Philadelphia:-- Ray Nagin, Nu Orlins mayor, blowhard, and favourist (he, of 'Chocolate City' fame) got it right when, after a recent visit to Philly, called this place, run by Hizzoner John Street, blowhard and favourist ('The Brothers are running the city') a rubbish city.
Sure, his remarks weren't tourist friendly. But he was right. Whilst New Orleans is Nature's catastrophe, compounded by bureaucratic and political bungling, Philly is just a man-made pit. Picture Dresden. 1943. You've got the idea.
Thanks to the City Centre outfit that scrubs the core clean each day, downtown ain't that bad. Otherwise, this place is the rat hole of all big cities in America. Check out North Philly. Check out West Philly. Check out Southwest Philly.
What's left? Even South Philly.
What's up with those small black plastic bags that rain on the neighbourhoods like black rain.
Years ago, when I was a VISTA volunteer in Rochester, New York, someone wise and who had been around, told me that America's unchanging underclass -- largely PR and AA -- disrespect their environment because it's an outward manifestation of anger. It's also a rejection of community and shared responsibility. Ain't my job, man. I didn't do it. I ain't picking it up.
The result -- reconnoitre 5th and LeHigh any summer afternoon -- witness rubbish being thrown from car windows. From apartment windows.
Hey, Ray! You, finally, got one right.