Away from the glitter of Montano Road's glamorous shopping district to the north, Second Street shows the effects of time and disrepair. This block seems to be a nondescript commercial jungle of signs, billboards, and businesses, boasting few residences. Automobiles heading north roar down the street, creating the impression that this neighborhood is a harsh and lifeless accommodation of speed and machines where creatures of flesh and blood do not belong. Random metal benches at a few 'bus stop's hardly seem like a welcoming oasis of calm to the casual pedestrian.
The only thing of life amidst all this plastic inertia is the recently renovated and reopened Cultural Center on the corner. It is affiliated with the much larger center on the south banks of the Rio Grande (http://www.nhccnm.org). The old railway building housing the center is now adorned with colorful banners; there is a steady stream of foot traffic to and from the center, mostly from the local neighborhoods. Despite this injection of vitality, dust still seems to cling to most of the area, flurries of it rising up as the wind blows past empty storefronts. In general, this particular neighborhood does not seem to cater to the comfort or safety of the people who hurry through it.