Bring a smile, curiousity, and some good shoes
When visiting Albuquerque a must see place is Old Town, even though many think it's a "tourist trap". But actually it isn't as bad as many may think. So bring a smile, inquistive mind, some good walking shoes to see all the jewelry, clothing, native art shops, museums, and historical sights maybe even feel a presence from people from years past.
Here in the Land of Manana (tomorrow) mostly everyone is laid back so bring patience also. Prices are actually fair and well I just trust the pueblo and Navojos that are selling their art on the sidewalk and the jewelry shops. Its cheaper in Albuquerque than in Santa Fe also. From the larger shops to the tiny shops you will defiantly find something for someone, even if its just history or facts from one of the more knowledgable clerks.
When your stomach is running empty from all the sight-seeing try stopping by one of Old Town's many restaurants, cafes, and bakeries. Church Street Cafe, off Church Street, is the most recomended New Mexican cuisine stop. Rolling in the Dough Bakery, hidden in Plaza Don Luis, has wonderful sandwiches with bakery bread and try their peach turnovers. Then Romero House, off of Romero St., has good burgers, hotdogs and even veggie burgers. Then there's Red Rock Cafe, they have good Chai tea. I spent only a day there in Old Town but I missed so much of it, like the Secret Chapel and some of the museums. But even though I did not see the entire place, it is stellar. My first stop in Old Town was a shop on the corner of South Plaza and Romero st. and it was a jewelry and indian art shop, cute. But that shop continued on and on and I met Dianna, a red-headed knowledgable lady that knew a lot about the Pendleton rugs. Then she had several other of her co-workers show me around their shop which is actually said to be haunted. Supposedly the larger part of the store (filled with more typical gifty items) was a patio and there are raingutters still to show it was. Well, many of the employees have felt a presence. One night the manager and a clerk were closing the shop and as they were cleaning the two heard someone running down the aisles with heels but it sounded like a smaller lady they claim. This shop has big wagon wheels up from with chile ristras hanging up front.
Then there are supposedly ghosts that roam about old town, which I was totally fascinated by the history. Just stop by the information center and they tell you so much!
Torquoise jewelry has become identified with the Southwest. You find it everywhere!
It 's a highly prized gemstone with great cultural significance in the American Southwest.
The blue torquoise is referred to as "Father Sky' by Native Americans, while the greener stones symbolize "Mother Earth".
Most of us just appreciate the beauty it adds to a stylish piece of silver jewelry. See my shopping tip for the best place to find this souvenir of the Southwest.
For more information on this stone and the customs surrounding it, read Torquoise Unearthed by Joe Dan Lowry
Does Albuquerque Have a Serial Killer?
Albuquerque once again fell under the national spotlight when it came to light that multiple bodies have been buried in what was once a remote, desert location in the southwest corner of the city.
A person from the adjoining housing development recently stumbled upon what appeared to be a human leg bone while walking her dog. The police were summoned in and quickly discovered a human skeleton, followed by another and another. Within a couple of weeks the investigation turned up 13 bodies, including that of a fetus of one of the pregnant victims. Only two of the bodies have been identified - those of two women who were known to frequent nearby Central Avenue as prostitutes.
With the crime scene in full view of surrounding two-story homes from a number of recent developments, many questions are surfacing. Who are the women? Are they somehow connected to one another? When were the bodies placed there? Over what period of time? Are there more and, if so, how many and where? Many neighbors are concerned that their new homes may have been built on top of other grave sites.
The investigation continues although hindered somewhat by seasonal sandstorms - information appears to be in short supply as the locla news bureaus have nothing new to report since the end of February when the number of bodies shot to the current thirteen. It has been reported that the bodies were likley buried in 2004 and 2005 before the fill was placed on top of them in preparation for building homes.
Great New Mexican Food and Beer
Chama River is a brew pub that serves a variety of food including New Mexican Fare. It's one of the larger brew-pubs I've been to. They had a total of 10 different beers on tap during our visit (6 regular and 4 seasonal).
The Restaurant is casual and the service was great. Most of the beers were outstanding and there is something for everyone since they offer a wide variety.
The Stout and Pale Ales were among the best in my opinion. I opened with a Wings Appetizer that had a dry rub on them. I'd never had them with a Dry-rub before and it was awesome. I could have ordered two of these and made a meal out of it.
To accompany this I ordered their Chili with Red Chiles and large chunks of sirloin steak. The Chile was great as well and had a nice kick to it but it was hard to follow the wings. The Red Chile had me sweating but it didn't burn the tongue like a lot of really hot food does. It was nice to get the spicy kick without the pain...
Great Espresso Shakes!
One of two pharmacy lunch counters in ABQ, the Model Pharmacy is part lunch counter, part coffee bar, and part ice cream fountain. They serve up a variety of sandwiches, ice cream, and shakes. On my visit to the counter I ordered the corned beef on rye which came with bread toasted and thin slices of warm, fresh corned beef. I washed that down with a glass of water and the best vanilla espresso shake. Yum! If you need a prescription filled, drop it off when you arrive and pick it up after eating!
And if you don't have room after your sandwich, get some peach or cherry cobbler to go! It's fresh baked each day! Espresso shake (chocolate would be preferrable but since they were out of chocolate, I had the vanilla and it was still yummy!), peach/cherry cobbler