So, what exactly is there to do in the ABQ?
Held the first weekend of October, you have the potential to volunteer as a chase crew for a balloon.Contact the festival prior to arrival. You can request a specialty balloon (a pig, an eagle, Darth Vader). While waiting in the launch field for your team, you can watch everyone else get ready and meet other balloon Capt. from throughout the US. Though there is a Chase Crew HQ at the event, I found a great lack of communication between volunteers and the event (ie. when to NOT show up because of weather, pilot no show) which can be frustrating when you have little awareness of the whole picture of the event.
If volunteering is not what you’re looking for, check out the morning mass accession on the side of the road. Join other great citizens of the ABQ on the road side of I-25 as the daily lift off occurs and bring some coffee and sweets to eat. The accessions lasts for about an hour and can seem drawn out because of the pace of the balloons. BE AWARE! there is prohibited parking around the exit ramps of the park, look for other cars pulled over on the roadside and you can’t go wrong.
BE AWARE! Traffic is AWFUL in the morning, it’s best to add at least 45-60min prior to your drive time, there are only four (4) entrances to the Balloon Feasta Park and you will be sitting in line for one of them if you are not prepared.
BONUS! Pull into the Sandia Resort enterance off the Tramway exit. There is a gas station on the right that borders a ranch of buffalo.
What’s not to love about this road? Drive through the city (66 is called “Central” in the city itself) and you will find kitschy motel signs, great pieces of architecture, and an amazing sight of the ABQ.
3. Great Tattoo: Pat Martinez (email@example.com)
Pat is the man you should see. He does no wrong for a guy so young. He’s a talented drawer, painter, and artist. These skills add great depth to his tattoo work. He hears out your concept and works with you to develop a piece of art that you will not regret.
4. Watch the Albuquerque Kings Wheelchair Basketball Team:
The ABQ’s one and only Kings are a DII, elite level wheelchair basketball team. They have practice every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, but have a great turn out on Saturdays. This is a great family event, ask for Sebastian, he’ll hook you up.
5. Graham Central Station: Dancing, etc:
A place to release your ADD. One building that holds country dancing, hip hop dancing, disco dancing, and karaoke to relax from it all. How can that be wrong?
6. Sadie’s of New Mexico: Restaurant
Come for the menu, stay for the sopapillas. BE AWARE! Order your green or red chili on the side of your meal. Or at least order a glass of milk or two.
“We are not blocking traffic. We are traffic.”
“Whether you love it or hate it, says a lot about a city’s take on bicycling. Once a month in places around the world, cyclists take the streets by storm as a visual reminder that they, too, are traffic, and deserve to be respected as such.” (http://www.dukecityfix.com/group/burquebikers/forum/topic/show?id=1233957%3ATopic%3A14124)
Critical Mass will now take place on the FIRST FRIDAY of every month at 5:30PM a the DUCK POND.
Want something a bit more scenic? I found this site that looks promising: http://albuquerquebybicycle.blogspot.com/2005/05/paseo-del-norte-rio-bravo-alternate.html
Okay, Okay. So, this is an obvious choice. But WAIT! If you can only take so much arts and crafts you will still enjoy Old Town. The Candy Lady (http://www.thecandylady.com/) , a MUST visit. She has chili infused fudge. As you bite down, the familiar fudge spreads over your tongue, as you swallow, the chili takes over and leaves a trail of spices down your throat. Don’t believe it’s possible? Take a bite and let me know.
Also, I know I mentioned lack of interest in arts and crafts, but I found only one spot that truly sparked my interest, Santisima (located in an upstairs portion of the Poco A Poco Patio plaza). Most art work is Mexican folk inspired. Bright vibrant colors decorating Frita and Virgen de Guadalupe work. There are figurines, magnets, tableus, candles, and jewelery. Another must see for personal or souvenir shopping.
9. Road Side Pinon
Pinon nuts have outstanding nutritional value and compare favorably with pecans, peanuts, and walnuts. They supply all amino acids and provide significant amounts of vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. The nuts of P. edulis are rich in phosphorus (1 245 mg/kg), which is equivalent to soybeans. They are sold on the road side throughout the ABQ, truly a good find. Enjoy!
10. Pink Dinosaur
Sitting in front of Gizmo’s clothing shop, downtown on Central. It’s not bolted down, so catch it during business hours. My cousin would not stop posing with this thing.