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Monday, September 14, 2009


The Fantasyland on Illinois Route 3 in Brooklyn once held two strip club stages, many video viewing rooms and a "health spa." In a small city whose center seems to have a church on every corner not occupied by a strip club, Fantasyland was the biggest of the non-religious operations. Then it closed at some point in the first few years of the 21st century. In 2007, there was a fire that started the damage shown above (See "Driving to Granite City", September 30, 2007).

Two years later, surprisingly, the burned out, collapsing hulk still stands. The sign out front advertising a "health spa and rubs" is even still standing. Meanwhile, a convenience store across the street, opened in 2005, already is out of business. Once, the gigantic adult facility proclaimed the luster of roadside fantasy, but now the building and its remaining sign have a different message. The crumbling hulk is not far from the decaying remains of the National City stockyards, and the landscape in that stretch is a bit of unwanted fantasy -- the dwindling traces of long-gone industrial employment, the failure of even the marginal "adult entertainment" industry and the glimmering St. Louis skyline at night showcasing the glowing Lumiere Place casino. Life out of balance, or just the reality of the tenuous state of the inner ring of metro east cities?


samizdat said...

I believe it mearly reflects the new reality of life in America today: decreasing emloyment in manufacturing, decreasing pay across both the college-educated and no or limited-educated work force, a declining number of middle class citizens, and the resultant decline in both tax reciepts and contributions to charitable and religious organisations. With the potential result that the economic "elite" will continue to gain more power in our society, and this will end in a death spiral for our democratic Republic and our liberties, since our elected "representatives" will become (have become?) no more than whores or shills for the corporatocracy. Not to mention the diminishing choices about what food we eat, where we may go, what we may think. National Parks and Monuments, Refuges, etc. sold off or leased to pay off the increasing debt. Continued militarisation, since who the hell is going to kill one of the few remaing manufacturing centers in our society. All of it explained away in nice, pretty nostrums about Homeland and fearful warnings about the loss of "jobs". Don't forget to salute the flag. I'm not even going to go into the environmental and ecological degradation which has already occurred, and which can only continue to get worse, without significant investment to reverse or counter it. Meh. Now, where'd I put my tinfoil hat?

Chris said...

Beautiful clouds in these pictures, though I have to admit that I'm not surprised the building hasn't been torn down. There's no money in it.

Claudia said...

It was so sad to see it go I worked there about ten years as GM and the place was great