Despite the smarmy eco-sanctimony every freaking place we went (gotta ask for water at dinner and bags for your purchases, signs in public restrooms about the water-saving toilets, etc), the downtown/Portland State areas where we spent most of my long weekend trip were filthier than downtown Milwaukee/the east side by UW-Milwaukee. Litter everywhere--the light rail stop outside our "certified green" hotel was covered in newspapers, coffee cups, cigarette butts, sandwich wrappers. And grafitti--not the kind commonly confused with art, just tags. In the commercial/tourist districts.
I thought that was interesting.
I wanted to photograph it all, but I was traveling with people young and hip enough to be embarrassed* about being thought tourists--I carry business cards that say I'm an artist just in case anyone ever wonders why I'm photographing litter--who hustled me quickly from place to place (not a problem after I got hit with the dysentery and felt compelled to maintain proximity to restrooms).
The other thing that stood out was beer all over the place. At every meal and snack stop (alas, not for me). The Neo-Prohibitionists around Wisconsin really need to get out more instead of shrieking about how WI has a "uniquely alcohol-soaked culture." Nothing unique about it.
* We saw protesters one day, when we were on the light rail. I said, "What's left to protest? We're all proud to be Americans again! Hope-n-Change is going to fix everything!" And then someone kicked me to shut me up before someone smelled the conservative and we all got arrested for hate speech. Heh heh heh.