On the surface, this pedestrian strip (careful!! a few authorized vehicles still traverse) looks like a collection of retro shops, nice restaurants, fine coffee houses and inviting bars. For that reason, it can be a nice place to stroll on a warm afternoon wandering in and out of shops. However, if you understand the culture of Madison, this street in many ways presents a face to visitors that represents that sub-culture. For example, one of those who was convicted for the bombing of Sterling Hall in 1970 during the Vietnam Era was doing business on State Street (after he had served his time, of course) for quite a long period of time and was a local hero. For better or worse, this says quite a lot about the local aura that is heavily influenced by the student population. If you hang around and watch and listen to the people you find on State St., you can observe a local subculture that can be quite fascinating.