Back in the days when I was an expat, I would get regular warnings from the American Embassy on areas to avoid. A lot of times, the warnings were based on demonstrations various groups were planning. And most of the time, the warning was, “avoid the American Embassy,” because demonstrations around there were constant.
And the embassy would send messages on places to avoid in general (i.e., don’t go to country X. The government has just been overthrown).
But what places in America are foreign governments telling their citizens to avoid? Here’s a list from the Washington Post’s GovBeat column:
Boston: Avoid walking at night in Dorchester, Mattapan and Roxbury, and be wary of “petty crime” in Chinatown, the North End and Fenway.
Washington: Northeast and Southeast should be avoided, and Union Station is dangerous at night. “Le quartier Anacostia n’est pas recommandable de jour comme de nuit.” Translation: Don’t go to Anacostia, day or night.
Baltimore: “Considered a dangerous city except downtown.”
Richmond: “Do not visit the city on foot.”
Pittsburgh: The French urge their citizens to avoid Mount Oliver, Hill District, Homewood-Brushton and Hazelwood.
Cleveland: Avoid Cleveland Heights, Lakewood and Euclid. That warning got Cleveland Heights Mayor Edward Kelly upset. “The French government is foolish and doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Detroit: “The center is not recommended after the close of business.”
Chicago: Stay away from the West Side and anywhere south of 59th Street.
Houston: Be vigilant if traveling through Downtown, south and east Houston at night.
St. Louis: “Eviter le quartier nord entre l’aéroport et le centre-ville, mais la navette reliant l’aéroport est sûre.” Translation: Avoid northern area between the airport and the city center, but the airport shuttle is safe (Hat tip to our friend Chris Good, of ABC News, for spotting that nugget).
Atlanta: The French are nervous about the southern part of the city, and downtown after dark.
Miami: “Canadians have been the victims of crime such as break-ins, assaults and pickpocketing in the Miami area, sometimes during daylight hours,” Canada’s foreign ministry warns. France says attacks on tourists in Florida are rare now, but were frequent a few years ago.
Having lived in some of these places, I can say that the folks abroad seem to know what they’re talking about.
- 16 American cities foreign governments warn their citizens about (washingtonpost.com)
- French Government Issued Travel Warning For North St. Louis (stlouis.cbslocal.com)
- French govt.: Avoid 3 CLE suburbs (newsnet5.com)
- Cleveland suburbs upset France warned citizens not to visit (upi.com)
- British have no warning about El Paso (elpasotimes.typepad.com)
- Places in the United States to avoid, according to France (redalertpolitics.com)