April 24


Entropy and anarchy in the ETJ

Photo by Justin ParrPhoto by Justin ParrThe entrance to Camelot II sits directly across from Montgomery Elementary School, which is quiet over the summer break. Few cars go in or out of the small subdivision, and there’s almost no sign that a couple hundred yards down Winsford Street the First World is in full retreat.

On Neston Drive, a family is chatting in the bare front yard of a house, and a white pickup truck maneuvers impatiently through the obstacles in an alleyway behind Stockport. A couple streets over, a tall woman picks her way through an overgrown public easement with two small children in tow. These are the only indications at 10:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning that the area isn’t abandoned. On several blocks, boarded-up windows seem to outnumber those with glass. Which might be a futile gesture. Broken windows are common enough, but vandals and thieves find it just as easy to go straight through the walls, leaving studs and insulation exposed where the copper has been ripped out. In one alleyway, palm trunks and empty carports are charred from a mini arson crime wave, and a tour guide will point out the addresses of recent murders: the man who was killed by his lover; a shooting that hit a baby. But it’s the trash that’s made the local news again: couches, mattresses, and old toilets, and endless stinking heaps of plastic bags and loose garbage piled in garages and strewn across roadways. Camelot II has become an open landfill.

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