its name implies, Main Street is the heart of downtown,
the home of the Mission, the museums, the Pacific View
Mall. It is very close to City Hall and the Post Office
and is the one street every other street is based
on. "Take Main Street to Seaward," etc. Of
course it bisects the entire city.
when most people think of Main Street, especially when it
comes to shopping and culture, they mean the part between
Ventura Avenue and Laurel Avenue.
in those few city blocks, Main Street is anything but dull
or typical. In fact, it is undergoing a renaissance,
complete with a stark contrast of audiences, styles, and
goals. You can find trendy upscale shops sporting $150
handbags next to thrift shops with $1.50 handbags.
You will find 50s-era burger joints (with excellent
burgers, by the way) and hotter than now Thai eateries
(that have really great Pad Thai) within earshot of each
other. And who could forget to mention the oh-so
numerous antique shops and almost as numerous book stores?
the shopper, it is heaven. There are still unique
little shops that have specialized items - like the
wonderful shop that sells 16th century garb. All of
this change is bound to cause some growing pains, but the
merchants and the shoppers seemed to be taking it all in
stride. As of right now, Main Street is a truly
eclectic place serving a wide - and I mean w i d e variety
in the nature of all such renaissance, the changes will
shake themselves out. Will Main Street go the way of
Santa Barbara's State Street? Will success push out
the thrift shops and the local, unique boutiques?
Will the giant, homogenized chain stores catch onto the
trend? It's too soon to tell. In the
meantime, enjoy the richness that this great little
stretch of road offers.