The Cul de Sac
Near the end of The Drag, on the Puyallup side, is a small but open alley known as The Cul de Sac. It is close enough to the main strip to draw tourist foot traffic, and it’s vendors are certainly willing to cater to them. But it is removed enough to be quieter, and as such it is much more attractive as a watering hole of sorts to the residents of The Drag as they grow weary of the milieu. Shop owners/workers come to it as a food court on their lunch breaks, pick-pockets and pan handlers come to avoid being hassled by the Star, and people who live in the apartments or tenements nearby come to people-watch the yuppies and quietly sip Soycaff.
The common denominator of escaping one’s work environment (which for nearly everyone working on The Drag includes demeaning yourself in front corp cradled kids) has cultivated a strong sense of community in The Cul de Sac. This has been fostered by the spirit of compassion shared by the shop owners who make their livings here. The restaurants can afford to provide free hot meals for the members of Tent Town, the nearby homeless community, since they can over charge the Barons who are accustomed to meals being fifty nuyen a plate. This sense of community has even begun to spread down the rest of The Drag, since shop keepers sit and break bread with the bums whom they would otherwise chase away. The Cul de Sac gives the locals a place to remember that they’re all there for the same reason: to squeeze nuyen out of some fat tourist. Entry to this closed community is guarded, usually extended only to those who show an investment in the locals and their issues. To gain the privilege of “Locals Only” discounts and deals you must first be given a “Local Love” hidden AR mark. This mark appears on your persona as two lower case cursive "l"s inside a small heart, and identifies you as a friend of The Drag, and earns you welcome in The Cul de Sac, as well as inviting you to mark their private Host. Occasionally some would-be wizkid tries to hack their way into a free meal. Those who aren’t even smart enough to cover up their alphaware cybereyes with some dark shades end up earning themselves a black mark, which locks them out of all purchasing rights on The Drag. And those who have been foolish enough to try and hack their way into the Host have suffered worse consequences than that.