Nestled between Lomas Blvd. to the north and Central Avenue to the south, San Mateo can best be described as dingy. The revitalization of Central has not reached this far east and the area has continued to deteriorate. The State Fairgrounds engender a lot of vehicular traffic through the area, but it is definitely not a region that makes for a pleasant walking tour. A dingy roller rink and several adult bookstores sit clustered at one end of the block, while seedy motels advertise their services "by the hour."
The storefronts around the area seem grungy and dismal; a few are boarded up tightly. Most of the street is lit by neon lights, some of which blink fitfully on and off. There are usually several "ladies of the night" leaning against convenient walls. Their faces, brightly painted, appear tired and careworn. A strip club at the north end of the block appears to do a fair amount of business. The air hangs heavily about this area, the mood stifled and uneasy.