A North County resident since 1982, I probably just had the last of the many strolls I have taken down State Street. A trip over the hill to Santa Barbara has been a luxury over the decades and always a mostly pleasant one spent walking between Cabrillo and Victoria streets. Today I witnessed this gorgeous part of the city in very bad need of attention. It’ depressing. The facades of many buildings look tired and dirty, planters along the curb double as receptacles for trash, large numbers of empty storefronts make it feel like the tourist industry is on the brink of aesthetically and economically dying. However, the very worst part was the stench of urine in the air. It was particularly nauseating when mixed with the aromas of food being served at sidewalk restaurants. As I walked, I wondered how bad it might smell in the heat of summer. That may just have to remain a mystery. Good night, State Street.


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