CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- 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.

But over the weekend, city crews began removing the miles of fencing blocking uptown streets. Only a few pieces remained to be picked up, including stacks outside a free-speech zone that was rarely used.

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

Some signs of the convention still existed. Pieces of scaffolding used to run cable into Time Warner Cable Arena still stood. The national media encampment is only partially uprooted. Dozens of generators and a trailer 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.

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