Deep down in my heart of hearts, I really hoped that my adopted hometown of Charlotte would measure up (or is that down?) to the relative cleanliness that was witnessed these past few days in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Alas, my hopes were dashed not long into my local walk on Monday night. Slightly more than halfway through the sweaty, humid slog, my bag was chock full of litter and debris. And then again tonight, there was another bag full on the same path. Help me understand that.
Call me a grump and a ‘lib’ if you will, but honest to God, this has to stop. Charlotte has to do better. We are just a messy, junk-laden wannabe-metropolis.
Now, I don’t expect business titans considering a relocation to Charlotte to cast a judgmental eye toward the sidewalks and pavement but surely the tidiness of the Queen City contributes to their overall perception of our town.
No coin flip was needed. St. Paul claimed the Tidy Bowl hands-down over Charlotte. Minnesota’s capital won in a landslide in this picker-upper’s estimation. Yeah, my sampling size was small – central St. Paul near two secondary schools, Macalester College and St. Catherine University. Perhaps the neighborhoods take added pride in staying clean and proper near campuses. But still, there was a marked difference in the amount of trash laying about.
But there is a ray of hope for Charlotte. Next week I’ll trod around Chicago yet without taking a step in Illinois, I have already declared Charlotte the victor vs. the Windy City. It’s an even bigger mess than is found in North Carolina.