Sunday, September 06, 2015

"California City is one of a number of desert towns that struggles to maintain its existence in the face of broader economic hardships. Incorporated in 1965, it lays claim to being the third largest city in California by geographical size but has never come close to fulfilling that potential. Most of the residents provide the workforce for nearby Edwards Air Force Base, with others employed by the nearby prison and vehicle proving grounds. Vast areas of the city are composed of dirt roads and crumbling pavement laid out in regular grids for a population that never quite materialized. Most of the 11,000 residents that aren't institutionalized (more than 2,000 official residents are prison inmates, mostly illegal immigrants) fit into a two-mile square area around the golf course and lake that was intended to be the centerpiece of a magnificent desert city that just can't seem to gain traction. It doesn't help that it is more than five miles from any of the three major highways that go through the area (SR14, SR58, US395) - you actually need a purpose to find your way to California City."

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