Category Archives: Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

In the heart of New Mexico lies the state’s most populated city – Albuquerque, which straddles the Rio Grande in the shadow of Sandia Mountains. The 2012 census state over a half a million residents making it the 32nd largest city in America. Its combined region including the cities of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Placitas, Corrales, Los Lunas, Belen, Bosque Farms, and Albuquerque – Santa Fe – Las Vegas combined statistical area, gave it a population of 1,146,049 in 2010. Founded in 1706 C.E. as a Spanish colonial outpost called “Ranchos de Alburquerque” it rapidly grew as a thriving center of New Mexico. Starting out as a farming community with a military outpost along the Camino Real, it was the sheep-herding center of its day. Spain setup its military garrison there in 1706 CE, and after 1821, Mexico set up theirs as well. The growing village of Spanish settlements in its early days became Albuquerque named as such by the then provincial governor Don Francisco cuervo y Valdes after the Spanish town of the same name. This Spanish town was named after the Alburquerque family dating from pre-12th century Iberia. The Portugese town it was named after is within the badojoz province of Extremadura region just 15 miles from the Portugese border. However others claim it was named after the Arabic “Al-Barquq” meaning “the plum” mixed with the derivative Galician word “albaricoque” or “the apricot” as it was a fruit brought to New Mexico by Spanish settlers in 1743 C.E. The town was built in the traditional Spanish village pattern with a central plaza surrounded by government buildings, a church, and residences. This is preserved to this day being home to local culture, commerce, and history being dubbed “Old Town Albuquerque” to separate it from modern day tech-querque. Once America took occupation of New Mexico, the city became headquarters for an American military garrison and quartermaster depot from 1846 to 1867. However during the Civil War, Albuquerque was occupied by Confederate troops under General Henry Hopkins Sibley until Union troops pushed them out in April 1862 CE during the Battle of Albuquerque. Once the rails came to town in 1880 CE, it quickly blossomed into New town or New Albuquerque as a haven for settlers, mountain men, and merchants. A true Spanish-Mexican outpost for the Wild West, it was always a place for rising crime.

Albuquerque is famous for its cultural and scenic beauty, especially with sites like Petroglyph National Monument, the Rio Grande River, its Spanish cultural heritage, and the Sandia Mountains. Today it is home to the University of New Mexico, Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, Presbyterian Health Services, and Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.

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Sandia Peak Inn, 4614 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Sandia Peak Inn
* 4614 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico *
A Route 66 styled Inn/motel in Albuquerque, I was a bit hesitant at first with its location as finding it in the darkness was a little un-nerving. It however turned out to be a wonderful inn, with artistic stylized decor, comfortable amenities, and great service. The style was charming with Southwestern flair, and was at a decent price. Beds were comfortable and rooms had flat screen tv, fridge, microwave, free wifi, and the usual amenities. A small continental breakfast with a good selection was free in the morning, and they had a nice indoor pool. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. Visited 11/22/13.

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Paul Koudounaris’ lecture on Heavenly Bodies : Spectacular Jeweled Skeletons

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Paul Koudounaris: Heavenly Bodies
* Lecture, Slide Show, and Book Signing * The Strange Factory * Albuquerque, New Mexico * Friday, November 22, 2013 *

A race from Taos to Albuquerque to visit a friend’s lecture on his amazing discoveries about decorative skeletons was a whirlwind by itself, but would up to be an incredible night of magic, gold, jewels, and folklore. We wandered into the Strange Factory a little late as a snow storm slowed our travels on site, but were warmed with awe as we saw some of the works that Paul Koudounaris exhibited in his presentation. A astute author and photographer from Los Angeles, California; Paul K was presenting at the oddities shop called “the Strange Factory” in the University district of Albuquerque. Paul K’s charnel house and ossuary research has broken research milestones in folklore, oddities, and macabre art. This evenings lecture covered those of human skeletons found in Catholic churches adorned with gold and gemstones. He is a leading expert on bone-decorated shrines and religious structures.
Paul Koudounaris, PhD in Art History (UCLA 2004) is an author and photographer from Los Angeles that specializes in Baroque-era Northern European Art. His charnel house and ossuary research and photos have made him a well-known figure in the field of macabre art, and he is a leading expert in the history of bone-decorated shrines, human remains, religious art, and religious structures.He obtained a PhD in Art History from UCLA in 2004, with a specialty in Baroque-era Northern European Art. He began his research in 2006 studying the use of human remains in religious ritual and as a decorative element in sacred spaces, especially within the context of the Catholic Church. He began researching the existence of these pieces, photographing them, writing about them, and publishing the results in the Prague Post, Fortean Times, and other such publications. He compiled a premiere work on bone-decorated religious structures taking field trips to over 70 sites along four continents, many of which had never been seen or photographed. He released this book as “Heavenly Bodies” in 2013 through Thames and Hudson. This story told the tale of a group of skeletons removed from the Roman catacombs during the 17th century decorated with jewels by various nuns. These bones were at first mistakenly identified as Christian martyrs and shipped to Germanic churches, decorated, and placed in the altars. Through time, most of these were removed, disposed of or thrown into storage during the Enlightenment. He tracked down the corpses’ locations, documented them, and photographed them for for book. This book followed his successful masterpiece “The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses” in 2011. The presentation was well spoken and masterfully done to a full house in attendance.

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El Patio de Albuquerque (Mexican restaurant)

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El Patio de Albuerqueque * 142 Harvard Dr SE * Albuquerque, NM 87106 * Phone: (505) 268-4245
Right in the heart of historic Knob Hill, just off on a side-street from historic route 66, is a small hole-in-the-wall house restaurant with a large patio and a small indoors dining area. Friendly staff and great food. Tasty margaritas and excellent Sopapillas which were a treat for this Colorado visitor who can’t get real sopapillas unless he travels to New Mexico. Good college ambience, as its close proximity to New Mexico State University shows its popularity amongst the academic crowd. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. visited 11/30/08.

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Petroglyphs National Monument (Albuerqueque, New Mexico)

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Me and Trinity checking out rock art

Petroglyph National Monument * http://www.nps.gov/petr/ * Petroglyph National Monument * 6001 Unser Blvd, NW * Albuquerque, New Mexico 87120 * (505) 899-0205 ext. 331 *

Petroglyph National Monument is a several area park nestled up to the Albuerqueque’s resident volcanoes that protects a variety of cultural and natural resources including the volcanos, archeological sites and an estimated 20,000 carved images on the volcanic basalt rocks that litter the canyons, valleys, and hills. Most of these petroglyphs are pecked and are recognizable animals, people, brands and crosses; with others being more complex symbology. These images are inseparable from the cultural landscape, the spirits of the people who created, and who appreciate them. Start your tour at the small quaint visitor center, with a small kiosk explaining the park and the art, artifacts, and peoples who lived here … grab maps for your hike and explorations … and grab a gift or two for memories of your visit. On occasion, fresh kiva-baked bread is sold outside by the ovens from local tribes. We bought a loaf during our visit and it was phenomenally delicious. We went to the southern trails, at Rinconada Canyon for a 2 1/2 mile loop trail hike with over 400 rock art images in the area. Unfortunately, there was a lot of vandalism from locals varying from gunshot damage, litter of broken bottles, and graffitti people placed over the petroglyphs. Many of the American Indian petroglyph images were etched 300 to 700 years ago. The Spanish petroglyph images were etched 200 to 300 years ago by the ‘hammer and chisel’ methodology of pecking. The variety of petroglyphs was fabulous, but the condition was not. This park certainly needs more attention and monitoring. Rating 3 stars out of 5. Visited 11/30/08.

Rock Art

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Flying Star Cafe, Albuerqueque, New Mexico

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Flying Star

Flying Star Cafe (Knob Hill – Albuerqueque, New Mexico)
www.flyingstarcafe.com * 3416 Central SE * Albuquerque, NM 87106 * Phone: 505-255-6633 * Fax: 505-232-8432 * HOURS: Sunday-Thursday 6:00am-11:00pm; Friday & Saturday 6:00am-Midnight
A large artsy/chic restaurant/cafe in the heart of historic and trendy Knob Hill district of Albuerqueque is a great place for getting your brew and grub for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Up to the counter you order just like most cafe’s, but tempted with hand made breads, desserts, and pastries while you’re perusing the menu up above. On this particular visit I went for the French Onion soup in a bread bowl and a large cold chai. My friend Vikki went for a butternut squash dish with a new chai latte they were offering and little Trinity went for the pancakes and hot chocolate. We were all quite satisfied with our choices. Jean and Mark Bernstein, both born and raised in New York, came out west with dreams of opening a restaurant … with the exquisite delicacy tastes of New York in mind. They also wanted a large meeting place where solitaries or groups could hang out and lounge. In November 1987, they opened this particular store as their first, on old Route 66. Over the last 20 years their popularity has spread to 8 locations throughout Albuerqueque. Excellent. Rating 5 stars out of 5. Visited 11/30/08.

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