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Things are down in Uptown Charlotte …

I must live in LaLa Land (aka South Park).

My ‘hood is sparkly and clean compared to what was just witnessed in Uptown Charlotte.

Plastic bags swirled in the wind blown rain. There were plastic bottles and metal cans here and there (and everywhere) along with remnants of clothing, food wrappers, et al. Even a corporate memo was plastered face up to the damp pavement. The litter was depressing in its enormity and scope. I soon doubled down on my depression; waterlogged shoes meant my attitude was soggy, too, as I sought refuge from the storm beneath a canopy at the Third Street light rail station for my trip toward home.

Of the blight seen earlier, however, worse still was the junk strewn between the light rail tracks. Sure, only a blithering idiot would venture between the steel ribbons, but man, what a mess. If our erstwhile President were here, he might Tweet ‘… disgusting. Terrible. Sad.’ And I’d agree with him for once. (That would be the extent of of our common ground.)


Charlotte has done a nice job with light rail (and needs to do more, much more) but it’s what is between and beside the tracks that is just plain awful.

As I cruise home, still visible through rain splattered windows along the rail line is a veritable landfill-worth of urban junk. The only difference between the real thing and what I see as we whiz by is this debris field isn’t covered with dirt. The trash stays in plain view.

I’ll be home soon enough with a path of my own to worry about. This decrepit scene will be in my rear view mirror but hardly forgotten. What I just saw in a miles-long stretch of Charlotte and what I’ll pick up later in my LaLa Land isn’t an apples-to-oranges comparison. Too bad. Sad.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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