The few times we have picked up visitors from the airport, I have felt the need to add a disclaimer as we headed out onto the main road back toward base. Basically, don't judge this place until we get to where you can see the water. The general rule of thumb here is that nature on Guam is gorgeous, even breathtaking in places. But the manmade stuff is what our Thai cooking instructor would outspokenly label "not beautiful." The same elements of moisture, rain, humidity, sun, and heat that make things tend to break also tend to make their beauty deteriorate at an alarmingly fast rate. In fact, destruction may be the only thing around here that happens quickly.
This is Guam's central library (there may be more, but this is the only one I know of). As you can see, it is broad daylight, a time when perhaps someone may want to go check out a book to, say, learn something. Too bad it is closed. And even if it were open, it sure doesn't look very inviting. Power washer, anyone??
Last Sunday I woke up and specifically remembered to grab my camera before leaving for church so I could hopefully get some around town shots for the Broken, Slow, Ugly Guam series. Ironically, our brand new church sign was vandalized the night before, so it added one more shot for the series. Not great for our church (although it is cleaned up now), but it sure does highlight how frustrating it is to try to keep things here looking nice.
A pretty typical look down Marine Corps Dr., the main drag. "Not beautiful."
Some apartment buildings. And no, this isn't a "bad" part of town, per se. This picture was taken from the parking lot of the fairly nice resort hotel where our youth group spent the day at the water park yesterday. The ocean is directly behind the white apartment building. Not exactly swanky waterfront real estate.
Parking lot... and a great example of why I haven't bought any nice shoes in the last 15 months. (And also why there will be a major shoe shopping spree in September 2012... just warning you now Nick).
So many businesses close and are never repurposed. They sit at main intersections and rot.
PS - Nick just alerted me that in the above picture, there is a TOILET ON THE ROOF! How did I miss that???
This is the building (or what's left of it) on the other side of the vandalized wall. I can't even tell from this what it was once supposed to be.
This is the old marquee in front of the police department, home of "Tha Non*Sense Kings."
Finally, I don't know about you, but this is EXACTLY where I want to go for home improvement advice and materials. Look out Home Depot!