Thursday, June 30, 2011

along the southern tier

I think one of the most interesting, and one of the most dismaying, things I have noted on this trip, especially as I've traveled the noninterstates, is the number of abandoned houses. there are, of course, a lot of homes up for sale, but you can always tell which are those because the lawn is mowed and free of ornament.

but the abandoned places are often goodlooking places, or places that were at one point goodlooking, sometimes with trees growing through the porch, sometimes the windows boarded up, sometimes a part of the roof caved in, almost always with the grass grown 3 0r 4 feet high and the lawn reaching all the way to the road.

this afternoon I drove 23 west from hudson to oneonta to connect to 88 south to 17 west to the corning inn where my wife had gotten us reservations for the night--and what was borne out to me over and over again was the number of abandoned places. perhaps 1/3 of the places I passed on 23 were abandoned. and as I drove along I couldn't help wondering if so much of the homeless problem could be solved or alleviated by relocating people into these abandoned places. what would such a thing take?

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