I don’t know what it is, but as soon as you cross over North Newstead Avenue into the Fairgrounds neighborhood, the trail drops out from underneath you. The housing stock is older, and that definitely plays a part. But what can I say when I cover a mile and 90% of all I see are abandoned buildings and vacant lots along a secondary artery? It’s deeply discouraging.
I’ve been looking at the forlorn stretch of Lee Avenue for at least thirteen years. I first saw it back in November of 2010, then November of 2015, once more again in September of 2017 and most recently in December of 2019. The last time we were on foot and there was a stray pitbull sitting in the middle of the street so we decided to turn around.
Something about this photo below sort of sums up my experience; a single house sitting all by itself in the middle of vacant lots stretching several parcels in both directions, trash collecting in the front lawn like a magnet. What else is there to say?
Wide open vistas abound.
Seriously, have you ever heard any politician say they have a solution for what’s happened to Lee Avenue? Besides your typical platitudes and talking points that have been bandied about since the 1960s?
I’m not planning on coming back up this way for a long time. It’s just not safe. I am always arguing against stereotypes and prejudices, but this is one part of the city that is too dangerous.