Albuquerque native Clayton Abbey has lived all around the U.S. (including a nine-year stint in NYC) and in southern Mexico. But this husband and father who describes himself as an avid traveler knows where his loyalties lie: “New Mexico is my true love.” Check out a few of his favorite things about Albuquerque, then add your own two cents. Follow Clayton’s story on Twitter @TheAbbabond.
Albuquerque is My City
When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to Marble Brewery for beers, Duke City Donuts for donuts (of course), and Barelas Coffee House for chicharrones and red chile and other New Mexican food delights.
Fall is the best time to visit my city because the weather is perfect, the trees all change colors, the International Balloon Fiesta takes place and all the local breweries start churning out pumpkin-flavored offerings.
My city’s best museum is the New Mexico Museum of Natural History because it reflects the great climatological changes that have taken place in the state over millions of years and teaches us about all the fascinating prehistoric creatures that once called New Mexico home (well, they lived here at least).
If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that Albuquerque’s not a place you’d want to rely on public transportation. But there are wonderful bike paths and trails.
The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is at one of the city’s many golf courses, including the high-end Sandia Resort course. Or at Tiguex Park downtown on a summer night when live music is being played next door at the Albuquerque Museum.
My city really knows how to celebrate beer at our awesome Beer Week festival.
You can tell if someone is from my city if they finish sentences with “eh” and everything they say sounds like a question.
My city is known for being the city in Breaking Bad and thus meth-riddled, but it’s really a diverse city both as far as income and education and race and ethnicity. We have scientists and professors alongside cholos and blue-collar everyday folks. We also have — beyond New Mexican cuisine — some outstanding Thai and Vietnamese restaurants, and many great pizza joints.
Barelas Coffee House or Duke City Donuts are my favorite places to grab breakfast, and Frontier is the spot for late-night eats (mostly by default, because places close pretty early).
If my city were a celebrity it’d be Charlie Sheen because while it’s kind of wacky and unpredictable, and likes its drugs and drink a little bit too much, there’s plenty of intelligence and logic wrapped up in our troubled soul.
The Wells Fargo building is my favorite building in town because it lights up green at night.
The most random thing about my city is its neighborhoods. One block can be nice and then you head down another and it looks like a scene from Mad Max.
Launchpad and the Sunshine Theater are popular, but I say the Sandia Casino amphitheater is the best place to see live music. If you’re in the mood to dance, check out the Library Bar and Grill downtown (but beware some of the dancing is either appalling or downright hilarious).
In the spring you should check out an Isotopes game and enjoy Albuquerque Beer Week.
In the fall you should drive up north and see the leaves turn in the Sangre de Cristo mountains.
If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Explora! Museum.
The best book about my city is a really tough question to answer. A lot of people will want my head on a stake for this, but I’m going to go with the Tony Hillerman novels which don’t necessarily take place in Albuquerque, but often have a scene or two there.
When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is “Mi Pueblo” by Grupo Niche. It’s a beautiful song about getting teary-eyed every time you return home and see the beauty of the place where you were raised. I get that feeling every time I touch down at the Sunport.
In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because it’s got four seasons, great cuisine, world-class beer and breweries, outdoors and urban activities, and wonderful people!