An art installation is seen in Slab City just outside Niland, Calif., last month. A former military base that was closed after World War II, Slab City is a place on the fringe both geographically and philosophically and attracts a variety of people, including jobless and financially struggling recession refugees who can no longer pay for food and housing. The state of California is considering permanently closing Slab City, which attracts thousands of visitors each winter.
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