Talk to strangers

Sometimes the best stories come from doing what your mother always told you not to do: Talking to strangers. PPNS reporter Joel Anderson and I were walking through Pittsburgh’s South Side this fall when we stopped to talk with a man picking up litter. Joel turned it into this article about one man’s Sisyphean obsession with cleaning up his neighborhood — and how others are helping out.


Dressed in his Sunday best of khakis, a button-down shirt and a Habitat for Humanity hat, Adam Christian walks the streets of the South Side carrying a white bucket, red broom and dust-pan. Christian is doing his best to keep his neighborhood clean.

“I’m looking for any kind of honest work,” he said. “I have some spare time, so I’ve been pitching in and cleaning litter around the house, literally around the house – not in the house.”

For the residents of South Side, trash is an everyday problem. As soon as they make headway cleaning up the barrage of garbage, party crowds of 20,000 to 30,000 non-residents visit the area’s amenities, messing it all up again.

“I love the South Side,” Christian said. “I think it’s the greatest place I’ve ever lived. That’s why I try to help keep it clean.”

To read the rest of the story, click here.

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