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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Wildcat Road Trip: Albuquerque, N.M.”

    Albuquerque is like escargot: Some people love it, and others won’t go anywhere near it. After a weekend of poetry, music and dining at delicious little corner bistros, I can now confidently say that I love escargot … or, at least, Albuquerque.

    Built similar to Tucson on a grid that extends into Downtown, Albuquerque’s main road, Central Avenue, has just about everything you need.

    Trying to find the University of New Mexico? Try Central Avenue. A hip and trendy clothing shop? Central Avenue. A little diner called Lindy’s where the manager will scratch your itchy back and tell you horror stories about the way the police act toward Downtown drunkards on a Saturday night? Well … you get the idea.

    In many ways, Albuquerque is still a town that’s trying to figure out just what it is.

    The people are either very friendly or kind of scary, and although the houses are nice in certain areas, you can tell that crime is a big issue there.

    For example, a friend of mine from Albuquerque was blown away when he visited Tucson and saw that some of our parks kept their basketball nets on throughout the night.

    But if you look past the feeling that you might get robbed if you wander into the wrong neighborhood, Albuquerque is a town filled with culture and pride.

    Almost all of the poetry that I heard while attending an annual spoken word event called the Southwest Shootout Regional Poetry Slam centered on either the use of Spanish in poetry or the theme of reclaiming the land and identity that was temporarily taken after the Mexican-American War and the acquisition that followed in 1848.

    And, boy, do they like their food hot. And I mean HOT. In a town known to some as the “”chile capital of the world,”” you’d be hard-pressed to find a plate of food that doesn’t make your mouth tingle. Or burn.

    If you’re looking for a giant plate of authentic Mexican food at a bargain, check out Los Cuates, 4901 Lomas Blvd. Careful, portions are typical of food in Albuquerque: large and slightly overwhelming.

    If you’re in the mood for something different, I recommend Central Park Deli, 918 Central Ave. Its French toast is to die for, and its breakfast burritos, complete with red or green chile, are only 99 cents.

    There are a million different things that make Albuquerque awesome, but I most enjoyed hearing stories from the locals who have lived there their entire lives. Almost everyone I met had a memory they were anxious to share with me, and with so much history packed into one place, I found myself wishing I had a few extra days to absorb it all.

    But, with only a seven-hour drive from Tucson, I guess there’s always next weekend.

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