As the holidays approach, we are all inclined to spend locally. However, the last several years, State Street has become all about chain stores, owned and operated by out-of-town money. The money coming in really doesn’t stay too local, except for some taxes. How I miss the old State Street days of Piccadilly Square and unique, locally owned and operated stores and shops. Those were days when residents looked forward to holidays on State Street. It seems it’s all for tourists now. With out-of-control rents, chain stores are the only option to afford them. It’s lost soul, for sure. Sad.

I’d rather drive to Ventura and shop on their Main Street. It has a vibe I love that reminds me of the old State Street in some ways, with book stores, a mom-and-pop flower shop, fabric shops, wood crafts, thrift stores, and a great coffee shop. But Santa Barbara has progress, right? When is the next cruise ship coming? Cheese it out.

Happy holidays. I really do mean that.


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