People don't believe me when I say the zone is a beautiful place. I guess that is partly my fault - would you believe a guy that only goes by initials and rides around on a turbine powered motorcycle? I'm just a lay about who doesn't accept the seriousness of the situation. There is work to be done fixing up the encampment, there are slobbering former humans out there behind every bush and around every corner. That KC guy is just a nutcase.
Let 'em. They'll miss it when its gone. I'd say more for me - but why be greedy and claim the whole USA as my own? Its a big problem these days, and I try not to be a part of it.
Above you is a sky bluer than ever with no industrial particulates being pumped up every day, or with more stars than you've ever seen because there are no lamps burning all night. Look to either side, and you already see the wildrness taking hold, new green shoots and flowers everywhere.
People marvel at ruins of old castles, the shattered bits of the Parthenon seem to be a standard of architectural beauty. Look at any modern building that is falling a part, see all sorts of neat stuff. The million diamond twinkle of irregular glass shards reflecting. Stalactite streaks of rust and other hues painting their own murals down the sides, and re-bar busting through concrete, spilling out showing all the technology and effort that went into making that building on display. Somehow, we came to the aesthetic that when something is done, you should never realize it was built or how in the first place - but now the beams and pass ways and trusses are in plain view.
You see animals you never have before, and its quite enough to meditate by. Well, I'm not one to zen meditate, especially with those animals about - there are an abundance of wolves, lions, coyotes, and others of that kind running about, gleaning from the plenty of left-overs of civilization. It will probably take another decade or so for that to get in balance and all the escaped dogs to revert to a stable wolf-like state.
Even the alien stuff has its own aesthetic. Can't say much for the colors, but they do have their own mosaics and like to paint old walls when they think no human is watching. We expected the first non-earth civilization we met to be a lot of things - but graffiti artists probably wasn't one of them. Provided you don't get too close, even those laser towers are kind of neat - they're like small outcroppings of giant flowers.
There are really only two ugly things in the zone. Reanimates just aren't an easy sight for the eyes - or the nose if you're close enough. Dirty, unkempt, scared - but usually clothed. Almost always really, though with no fashion sense. And they seem to change it up too. Might not be as dead as we think if they do that.
As to the other bit of ugliness?
Well, that is the behavior of people. This place supported what - ten or twelve billion people in 2050, and now that we're well less than two, they still think there isn't enough for everyone. The civilization that brought us flights to Mars, the SPHERE, 180 story tall city-scale buildings, and a few hundred flavors of ice-cream somehow wasn't good enough, and it needs to be remade in a different image.
As I said before, no need to be greedy, and no need to be a part of it.