Just ask the some 718,000 people who have watched him roast it in a Youtube video, which went viral after his brother posted it to Reddit.
In the roughly two-minute clip, Vega makes jabs at everything from the city’s unfinished land projects — including the long-vacant PhoenixMart — to bullet-riddled traffic signs and an abandoned Wendy’s restaurant.
“This is my hometown of Casa Grande,” Vega said in the video. “Which, if you don’t speak Spanish, that actually means ‘victim of the housing crisis.'”
Some viewers laughed and nodded in agreement with his roast, he said. Others, not so much. The video drew so much attention that the Casa Grande Dispatchwrote a story about it.
The local newspaper’s article prompted Vega’s brother to post the video on Reddit, where it immediately took off.
“The I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson seriously resembles a Mad Max movie with the half-abandoned communities, insane drivers, and mutants,” wrote Reddit user Happy_cactus.
Two days later, the video had racked up more than 96,000 upvotes on the site.
Sparking a conversation on civic improvement
Vega acknowledged his video got its fair share of laughs, cringes and criticism, but he hopes it at least started a conversation about how his hometown can be improved.
“I can only pray that good things will come from this,” he said. “In the end, how cities are structured…affects people’s lives. If buildings suck, our lives suck that much more.”
Despite using much of the video to ridicule Casa Grande’s unfinished real estate projects, Vega said he understands the city’s location makes it a tough place to grow.
“I think being a city planner in Casa Grande is tough and I don’t fault them at all for what’s happened,” he said. “What I hope is that one of these big projects eventually does go through.”
The Casa Grande City Manager’s office did not respond to request for comment on the video.
One of many city-roasting videos
Vega’s roast of Casa Grande might look familiar to other videos he’s done — and that’s because his hometown isn’t the first victim, and it won’t be the last, he said.
A quick scroll through Vega’s YouTube channel will show that his “I’m Walking Here” series started out in New York.
He’s done roasts of the Staten Island Ferry, LaGuardia and Penn Station, which he said was his most successful video before the Casa Grande video went viral on reddit.
Vega said more similar videos are in the works, but he’ll focus more on New York this time around “because it’ll protect me,” he said.
“I don’t want people in Casa Grande upset at me, my parents still live there.”
Reach reporter Angel Mendoza at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @angelmendozaAZC or on Facebook.
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