Seven years ago, driving along Tramway across Sandia Pueblo, I was reminded of one of the best things about living in Albuquerque. I began to think, NewMexiKen you can live anywhere, why do you stay here?
There are a lot of ways to answer a question like that. One way is to make a list.
These aren’t the only reasons, and they aren’t in any particular order, but these are ten that came to mind.
- The weather, except sometimes in March and April. Four seasons, all of them distinct, none of them oppressive, or too long. And September and October — amazing!
- The food, red and green — and sopapillas with honey.
- The Rio Grande, though we fail to do anything with it. A historic river — third longest in America — how about a river walk with cafes and shops (tastefully and environmentally correct, of course)?
- The Plaza. Not as historic as Santa Fe, or even Taos. Still it’s always inviting and often filled with people celebrating a wedding at San Felipe de Neri. In other words, while a tourist attraction, it’s still “our” plaza.
- Santa Fe, Taos, Chaco Culture, Pecos, Valles Caldera and more, world-class tourist venues that are day trips for us.
- The sky, whether bluer than blue, or lit dramatically by sun or twilight, or with clouds, white or dark. Our sky is always something to behold, most gloriously at sunrise over the mountains and sunset over the volcanoes.
- The pueblos nearby with their cultures, feasts and dances.
- The Sandia mountains right here, rising a mile right above us (and the tram).
- The diversity of people. It’s a community without a majority population.
- The Indian land north and south of the city, the National Forest land (and wilderness) east of it. If it weren’t for the permanently undeveloped land that surrounds so much of Albuquerque, I fear it all would look like Phoenix.
And a few more.
- The Buckhorn, The Owl and Los Ojos, the funkiest saloons with the best green chile cheeseburgers anywhere.
- The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and the Festival of the Cranes.
- The Sunport.
- Living, as I do, at 6,000 feet above sea level.
And one visual aid.