ABQ’s South Valley: Big Plans, Lots of Traffic, Buckets of Paint

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SV - el paisa

ISLETA & BRIDGE SW, ALBUQUERQUE—Most of Albuquerque is laid out in a grid with main streets being about a mile apart.  This is not really the case in Albuquerque’s South Valley.  Oh, Bridge Blvd. runs east and west in a straight line all right.  But Isleta Blvd. doesn’t follow those urban planning precepts. In fact,… READ MORE

El Corazón de Belen: Becker Avenue

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Belen - city hall 2

PETE’S CAFE, BELEN—I met Rhona Espinoza, Belen’s Executive Director of its MainStreet Partnership, for lunch.  There are two things I have to say about that: 1.  Pete’s Cafe was packed, but Rhona knew absolutely everybody in the place…well, except one person and that person was me. 2.  I have seen Bill Richardson work a crowd… READ MORE

Back to Barelas for Huevos, Repairs, and a Man with Bronze Skin

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back to barelas - bch sign

Let’s go back to Barelas.  My friend Sam Pillsbury and I went down for breakfast at the legendary Barelas Coffee House.  He, being vegetarian, had pancakes.  I had the basic huevos rancheros.  Apparently Barack Obama had the DeLuxe huevos rancheros when he ate here.  That’s where they sneak a couple of corn tortillas under the… READ MORE

Artesia & The Big Hurd. Part II: Jose Zelaya’s Pop-A-Top Library

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Artesia 2 - mural aisle close

ARTESIA PUBLIC LIBRARY—It was a two-part move for the mural.  The first leg of the trip was to an airport hanger in Midland, Texas.  There the mural would wait for about a year in a climate controlled setting until the Artesia library construction could be completed.  However, there was a grass fire not too far… READ MORE

Artesia & The Big Hurd. Part I: The Mural Has Left The Building.

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This is the story of how Artesia, New Mexico got a priceless mural done by Peter Hurd…how the mural came to be, its removal from a building slated for destruction, the multi-year journey from Houston to Artesia, and how this gigantic yet extremely fragile art piece was inserted into a library which had been built… READ MORE

In Raton, I Get a Room & a Hat

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Raton - yellow hat

RATON, NM—I rattled into Raton and immediately headed for the old downtown area looking for a hotel in the historic district.  The historic district is not that big, and it quickly became obvious that there were no hotels in the area at all, so I did what a good many travelers do, headed for the… READ MORE

Clayton…Always Fascinating!

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Clayton - feed

EKLUND HOTEL, CLAYTON—It would not be true to say that the Rockabilly 4-day party chased me out of Tucumcari.  No, I left of my own accord…although every room in the three motels I looked at were rented for the entire weekend. Sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, there was plenty of live music, swing dances,… READ MORE

City of Albuquerque Shows Archeological Interest In……Little Beaver Town!

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city beaver - sunglasses

ROUTE 66, ALBUQUERQUE—About two dozen of us took a tour of one of Albuquerque’s properties last weekend.  Purchased in 2010, the Route 66 Open Space, as it is officially known, consists of 66 acres at the eastern edge of town as it enters Tijeras Canyon.  Old Route 66 passes right by it to the north. … READ MORE

Movie Shoots Make Headlines. But in Portales, They Also Make Good Citizens.

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PORTALES, NM—You can’t help but take notice when the movie folks come to town.  They were shooting scenes for the movie “Comancheria” last Tuesday in downtown Portales. This made the newspapers as far away as New York City. Actually, the “Comancheria” crew shot scenes in Clovis earlier and were going north to Tucumcari later in… READ MORE

Nob Hill MainStreet Finds a Way: A New Mural by Larry Bob Phillips

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Nob Hill mural long shot bike

NOB HILL, ALBUQUERQUE, NM—Some public art is so representative of the spirit of a city it just makes the visitor stop and say, “Let me get a picture of you standing right in front of it!”  It is one way we keep track of our lives. Some towns have art pieces that seem to define… READ MORE