To the southeast, down San Pedro Blvd., lie the entrances to the New Mexico State Fairgrounds, where horses race at The Downs, concerts are heard at Tingley Coliseum, and a popular flea-market draws bargain hunters every weekend. But this stretch of Lomas Blvd. is known as the "Warzone" and exists in an entirely different world, which is readily apparent from the six-foot tall brick wall topped with two feet of chain link spiked with barbed wire which borders the Fairgrounds as it sprawls east along the street. Transients and derelicts push their shopping carts against the brick wall, one creating an elaborate lean-to from cardboard boxes.
The Fair Plaza Shopping Center on the northwest corner is a purely functional building disguised in signs and positioned at the back of an ocean of asphalt. A few types of businesses seem to do well here, mostly liquor stores, tattoo parlors, and pawn shops. Several buildings nearby show signs of serious structural damage, some of them sporting spraypainted signs reading 'Keep Out.' Glass from numerous broken windows litters the street and sidewalk. Piles of rotting garbage clog the gutters. Most people heading toward the Fairgrounds avoid lingering, much less leaving their cars in this area.