People Share Major Red Flags That You're In A Bad Neighborhood

People Share Major Red Flags That You're In A Bad Neighborhood
Photo by Alin Andersen on Unsplash

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

Those are thoughts that run through a lot of people's heads when we find ourselves in places we're unsure about.

Sometimes the map is wrong and you end up wandering into unsavory areas.

But how can we be sure they're unsavory?

Murder. Murder right in front of you is a dead giveaway.

But what about less obvious indictators?

What should we look for?

RedditorCouch_Lickerwanted to hear about what to look out for when you're unsure if the geography is unsafe. They asked:

"What are some red flags that you're in a 'bad' neighborhood?"


Episode 1 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy

"The counter at every business has bullet proof glass."


"do not deliver after dark"

"I found out I lived in a 'bad' neighborhood once when I was told pizza places didn't deliver to our house."


"I work as a pizza delivery driver. This is a real thing that a lot of chains (and most likely independent stores) do! My store has two areas blocked off as 'do not deliver after dark' due to drivers being assaulted/stolen from."

"There are also individual houses that are marked do not deliver (our system normally tracks it via phone number, but if we get 2 phone numbers for 1 address, we block the address too), due to 'milder' bad behavior (ex. threatening a driver, fake bills, abusing refunds, etc)."


Poor Thing

"When you mention to locals where you live and they just have a brief look of pity."


"I'm sure it's nice!"

"But for real, I think that some neighborhoods get a lot more crap than they deserve. Semi-poor neighborhoods are often talked of like you'd better clamp your car before someone runs off with the tires."


Cash Issues

"Cash Advance Business close by."


"Check cashing -> pawn shop -> check cashing -> liquor store -> check cashing -> MetroPCS -> check cashing -> mine resistant ambush protected convenience store -> check cashing -> shoe store -> Dollar General."


"Don't forget Boost Mobile and Cricket Wireless."


Shoe Safety

the amanda show nicksplat GIFGiphy

"Armed security guard at the strip mall Foot Locker."


Yeah, those are all good flags. Why so much bullet proof glass? Honest question...


season 1 GIF by Sneaky PeteGiphy

"The 'bail bonds' billboard next to the 'having a problem with your heroin addiction' billboard."


Empty Spaces

"Storefront church, long-abandoned storefronts covered with graffiti, liquor store, gutted pre-war movie theater filled with garbage, chicken & Chinese food takeout. And on some of the empty stores, shadows of the old signs can be seen. Finkelstein's Delicatessen. Morris Haberdashery. Sanitary Grocery. Lucille Millinery. And from a later generation, Willie's Rib Shack; TJ's Voodoo Lounge."



"Bars on the windows everywhere. Even the church."


"I've not seen that even in areas with significant religious tensions. I grew up during the Troubles and had to go through the North every time we visited my cousins in Donegal, and the churches never looked different from the ones near where I lived. Their police stations looked like fortresses though."


“ACME is real”

"1981, I and four coworkers were walking to a convenience store in Detroit. A patrol car pulled up to the curb in front of us and through a loud speaker an officer said, 'what are you doing walking through this area? Leave.' And then drove off. We continued for another three blocks to the store where we were buzzed in, the door locked behind us, and there was a counter going all the way around the perimeter of the store."

"Plexiglass an inch thick went from the top of the counter to the ceiling with a few slots here and there through which to pay. After paying we were buzzed back out. I couldn’t tell you the exact neighborhood, but we passed by the ACME Bolt company on the way, and I remember us all remarking, “ACME is real.”

"Before then, ACME was something we thought only existed in cartoons."


License Please...

music video 90s GIFGiphy

"An adult man riding a child's BMX bike down the center of the road."



"Really worn old beat-up cars right next to brand new extremely expensive cars."


"Or brand new cars next to really crappy homes."


"You see a lambo in a neighborhood that doesn't match, something is wrong."


Being 17

"When the cops stop you and tell you to follow them out of the neighborhood with specific instructions to not stop for any reason, even stop signs, after you explain you made a wrong turn and really aren't trying to buy crack. Happened to me on the east side of Cleveland when I was 17."


out the window...

"It's 3 o' clock in the morning, remember its 3 o clock in the morning. I look out the window... and there's a freakin' baby standing on the corner."


"I've straight up seen this sh*t. Took a wrong turn in Houston, it's about 1AM and there's a kid no older than 4 years old hanging out on the corner. Other random people milling around didn't seem the least bit concerned."



Barricade Lock The Door GIFGiphy

"Wood on the windows. Many buildings boarded up means bad business."


Before Google

"I was doing Geotech work on site for a potential cell tower years ago and had to give directions to a coworker (years before google maps were a thing). I told him it was across the street from the burglar bar manufacturer and the attack dog training school. -pause- 'really??? Yep.'"


On the Corner

"The Bodega is the best restaurant."


"Some of those guys do make a mean sandwich. One of the best I had was steps away from my sh**ty $450/mo roach infested Brooklyn apt that didn’t even have a window or buzzer on the building door. No mailbox either. My room was 6ft by 9ft. Thank goodness I got out of there in 3 months."

"I actually only really stayed there every night for 1.5 months and then preferred to basically live homeless wandering all day when I wasn’t working, and crashing on the couch at work or at friend's places. I’d only return to the awful apartment for the occasional shower. Work had a shower so I’d try to use that when I could."


Lock your doors...

"When you're not supposed to lock your car doors. Good neighborhoods: you don't need to lock your car doors. Bad neighborhoods: you need to lock your car doors. Really bad neighborhoods: you should not lock your car doors, because if someone really wants to steal your crap, they will have no qualms about throwing a brick through your window to get in. It's better to just let them use the door than pay for a new window."



I’ve been in a lot of bad areas in South America, Southern Africa, and the US and the worst of the worst places smell like urine. My reaction to that smell isn’t even like 'gross' It’s like 'watch your freaking back.'"


"Civic Center BART Station, San Francisco. urine smell so strong, it will burn our sinuses. Wonder how much longer before the uric acid causes some serious infrastructure damage."



Shopping Corona GIF by jjjjjohnGiphy

"Liquor store, empty building, gun store, liquor store, empty building, empty building, convenience store, liquor store, liquor store."


Pay attention to you surroundings. It just may save your life.

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