"I think New Mexico was the greatest experience from the outside world
that I have ever had." - D.H. Lawrence
High Tech & Business
A 2006 Forbes Survey of Best Places For
Business And Careersranked
Albuquerque #1 in the Best Metro
Category. "For the third year in a row Albuquerque,
with an unemployment rate of just 4.9%, claims the lowest business
costs in the U.S., propelling the city to the number one spot on our
list of the Best Places for Business and Careers."
Magazine has listed Albuquerque as one of 46 leading world-wide high-tech
hot spots. Santa Fe also made the list. "New Mexico boasts more PhDs per capita than any other state in the
US, many drawn to Albuquerque by the variety of research facilities within
a 20-minute drive of the city. (Others head 60 miles northeast to Santa Fe
- see page 268.) Sandia National Laboratories is best known for engineering
design work in the nuclear weapons industry; the Air Force Phillips Laboratory
specializes in lasers and space and missile technology. Local talent has
been able to turn high-level research into commercially viable products;
perceptual computing software maker Muse Technologies and compound semiconductor
developer Emcore were spun out of Sandia. The area is also home to one of
the world's largest chip fabs, owned by Intel and lured here in the '80s
in the wake of federal defense spending cutbacks. Research into nanomachines
and data visualization holds promise, and new work in photonics at Sandia
may lead to the next revolution: computing at the speed of light."
The popular book The
Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community
and Everyday Life by Richard Florida ranks Albuquerque first among
medium-sized cities in "creativity". Rankings were done according to a "creativity" index
which is a combination of: patents per capita, social and ethnic diversity,
and number of workers in "creative" jobs (e.g. scientists, engineers, writers,
artists). The book argues that the key to economic growth for cities in
the new economy lies in their ability to attract and maintain a "creative
class". (Santa Fe was also ranked first among small-sized cities.)
New Mexico is the home of two national laboratories, Sandia and Los
and Kirtland Air Force Base houses the Air Force Research Laboratory, Phillips
site, and the Santa Fe Institute focuses
on cutting edge research. The CS Dept enjoys a close relation with
the Santa Fe Institute: Prof. Cris Moore and Prof. David Ackley, not to mention Department Chair Stephanie
Forrest are all external faculty members. Prof. Forrest also serves on its
science board and served as its Interim Vice President from 1999-2000.
"It is all very beautiful and magical here, a quality which cannot be
described. You have to live it and breathe it, let the sun bake you into
it. The skies and the land are so enormous, and the details so precise and
exquisite that wherever you go you are isolated in the world between the
micro and the macro, where everything segues under you and over you and the
clock stopped long ago." - Ansel Adams
"My only regret about dying is not being able to see this beautiful country
anymore, unless the Indians are right and my spirit will walk here long after
I am gone" - Georgia O'Keefe
Year-round good weather and easy access to the outdoors (the Sandia mountain
wilderness is 20 minutes from UNM) make Albuquerque an incredible area for
outdoor enthusiasts. New Mexico has a great diversity in landscapes and wildlife,
containing six of the seven "Life Zones" on Earth. The Sandia Mountains, for
example, contain arid, rocky areas, high alpine meadows (with lots of wildflowers
in the spring and summers), and forests of aspen and oak.
Hiking and Mountaineering: New
Mexico Mountain Club, based in Albuquerque, is very active, sponsoring
a variety of technical climbing activities along with hiking, skiing and
snowshoeing activities. There is also a Rio
Grande Sierra Club which organizes hikes and is active in protecting
wilderness in NM. See also the the book "100 Hikes in New Mexico" by Craig
Martin and the web wite Explore New
Mexico, which has detailed hike descriptions.
Downhill Skiing: Skiing is good at Sandia
peak, great at Santa Fe, and
amazing at Taos (chosen as one of the
top 10 resorts in North America by Skiing Magazine). There are also several
great "undiscovered", family-friendly ski resorts. Sipapu,
nestled in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, about two hours from Albuquerque,
is one of the nicest of these. Ruidoso,
about two hours southeast of Albuquerque, and Red
River about 3 hours north of Albuquerque is another. See also the comprehensive
web site Ski New Mexico
Rock climbing: World-class sites are within a short drive of Albuquerque.
Bernard Moret has online guides to Palomas
Peak and U-Mound
Bouldering and some pictures.
If you want to take a class, check out Stone
Age Climbing Gym. Also check out the book "Hikers and Climbers Guide
to the Sandias" by Mike Hill.
Mountain Biking: There are many scenic and challenging mountain
biking trails very close to UNM. It's possible to bike from the University
area to the Sandia foothills, bike on the foothill trails for a hour or two,
and get back to UNM in time for an 11 o'clock class. Sandia
peak ski area rents bikes and hosts races during the summer season (you
can take a lift up the peak and then bike down). The store Two-wheel
Drive lists trails and events in the area. Also check out the book "Mountain
Biking in Albuquerque" by Nicole Blouin for trails along the Rio Grande and
in the Sandias.
Rafting and Kayaking:This
page gives information on boating, including rafting and kayaking in New Mexico, which
ranges from challenging to pretty mellow. Adobe
Whitewater Club is an Albuquerque-based organization dedicated to kayaking
Caving: Sandia Grotto is
an Albuquerque-based organization for exploring the many caves of New Mexico.
"Every calculation based on experience elsewhere fails in New Mexico" -
Lew Wallace, Governor of Territorial New Mexico, 1878-1881
National Atomic Museum - Once located on
Kirtland Airforce base, the museum is now right next to the Natural History Museum. Construction is well underway for a new location near the base soon that will have enough room for the planes the old museum located on the base had.
Center A former girls' boarding school which is now a collection of
studios and galleries. Call them to get a schedule of their visual, literary
and movement art events.
Albuquerque Poetry Slam is
a forum for poetry in the city. This site contains a calendar of poetry events
and competitions (the national poetry slam "finals" take place in Taos, New
Mexico). Check out the "dial a poem" feature at (505)342-5797.
Page One is the largest independent
bookstore in Albuquerque
The Outpost Non-profit performance
space in Nob Hill presenting a variety of music.
source on alternative music and events in Albuquerque. "Burque" (or sometimes
'Burque) is a favored abbreviation for Albuquerque among people who read
Santa Fe Opera World class opera
with a spectacular open-air opera house
on the outskirts of Santa Fe.
Thirsty Ear Festival. Takes place each summer on the "...Eaves
Movie Ranch near Santa Fe, where many westerns have been filmed...features
internationally-acclaimed folk, blues, alt-country, Zydeco, cajun, bluegrass
and roots rock."
The Southwest Film Center on the UNM
campus shows a great selection of alternative movies, short film festivals
and student movies. Admission is $3 for students so you've got no excuse
not to go. (phone is 277-5608)
The Guild (address: 3405 Central NE , phone: 255-1848) is a
great art house cinema. They usually show only one or two independent films
at a time but their taste is impeccable.
Duke City Shootout - Successor
to the Flicks on 66 festival. Selected participants are given a week in which
to shoot their movies. In 2006, they joined forces with the 48
Hour Film Project,
in which all-volunteer teams were "... provided with one of
13 genres picked out of a hat, along with a character, a prop and a line
of dialogue that must be included in the movie." and given only 48 hours
in which to complete their films to enter in the competition.
Winery consistently wins awards for its sparkling wines, which are available
nationwide, and the Tularosa Sangiovese wins awards. Both have often been
rated in Wine Spectator magazine as well. The New
Mexico Wine Festival is held every September.
Restaurant Located directly across the street from UNM, it features
good New Mexican food, cinnamon rolls, and a melting pot of colorful folks.
One of the top people watching places in the city.
Institute for Medieval Studies at
UNM sponsors free lecture series each semester on Medieval Studies. Recent
series topics have been Medieval Hospitals, Leper Houses, and Leprosy and Doing
Business with Barbarians
Albuquerque proper has a population a little over 500,000, with the population in the area of just under 800,000, or
about 1/3 the population of New Mexico. The two greatest strengths of the city
are its diversity and its proximity to the great outdoors. Albuquerque is ethnically,
culturally and economically diverse and the cost of living is low enough to
support a surprisingly large population of artists and writers. The city has
a certain funkiness and authenticity that you won't find in most other cities
of its size. People in Albuquerque are friendly and casual. Very few restaurants have a dress code.
Albuquerque also borders the Sandia
Mountain Wilderness, the Rio Grande (which
has a 20 mile bike path through the forest (or bosque) of cottonwood trees that borders
it), and the Petroglyph National Monument.
All of these areas are within a 20 minute drive of UNM. In fact, The Trust
for Public Lands picked Albuquerque as the #1 city with the largest amount
of park space (as a percentage of city size) in the entire country, with
28.7 percent (PDF) dedicated to parks and Open
DukeCityFix - Albuquerque's placeblog. The weblog for local news, events, newcomer queries, with a focus on Nob Hill and Downtown (one east of and one west of UNM)
The Weekly Alibi is Albuquerque's
alternative paper. Check out the annual "Best of Burque"
Map of the city. The city of Albuquerque has started spending 1 million
dollars a year to build and maintain bike trails and bike lanes. If we
use these new trails for transit and advocate for more spending, this amount
will increase. Call 768-BIKE for a free laminated bike map.
Here is info on bus
route maps, schedules and transit planning info. All the ABQ Ride busses are equipped
with bike racks.
a upgraded station train station in downtown Albuquerque in the same building as the major bus terminal for ABQ ride. There is a sightseer lounge and
Native American tour guide for the trip between Albuquerque and Gallup. Service
extends to all major east and west coast cities.
NM Railrunner - New
commuter rail system. Currently goes to Los Lunas and Belen to the south of Albuquerque,
and north up to to Bernalillo (the town) and Santa Fe. Both UNM and UNMH offer
a shuttle to the Albuquerque station.
Trivia note: Attentive fans of the TV show Mythbusters may have noticed
that the train used to test the myth that you could get sucked behind a train
was a Railrunner train.
ABQ Ride. Bus system. Especially
interesting are the Rapid Ride busses featuring free
WiFi. Albuquerque's bus system has improved recently, although routes
still lack late evening/night-time coverage (the notable exception being
After Dark program, which during the summer offers rides on Central Friday and Saturday nights until 3am.
Albuquerque Isotopes baseball
team. The episode of The Simpsons that features plans to move the Springfield
Isotopes to an unnamed southwestern location (with mango salsa) is even funnier if you know about the Albuquerque Isotopes, because it's clearly an in-joke for Albuquerque fans.
Sage Council Grassroots organization
advocating for growth management in New Mexico.
Cocoposts A weblog with a lot of informed talk/news about urban planning issues. She has a category called "Planning" (her quotes, not mine.). Also, depending on the time of year, some stuff about the New Mexico State Legislature (where the pdeudonymous Coco apparently works.)
NM Rails Community based action
group to bring rail service back to New Mexico
"On the license plates in New Mexico it reads: "The Land of Enchantment".
And that it is, by God ... Everything is hypnagogic, chthonian, and super-celestial.
Here Nature has gone Gaga and Dada." - Henry Miller
New Mexico Magazine Featuring "One
Of Our 50 Is Missing" -- anecdotes in which New Mexico is mistaken for a foreign country, or in which Santa Fe or Taos end up in Arizona. For those unclear on the subject, New Mexico is indeed part of the United States of America — it says "USA" on the license plates.
Ojito Wilderness Study Area "Imagine
a place where goblin shaped hoodoos sit side by side with three hundred
year old Ponderosa pine trees. A place where ancient Pueblo ruins hide
in the rough geography and dinosaur fossils and petrified wood sometimes
reveal themselves to the watchful eye. Now imagine that this place also
boasts rare plants that haven't even been described by science, unique
horizontal petroglyph panels, stunning redrock mesas, multi-colored badlands,
and wildlife as diverse as golden eagles, porcupines, and mountain lions.
If you are willing to go hiking in the proposed Ojito Wilderness, you won't
need to imagine such a place. It will be burned into your memory forever."
Santa Fe - voted second favorite
arts destination in the U.S. after New York City in a poll by "AmericanStyle" magazine.
(Recently Albuquerque has also made the top 20 list)
10,000 Waves in Santa Fe
is an authentic Japanese-style onsen (hotsprings resort). They offer hot
tubs, massage, facials, spa treatments, Watsu aquatic massage, Japanese hot
stone massage, Thai massage, Anma Hand & Foot, Yasuragi Hair & Scalp,
and Four Hands, One Heart. This is a great place to go after a day of skiing,
snowshoeing or hiking at Ski Santa Fe (it's
right off the road back into town).
Taos - a city with breathtaking natural
beauty. Nearby Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited for about a thousand
years; Taos Gorge is also a stunning place to visit (and whitewater raft too).
Madrid, NM - an old ghost mining
town, now a funky artist-focused village on the Turquoise Trail between Albuquerque and Santa Fe which is recently had the movie Wild Hogs fimed there.
Locals pronounce it "MAD-rid" (with the emphasis on the first syllable, and pronounced like the word "mad").
Gallup, NM is 2 hours west of Albuquerque.
Its location between the Zuni and Navajo reservations makes it one of the
most authentic centers for Indian arts and crafts. Also has a great historic
downtown and lots of outdoor activities. For info on outdoor adventures,
check out the book, "The Gallup Guide: Outdoor Routes in Red Rock Country",
which you can buy at "Coyote Books and Scoreboard" in downtown Gallup.
El Morro National Monument or Inscription
Rock is 2 hrs east of Albuquerque. This rock has a watering hole at its base
which made it an important stopping point for early travelers. Countless
Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors, and western settlers all left records
of their travels carved into the rock. "Here was the General Don Diego de Vargas, who conquered for our Holy
Faith and for the Royal Crown all of New Mexico at his own expense, year
NM Quaint town with many old Victorian houses and hotels and a great
Acoma Pueblo - the oldest
inhabited city in the United States - located on top of a spectacular mesa.
Jemez Springs is a beautiful town with some great hiking and hot springs.
There are some hot springs you can find out in the woods and there's also
a great bathhouse.
Corrales is an old farming
community just on the edge of Albuquerque
Quarai is a huge,
beautiful Spanish church and mission dating back to the 1600's (~1 hour drive
from Albuquerque). "An edifice in ruins it is true, but so tall, so solemn, so dominant
of that strange, lonely landscape, so out of place in that land of adobe
huts, as to be simply overpowering. On the Rhine, it would be a superlative,
in the wilderness of the Manzano it is a miracle" - Charles Lummis's
comments on Quarai, 1893
Gran Quivira is another
Spanish mission also dating from the 1600's. The main church there was never
Very Large Array
Telescope. You may have seen this feature in the movie Contact.
Depending on the configuration, the 26 antennas may as far as 22
miles (36 km) apart.
The Lightning Field near
Quemada, New Mexico. The season runs from March to October, and reservations
for an overnight stay are required well in advance (and are not cheap). Photography
is not allowed, however, as it's
an art installation. Check out the Reservation
link for more information.
Los Ojos is an
ancient Hispanic town in beautiful Northern New Mexico that is now the home
of a sheep raising and knitting cooperative. There is a also a quaint general
store, coffee house and bed and breakfast.
Gila National Forest in Southwestern
New Mexico is one of the first wilderness areas established in the world.
This is a very large, beautiful and remote wilderness. Make sure you watch
your gas gauge carefully when driving in the area as towns are few and far
between. While there, make sure you do the Catwalk trail.
Silver City is a great little
town near the Gila Forest with many historic shops and hotels.
Flagstaff, AZ , gateway to the
Grand Canyon is about 6 hours from Alb. by train.
The Grand Canyon - what more can
be said about it? To get there, you can take Amtrak from
downtown Albuquerque to downtown Flagstaff and then take a bus from Flagstaff.
Driving directly takes about 7 hours.
"There is something in the air of New Mexico that makes the blood red,
the heart beat high and the eyes to turn upward. People don't come here to
die - they come here to live and they get what they come for." - Francis
Aubrey, a famous traveler on the Santa Fe trail
Events around Albuquerque
The Weekly Alibi, Albuquerque's
alternative paper, lists most events going on in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Monthly Arts Crawl A free self-guided
tour of art galleries in a different section of the city each month.
Events around New Mexico
This section lists selected events for each season in Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
Many of these events are also found in the book "City Smart Guide to Albuquerque" by
Brendan Doherty. All phone numbers are for area code 505. To find events for
a particular date, first try these links:
Festival Internationale Since 1984, the National Institute of Flamenco
has presented this annual festival of flamenco music and dance which is
the largest of its kind in the U.S. The festival occurs in mid June. UNM is only university in the United States to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in Flamenco.
Every Thursday from June to August is Summer Music Nights in the Albuquerque
Shakespeare in Santa Fe is
New Mexico's oldest professional theatre company. Every summer they perform
in the beautiful outdoor setting of St. Johns College.
The New Mexico State Fair, which
is now officially called "ExpoNM", takes place in Albuquerque in early September.
Many locals still refer to it as "the state fair."
Burning of Zozobra occurs
on the weekend following labor day in Santa Fe. The general fiesta event
on this day dates back to 1712 but the burning of Zozobra started in 1926. "Zozobra is a hideous but harmless fifty-foot bogeyman marionette. He
is a toothless, empty-headed facade. He has no guts and doesn't have a leg
to stand on. He is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. He never wins.
He moans and groans, rolls his eyes and twists his head. His mouth gapes
and chomps. His arms flail about in frustration. Every year we do him in.
We string him up and burn him down in ablaze of fireworks. At last, he is
gone, taking with him all our troubles for another whole year. Santa Fe celebrates
another victory. Viva la Fiesta!" - A.W. Denninger
Balloon Fiesta Annual ascension
of thousands of hot air balloons on the outskirts of Albuquerque, occurring
in early October. This is an ongoing event since 1971 and is the largest mass
ascension of hot air balloons in the U.S.
Christmas in Old
Town Albuquerque is very beautiful, and Old
town Santa Fe and Taos should also not be missed. Farolitos are
lined up along the plaza and on walkways to local businesses. Farolitos
are little candles, possibly real, in small, brown paper sacks. Farolitos are also known
as luminarias: there is controversy over which is the correct term. It seems that Santa Feans and other Northern New Mexicans
use "farolito" more often, while from Albuquerque south, "luminaria" is
Every Sunday in May is Arts
in the Park (call 768-3483 for details)
Spring is the time to view wildflowers in the alpine meadows on the peak
of the Sandias (Bring a windbreaker).
Spring is also the main season for city-sponsored music
and art events.