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Meet California City, the Rival Los Angeles Didn't Know It Had

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[Large image via BLDGBLOG; small via Chris Barrus]

California City is an almost-empty city just barely outlined 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It was planned in the late fifties by a sociology professor hoping to create an urban center bigger than LA--now it's the third-largest city in California by land area, and its population in 2000 was just over 8,000 people. As part of Obscura Day, "an international celebration of wondrous, curious, and esoteric places" organized by Atlas Obscura, BLDGBLOG arranged a caravan out to California City. GOOD was there, and describes the scene: "For as far as the eye can see, in any direction, the desert is carved into a suburban grid with grand boulevards and funny little cul-de-sacs now being used as ramps by ATV enthusiasts." Check out the participant flickr page for photos, and BLDGBLOG for more strange and awesome background (The city's closest neighbors are a prison, an automobile test-driving facility, and a boron mine, and Erik Estrada is its spokesperson).
· California City [BLDGBLOG]
· Obscura Day: Preservation By Expedition [GOOD]
· California City [flickr]