful although about 100 yards of W Federal St keeps them above the worst for now.

Ashtablua keeps lsugging away with it's lake downtown, but it's struggling. Sandusky is CP away from being little Lorain.

I somehow think SW and W Ohio should be better represented, but haven't spent enough time there....
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby dmiles » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:36 pm

The 5-6 years of my adult life that I lived there was in Lordstown which is a Warren address. My wife taught Spanish at Warren Western Reserve. It took her about a year to get used it, and she really liked after that, but it was just a completely different world for us.

I guess living around there I sort of got used to it we went to a church up Warren that bordered Howland and that area was really nice (known as the East side). But I had no desire to live up in Warren and we always had to drive by one of those blighted factories on the way into town if we were going up there, and right where you drive into Warren proper as you pass the crappy factories is a massive govt. housing project.

We had great years up there those final two years as host family with the Scrappers, which was totally awesome stuff going to the ballpark every night. Looking back, I also had Cavs tickets (not season but a package), we went to Science center all the time, Six Flags, shopping dinner in Solon etc. The point being we spent a ton of time away from that town. Then for a year I worked in Moon Township and commuted each day which got old, but once again far far from town (prior to that was a traveling consultant driving to Hopkins every week).

And as great as we thought our little life was up there, moving to Cardiff/Encinitas area was just such a huge eye opener.

I have honestly never been to East Liverpool, Steubenville, Lorain or Springfield but it sounds about right form everything I've heard
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby leadpipe » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:24 pm

dmiles wrote:The 5-6 years of my adult life that I lived there was in Lordstown which is a Warren address. My wife taught Spanish at Warren Western Reserve. It took her about a year to get used it, and she really liked after that, but it was just a completely different world for us.

I guess living around there I sort of got used to it we went to a church up Warren that bordered Howland and that area was really nice (known as the East side). But I had no desire to live up in Warren and we always had to drive by one of those blighted factories on the way into town if we were going up there, and right where you drive into Warren proper as you pass the crappy factories is a massive govt. housing project.

We had great years up there those final two years as host family with the Scrappers, which was totally awesome stuff going to the ballpark every night. Looking back, I also had Cavs tickets (not season but a package), we went to Science center all the time, Six Flags, shopping dinner in Solon etc. The point being we spent a ton of time away from that town. Then for a year I worked in Moon Township and commuted each day which got old, but once again far far from town (prior to that was a traveling consultant driving to Hopkins every week).

And as great as we thought our little life was up there, moving to Cardiff/Encinitas area was just such a huge eye opener.

I have honestly never been to East Liverpool, Steubenville, Lorain or Springfield but it sounds about right form everything I've heard


Hey dmiles,

Gonna be in the San diego area in a couple weeks - close to Encinitas. Carlsbad for a couple days, Oceanside for 8. Got any "insider" tips on what to do, where to eat - or, what to stay away from. Gonna hit Legoland, SD Zoo and Disneyworld while were out there. Anything else that's "must see?"
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby pod2dawg » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:54 am

dmiles wrote:The 5-6 years of my adult life that I lived there was in Lordstown ............
And as great as we thought our little life was up there, moving to Cardiff/Encinitas area was just such a huge eye opener.


D.M., Those 5-6 years definitely impacted you well with midwestern small town values. You always sound properly prioritized and "together" , coming from a Dad too. Let me confirm , Cardiff/Encinitas = correct move. :)
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby pod2dawg » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:59 am

jb wrote:Here are the results of my very non-scientific survey.

Definitions matter:

Suburbs do not count. They are essentially mirrors of the nearest larger city. To be eligible the city must stand alone. This eliminates crap holes like East Cleveland and Campbell.

Can't pick on one-stoplight towns. We know many suck to the point of having zero redeeming quality and purpose for existence and places like Palmyra would qualify, but it's too easy. Same goes for all of SE Ohio outside of Athens.

Any major city has some redeeming quality and at least one decent area. You cannot seriously slam Toledo, for example, compared to these places that'd be better off with a Zombie apocalypse.

1. East Liverpool - When you can look across the river to West Virginia and see a better place, that tells you all you need to know. This place is an abandoned, hollowed out crap hole of all crap holes. Plus it has that Appalachian gross out factor. The boarded out buildings and people with strange stares looking all inbred and sorts vaults this hell hole to the top of my list. Bonus factor of suck: a walmart strip mall in Calcutta is the destination for these sorry assed godforsaken blokes the first of the month. The area contains the nearest open non-liquor stores.

2. Steubenville - The area by what passes for a mall isn't all that awful, but it's like one of those malls where every anchor is dead and there's a bunch of generic stores. The Macy's is cool because it's the closeout store for the region like the Dillard’s at dead Euclid Square. The downtown looks like a perfect setting for a "_____________ of the Living Dead" low budget movie. There are parts of this unloved hill jack region that you take your life in your own hands walking in day or night. Bonus factor: lots of super-ugly Stiller fans.

3. Springfield - This place is a total arm pit. It's the place where there are boarded up motels by the dozen and junkies walking around brazenly looking in vain for any unstolen copper at noon time with utter impunity. I get lost there once and was pretty sure I was gonna get shot at a hardies for my ray bans. Bonus factor: Let's face it. You get south of Dublin and you are essentially in the mid-south.

4. Lorain - This place is every bit as dangerous and ugly as Detroit and every bit as nasty as Steubenville, but it is at least on the lake and not so Appalachian. I think it has an open business downtown. Bonus factor: They built a community playground near the old A-K HS and the locals set it on fire.

5. Warren - One could EASILY make the case for warren at one as it is amazing how such a small city can have so much ugliness and blight per capita. This is a place where the people are so stupid and economically stunted that GE was gonna keep a light bulb plant open by converting to CFBs from the old tungsten’s and the old farts voted "no" to concessions so they could take unemployment as a bridge to pension. 200 younger employees lost jobs. It is possible that actually happened in Niles but it is so apacraphal I don't really care. Every industry imaginable has an abandoned factory here. This place is so butt ugly it makes you wish that wild fires were an Ohio phenomenon. the only reason it's not higher to me is that there is a decent shopping area on the outskirts that is technically Warren. Bonus factor: Eddie Money at the Warren Ampetheater is the big summer draw.

Honorable mention: Lima. I've heard it sucks maybe worse than any of these places but have never personally been.


:lmfao: J.B. , you simply need to write more.
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:21 pm

Springfield is pretty awful wandering drug fiends and a nice classic car lot that probably is financed by drug money. There were obvious whores standing near a run down but still operational "motel".

It's basically Cincy's aborted fetus.
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby dmiles » Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:45 pm

leadpipe wrote:Hey dmiles,

Gonna be in the San diego area in a couple weeks - close to Encinitas. Carlsbad for a couple days, Oceanside for 8. Got any "insider" tips on what to do, where to eat - or, what to stay away from. Gonna hit Legoland, SD Zoo and Disneyworld while were out there. Anything else that's "must see?"



I think you have it pretty well covered. I never did a whole lot in Oceanside it has a bit of a ghetto reputation, although the little area near the beach with the movie theater isn't bad at all.

I personally enjoyed eating Mexican food down in Cardiff at Las Olas because you could walk it off on the beach after eating. There is also one in Carlsbad (I coached the owner's kid in little league), but I prefer the location in Cardiff. If you prefer a nice Seafood place the Chart House is right too there. I never had dinner there, just not a big Seafood guy. Ironically I finally started eating Sushi AFTER we moved to Orlando, I wish I'd tried it back in Cali so I knew the best place. Most of the locals like it though my neighbor was a bartender there for 22 years. As an outsider I couldn't see how a bartender could get by but he bought his house a long time ago.

I like downtown Encinitas, and it's actually gotten a little nicer, Whole Foods came in and built a store right downtown with a garage underneath and a lot more businesses have popped up around it. My favorite place to eat down there was El Callejon. Standard Mexican restaurant but they were so damn generous with the tequilla we'd get one pitcher of margarita's and leave a little light headed.

PizzaPort has places in Solana Beach and Carlsbad, I was supposed to meet JB over at the Carlsbad one but I had all kinds shit going on and forgot. Nice Pizza and good beer selection, you are probably familiar with that already.

Other favorites:
Rico's Taco Shop - The California Burrito is so damn good, and very kid friendly, my kids loved them. (Carne Asada, Cheese, Sour Cream and French Fries). Not the healthiest thing but who cares it's vacation. My wife used to get either Justin Burrito or something with Guacamole. I am not a huge Avocado guy but if you drive towards Fallbrook, you can get big sacks of them for $5.00.

If you are ever going to grill out or make a meal:
Run, do not walk over to Seaside Market in Cardiff. Get the marinated Tri-Tip you will thank me. They have two flavors the Chipotle is pretty hot, I prefer the Burgundy Tri-Tip. I have never eaten such tasty beef, including at the high-end Steakhouses. It got to the point where every birthday or celebration was an excuse to go get a couple pounds of this stuff. We had friends from Ohio who had moved to Rancho Bernardo about 30 min. away and they had a standing order to bring 2-3 lbs of that stuff every time we went out to there place.

Breakfast:
If you around Cardiff area, head over to V.G Donuts, or Pipes Cafe for excellent breakfast burritos.

Beaches:
They all have their own quirks, Moonlight Beach in Encinitas is in the heart of town and we went down there a lot. The water is a bit cold, just go in anyway, you get used to it quickly. Ponto, in Carlsbad is pretty nice too. I like any beach that has a lot of volleyball courts setup, it's nice to go over and watch the "athletic women" play. Cardiff has interesting beaches too.
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby Spin » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:11 pm

This articlecame up on FaceBook, this is something I've been oddly interested in for awhile since working in Ytown when it was 2nd in the US per-capita in homicides (60 in one year). I've also worked in rust belt Mansfield and Elyria/Lorain too (the common thread, those fire departments were too broke to handle EMS calls so they let private companies have them).

Other cities have taken over as more dangerous (thanks Norlins and De-troit). But the blight is just as bad.

I read somewhere where the Mahoning Valley (Y-town, Warren) lost over half of its population since Black Monday.

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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby leadpipe » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:51 pm

dmiles wrote:
leadpipe wrote:Hey dmiles,

Gonna be in the San diego area in a couple weeks - close to Encinitas. Carlsbad for a couple days, Oceanside for 8. Got any "insider" tips on what to do, where to eat - or, what to stay away from. Gonna hit Legoland, SD Zoo and Disneyworld while were out there. Anything else that's "must see?"



I think you have it pretty well covered. I never did a whole lot in Oceanside it has a bit of a ghetto reputation, although the little area near the beach with the movie theater isn't bad at all.

I personally enjoyed eating Mexican food down in Cardiff at Las Olas because you could walk it off on the beach after eating. There is also one in Carlsbad (I coached the owner's kid in little league), but I prefer the location in Cardiff. If you prefer a nice Seafood place the Chart House is right too there. I never had dinner there, just not a big Seafood guy. Ironically I finally started eating Sushi AFTER we moved to Orlando, I wish I'd tried it back in Cali so I knew the best place. Most of the locals like it though my neighbor was a bartender there for 22 years. As an outsider I couldn't see how a bartender could get by but he bought his house a long time ago.

I like downtown Encinitas, and it's actually gotten a little nicer, Whole Foods came in and built a store right downtown with a garage underneath and a lot more businesses have popped up around it. My favorite place to eat down there was El Callejon. Standard Mexican restaurant but they were so damn generous with the tequilla we'd get one pitcher of margarita's and leave a little light headed.

PizzaPort has places in Solana Beach and Carlsbad, I was supposed to meet JB over at the Carlsbad one but I had all kinds shit going on and forgot. Nice Pizza and good beer selection, you are probably familiar with that already.

Other favorites:
Rico's Taco Shop - The California Burrito is so damn good, and very kid friendly, my kids loved them. (Carne Asada, Cheese, Sour Cream and French Fries). Not the healthiest thing but who cares it's vacation. My wife used to get either Justin Burrito or something with Guacamole. I am not a huge Avocado guy but if you drive towards Fallbrook, you can get big sacks of them for $5.00.

If you are ever going to grill out or make a meal:
Run, do not walk over to Seaside Market in Cardiff. Get the marinated Tri-Tip you will thank me. They have two flavors the Chipotle is pretty hot, I prefer the Burgundy Tri-Tip. I have never eaten such tasty beef, including at the high-end Steakhouses. It got to the point where every birthday or celebration was an excuse to go get a couple pounds of this stuff. We had friends from Ohio who had moved to Rancho Bernardo about 30 min. away and they had a standing order to bring 2-3 lbs of that stuff every time we went out to there place.

Breakfast:
If you around Cardiff area, head over to V.G Donuts, or Pipes Cafe for excellent breakfast burritos.

Beaches:
They all have their own quirks, Moonlight Beach in Encinitas is in the heart of town and we went down there a lot. The water is a bit cold, just go in anyway, you get used to it quickly. Ponto, in Carlsbad is pretty nice too. I like any beach that has a lot of volleyball courts setup, it's nice to go over and watch the "athletic women" play. Cardiff has interesting beaches too.


Thanks for the suggestions. Gotta grill right on the terrace of the time share, so definitely gonna hit the Seaside Market.

And I suppose I gotta hit Pipe's Cafe.....
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby Govbarney » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:21 pm

I am guessing none of you have ever been to Hamilton Ohio... All the beauty of Springfield, with the charm of Beirut.

Honorable mention goes to Middletown, OH.... In all honesty I have always been all for letting Kentucky having everything south of dayton
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby danwismar » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:40 pm

My memories of Warren are old ones...like mid-70's...shortly after the major decline began, but before a lot of the blight. A college friend's dad owned the Village bar/restaurant downtown...we used to drink at Lefty and Jim's and I was in a band that had a regular gig at The Patio, a bar out on 422...almost to Niles. Used to frequent the Hot Dog Shoppe...(we called it "the hot dog in the sky" because of the rotating dog on a spire above the place) for fast food...greasy fries by the brown bagful.

Agree on Springfield...spent a week there one night...and despite having worked for a Youngstown company for 10 years, and having come to appreciate some of the "positives" of Y-Town...it's still a pretty good place to experience a car-jacking, something that actually happened to a work colleague right on Market St. near downtown as he got off a freeway exit ramp. It may be saved by some really good Italian restaurants.

Long ago, after bar-hopping in Kent, I became convinced that that city had to have the most bars per capita in the state...or region...I looked into it, and can't remember the source, but was informed that, in fact, that distinction belonged to Massillon. And in Massillon, that's not really a good thing. It definitely belongs on the list.

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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby googleeph2 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:50 pm

Not disagreeing with Springfield, but our older daughter just graduated from Wittenberg. It is a gleaming (a gleam, men) jewel in the middle of that city.
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Re: The 5 crappiest cities in Ohio

Unread postby Squints » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:05 pm

When I was looking at colleges about 20 years ago, I seriously considered Wittenberg. I don't remember much about Springfield, but I really liked the college.
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