Sunday, May 19, 2013

Albuquerque, NM: Central Ave Downtown Scene

downtown albuquerque
Central Ave and 2nd Street in downtown Albuquerque, NM almost feels like my downtown home of San Diego.

There's a warm fuzziness in the way dopamine hits the body as I walked among tall buildings, neon signs, and street musicians.  The smell of hot dog vendors and the sound of fire engines brings back that metropolitan feeling of comfort I left behind over two months ago.

But downtown Albuquerque is not nearly the expanse that downtown San Diego is. The amount of the high-rise real estate here in America's 32nd largest city is just a fraction of America's 8th largest.  Yet there's just enough ethnic diversity, from taco shops to New York style pizza to spicy tuna hand rolls, all crammed into walking distance, that you could spend a couple of years here and not see everything.

Tucked a block away from the central plaza of Old Town Albuquerque is a little shop coiled around a shady bush, camouflaged from view.  The Rattlesnake Museum is a live exhibit of rattlers from all over the Western Hemisphere.  At just $5.00 per person, it's a cheap alternative to the same old routine of dining and shopping.

But that's not to say we didn't dine and shop.

Sash really wanted some turquoise jewelry, something that reflected her American Indian ancestry.  Warpath Traders has perhaps the largest collection of turquoise from local area artists.  We managed to find a pendant that matched Sash's "too much" style.

And you'd think in a place like Albuquerque we would have found a really good place for Mexican food.  But we ended up at a Sushi bar instead.  I'm not sure how fresh the Tuna and Octopus is in the middle of the desert South West, but not being fussy connoisseurs of raw seafood, we couldn't tell the difference.

New Mexico is, however, a legislative-friendly state for microbreweries.  There's several small batch brewers with tiny taprooms scattered throughout Albuquerque.  Right on the corner of Central and 2nd is Chama River Brewing.  Crammed into a space no larger than a railroad box car, Chama packs in a group of beer snobs in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.  Folks are allowed to bring in food from outside, and you'll find them scarfing down pizzas, chinese takeout, and Subway sandwiches.

At night, the cops put up barricades along Central Ave between 3rd and 6th streets, creating a nightlife that explodes with bar hoppers and dance clubbers.  The motorcycle scene comes to life as well, as dozens of bikes park outside of Library Bar & Grill.

After 6:00pm, the meter maids stop patrolling the streets, so that you can park for free.

sushi king albuquerque
Sushi King, Central Ave., Albuquerque, we ate lunch here
buddy and justin, chama river brewing, albuquerque
Highway's new drinking pals, Buddy & Justin. They're planning to ride motorcycles and visit breweries.
raul and mark, chama river brewing, albuquerque
Sash's new bar buddies, Raul and Mark
chama river brewing albuquerque
Chama River Brewing Microbar, 2nd Street, Albuquerque
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rattlesnake museum albuquerque
Rattlesnake Museum, Old Town Albuquerque
old town albuquerque
Parked outside Warpath Traders, Old Town Albuquerque
kimo downtown albuquerquedowntown albuquerquepool hall downtown albuquerque

downtown albuquerque
Central Ave, Downtown Albuquerque
library bar & grill albuquerque
Motorcycles parked in front of Library Bar & Grill, Central Ave.
library bar & grill albuquerque
Inside the Library Bar & Grill, waitresses skirts are so short, they expose themselves when scratching their heads.
hot dog vendor albuquerque
Sash at a hot dog stand on Central Ave. She actually negotiated a $5.00 dog, chips and water down to $3.00.


  1. Albuquerque looks stunning during the day and at night. Also, 2.75$ for Jager is a great deal. I would not pass up on that.
    The only think I previously knew about Albuquerque was that Breaking Bad is set there. Does it live up to its television persona as one of the meth capitals of America.

    Cool that you were able to talk a vendor down from 5 bucks to 3. Do you find that when you are travelling in the States a lot of vendors are willing to negotiate prices, or is it just your charming personality?

    1. Well, Highway makes it sound better than it was. I ordered the food but only had a $20 bill and 3 ones. The vendor didn't have change, so even though it was regularly $5, he gave it to me for $3. I tried to give back the chips to offset the cost, but he was so sweet, he asked me to keep them.
      So, I guess the answer is both.
      But I also get free stuff offered to me all of the time. I will wake up and say to Highway, "I'll get free stuff today, just watch." Sure enough, people will just give me free things, without my even asking, all day long. Men and women. It's part of the concept, "See it, believe it, receive it."
      Just bringing some goodness through positive thinking. . .



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