I was on work assignment in St Louis for the fist time. When I travel for work, I like to take the rental car and go to explore on my free time so I did just that after work. I drove in and around St. Louis, which reminded me quite a bit of Detroit (where I live).

At some point, I decided I wanted to cross the “mighty mississip”, so I did. I headed east, over the interstate bridge, and took the first exit. This put me right into East St. Louis, which I knew nothing about. It was a complete shit hole that reminded me of Gary, IN. Instead of turning around, I decided to head north and get out of the crap. I didn’t know that the St. Louis area was different than most that the shit gets worse as you head north. Being from Detroit, all the crappy areas are downriver.

As I headed north through up some country road surrounded my marsh land, with constant 90 degree left and right turns, the sun started to go down pretty quick. I just kept on driving until I saw some lights ahead. “Great! A town!”, I thought to myself. As I pulled into this town, I saw what can only be described as a “porn city” in the middle of nowhere. I lived on 8-Mile in Detroit at the time and was quite used to strip clubs and adult book stores everywhere, but they were at least among all other regular businesses like used car lots and liquor stores. This place, however, was just three very large and well-lit strip clubs. I believe there was a small adult book store among the few buildings, one abandoned commercial building, and a small subdivision of tiny shitty houses and trailers. To make matters worse, people were out partying in the street and not one of them looked like they would have offered me directions out of there. I whipped down into the subdivision to turn around (keeping the forward momentum without having to stop and turn around sounded like a better idea) where a herd of hookers was there to greet me. I do mean a herd as there were too many to count. I think some dealers were among that mix too, but I can’t remember for sure. I kept things moving and went back exactly the way I came in. Back down the narrow dark road of marsh land and 90 degree turns, back into East St. Louis, across the mighty Mississippi river, and back to civilization.

This was back in 2001. I’ve since been back to and through St. Louis numerous times, but I always think of that freaky night as I keep the accelerator pedal down making sure I don’t ever end up there again.

If anyone from there has any idea what I’m talking about then please elaborate. I feel like I stepped into the Twilight Zone that night because I can’t find anything about this place anywhere. Even on a map, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where it was.