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Hopes dashed: Charlotte vs. St. Paul … we have a winner in the Tidy Bowl

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.

img_3286.jpgNo 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.


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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