Louisiana Blvd. leads to an entrance to the New Mexico State Fairgrounds, which sprawl out along Lomas toward the west and southwest. A six-foot tall brick wall topped with two feet of chain link spiked with barbed wire borders the Fairgrounds, theoretically keeping the vagrants and drug dealers out. The whinnying of horses can be heard from the stables on the other side of the wall, an occasional smell of hay and manure mingling with the less wholesome street odors of refuse and unwashed humanity. The roar of the crowd can sometimes be heard from The Downs racetrack to the south. Few are foolhardy enough to venture out for cigarettes to one of the neighborhood liquor stores, as this area is definitely what one might call "unsafe."
Dark, brooding buildings stand a silent watch over the street, casting long shadows over the dingy sidewalks. Panhandlers roam around, mumbling to themselves as they seek solace in cheap malt beverages. The occasional blur of movement along the ground gives evidence of sewer rats, which pick through rubble and trash looking for indiscriminate morsels of sustenance.