March 2011 Archives

Central Avenue - Eat and Drink in Nob Hill

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Central Avenue - Retail

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(click to enlarge) Our favorite period-style diner in Albuquerque, with great malts and chili cheeseburgers, and the waitrons in 50s costumes.

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(click to enlarge) Not exactly Rodeo Drive.

Central Avenue - Spooky Murals

Tongue-in-cheek morbidness in Nob Hill.

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Central Avenue - Nob Hill Murals

The Nob Hill district in Albuquerque has some spectacular murals. I'd like to find out who painted them, and more about their conception and creation.

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Central Avenue - Nob Hill

Nob Hill is a shopping area on Central Avenue in Albuquerque, just east of the UNM campus. It has a lot of funky stores and shops, as well as some classy ones. Here, it looks as if the vegans will be sorely threatened.

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I may be out of wireless contact over the weekend. Back on Monday.

Central Avenue - University of New Mexico Sculptures

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(click to enlarge) The UNM athletic teams are called the Lobos (Wolves). This sculpture, silhouetted on a hillside, looks fairly realistic.

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(click to enlarge) Juxtaposing old and new on the UNM campus.

Central Avenue - University of New Mexico

The campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque is bounded on the south by Central Avenue. The campus architecture is fairly attractive, a mix of modern structures and adaptations of adobe style to large academic buildings.

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Central Avenue - Downtown Grit

Downtown Albuquerque has its share of somewhat gritty popular culture.

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(click to enlarge) This is a somewhat amusing (or sobering, depending on your point of view) list of prohibitions on the door of a theater.

Central Avenue - Urban Scramble

Within a few blocks of each other downtown along Albuquerque's Central Avenue:

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Central Avenue - Mythical Creatures

Wandering along Central Avenue in downtown Albuquerque, I encountered some colorful critters. Visual imagination and inventiveness is strong in New Mexico.

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Central Avenue - Mural and Shop Window

It's almost sacrilegious to pair these two images from downtown Albuquerque - one a huge mural celebrating diversity and free speech, the other a bunch of dolls in a western tchotches store - but they seem to have a weird resemblance.

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Central Avenue - Colorful Underpass

Albuquerque has a lot of public art, some of it quite striking. Here's an example from an underpass under the RoadRunner train tracks on the edge of downtown. The colors shift through the spectrum in a minute or so; the photos depict historic buildings. This is an elaborate and effective work, whose details are unseen by all but those few who walk through the underpass.

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Albuquerque Downtown - Signs Along Central Avenue

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(click to enlarge) Telling it like it is

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(click to enlarge) Ah, New York - home of pizza and the Statue of Liberty

Albuquerque's Central Avenue - KiMo Theater

The KiMo Theater in downtown Albuquerque is "a masterpiece of Pueblo Deco fused with Art Deco". It was built in 1927, had bad accidents in the 1951 and 1963, was scheduled for demolition in the 1970s, but was restored in a remarkably extended process from 1977 to 2002. Some pictures, its history, and a discussion of the legend that it's haunted, are given here.

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(click to enlarge) Tiles in the entryway

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(click to enlarge) Ceiling of the entryway

Central Avenue - Bragging, Albuquerque Style

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Central Avenue - Colors

Albuquerque's Central Avenue is nothing if not vivid.

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Central Avenue - Small Business

Small, isolated, single-purpose buildings are common along Central Avenue in Albuquerque. These are not the small businesses that create lots of jobs, but they may help people get out of town.

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Central Avenue - Marketing Route 66

Of all the murals and signs along Albuquerque's Central Avenue that take advantage of the heritage of historic Route 66, these may be the liveliest.

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Central Avenue - Classicism

Much of Central Avenue in Albuquerque is colorful and somewhat raucous, but there are a few quieter, more classical things to be seen. These are between Old Town and downtown.

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Central Avenue - Old and New

Manzano Day School was founded in 1938, which makes it the oldest elementary school in New Mexico. Right next to the original adobe is a modern building and school bus turnaround - a surprising juxtaposition.

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Central Avenue - Adobe

Not much of Central Avenue in Albuquerque is in traditional adobe style, but here are a couple of buildings just east of Old Town.

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Central Avenue - At the Corner of Old Town

The southwest corner of Old Town in Albuquerque is at the intersection of Central Avenue with Rio Grande Avenue. There's a strip mall across the street, with

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(click to enlarge) of course a Walgreen's (which seems to be found at every major intersection in the country), but also

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(click to enlarge) a bunch of local stores catering largely to Hispanic clientele, including this charming carniceria.

Central Avenue - Trailer Parks and Motels

Trailer parks and cheap motels - refuges for those on the edge in Albuquerque.

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Central Avenue - El Vado Motel

El Vado Motel, on Central Avenue between Albuquerque's Old Town and the Rio Grande, bills itself as "the purest Route 66 motel surviving". Unfortunately, it's been closed for several years. It epitomizes the dilemma of historically important but economically unfeasible properties: it costs too much to renovate and update, but it can't be torn down. So it just sits, fenced off but still intriguing.

"El vado" in Spanish means "ford" in English. Whether that refers to the river crossing or the Model T that carried people west on Route 66 is unclear.

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Albuquerque's Central Avenue - Antoine Predock's Architecture

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(click to enlarge) Just east of the Rio Grande on Central Avenue in Albuquerque is a striking apartment complex, The Beach, designed by Albuquerque-based architect Antoine Predock.


(click to enlarge) I was particularly interested in The Beach because Predock was the architect for the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota, another highly imaginative building. This view shows the Wall of Honor in the foreground.

More about Predock's distinguished career can be seen here.

Central Avenue - Crossing the Rio Grande

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(click to enlarge) The Rio Grande where it's crossed by Central Avenue. The river is wide, but not very deep, most of the year.

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A series of cutout murals are affixed to light poles on both sides of the bridge crossing the Rio Grande. Each represents some aspect of the history - cultural, geological, etc. - of the region.

Central Avenue - Stuff to Buy

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Central Avenue - Color

The west end of Central Avenue in Albuquerque may not be prosperous, but it's colorful.

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Central Avenue - Let's Eat

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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