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Uptown Charlotte is returning to normal after DNC

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

The plastic wrap is gone from newspaper racks, and it’s easier to find a trashcan. But as uptown Charlotte returns to normal after the Democratic National Convention, diners looking for a place to eat outside may have to settle for concrete.

In the days before the convention, city workers and property managers worked to protester-proof the city’s uptown. Trash bins disappeared. Newspaper bins were locked, then wrapped in plastic. And outdoor furniture disappeared, forcing many to picnic on the ground.

The convention packed up and left town Friday. Over the weekend, city crews began removing the miles of fencing blocking uptown streets. Only a few pieces of fencing remained to be picked up, including stacks near a free-speech zone that was rarely used.

The last of the protesters were gone from their encampment in Marshall Park, too. Park officials and police asked them to leave the park Friday.

Some signs of the convention still existed. Scaffolding used to run cable into Time Warner Cable Arena still stood. The national media encampment is only partially uprooted. Dozens of generators remained. And “Obama for President” memorabilia was still on sale at the visitors’ center, though at a steep discount. All uptown streets are open again. Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

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