Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red lands: She Visits Some Places in New Mexico

Meanwhile back on the road, I stopped to visit two different friends in their new cities, and I stayed overnight in four other places. Two places each in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

I don't have much to say about Albuquerque. Of course, the people are lovely and the university excellent. But I was pretty much working all the time there and did not get out and about a whole lot. But I did make a couple of observations.

First, people do not live downtown to any extent. The downtown itself was quite different from Salt Lake, Denver and nearly every place back east. It is a place for businesses, government offices, hotels and restaurants in hotels or stand alone restaurants that serve lunch and maybe breakfast for the daily workers. I have to say, I did not like the downtown very much.

Second, I did not see a heck of a lot of variation in architectural / urban  design. There were the tall buildings downtown and the generic nation-wide stores and shopping places, and then adobe housing and that was kind of it. Now to be fair, I was not taken all over the whole city. But what I was able to see, did not impress me a whole lot. The adobe style is very nice and certainly fitting for the environment and history .... but, as the song goes, is that all there is?
Can't help but tripping over all the historic places in Santa Fe
We did get up to Santa Fe the last evening. Santa Fe is another world. ALL historic and charming adobe. I could live in Santa Fe .... if I had a heck of a lot more money that I have now.

We ate in an historic restaurants in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. NEW Mexican food. It was fine, but that's not what I like to eat all the time. Everyone served NEW Mexican food except, of course, for the nationwide chains like Red Lobster. I honestly don't like chiles much at all, and I usually remove them what whatever dish they are in, if I can. I was happy that one night we got to eat at a local Irish brewpub, the Quarter Celtic. That was a meal I really enjoyed. But this is just me. I know, I know, NEW Mexican food is a delicious cuisine and most people really really love it.
Looking Glass Yarn Shop

Up in Santa Fe we were also able to get in a yarn shop that was just about to close for the evening. Looking Glass Yarns is a  real nice LYS and the only yarn shop I was able to visit the whole trip. That was something. It's a place I would like to have as my LYS. I got some purple fingering yarn, and intend to make it into a shawl soon. (There we were told that a very well known LYS in Albuquerque recently closed for good. All the locals were mourning that. I'm not sure of the name of the shop.)

Then on the way home I stayed overnight in Farmington, New Mexico. Everybody in Albuquerque referred to Farmington as a "small town." But I thought that it looked a heck of a lot like Rapid City only more spread out, and that proved to be an accurate assessment. There are about 45K people in Farmington and it's the commercial hub of the whole region. You can even fly into there commercially.

Three different rivers meet here, so lots of places are called "three rivers" this or that. A lot of the town is all strung out along highway 64 to the east and is mostly everywhere places. But really when you live someplace you want access to big grocery stores, Targets, Walmarts, Home Depots, Olive Gardens, Starbucks, a mall, etc, etc, etc. All the chain hotels are there. I stayed at a Fairfield Inn for the first time because I had no kitty with me ( I have tried to see about staying in one in Wyoming on my way to SD, but I pretty much always have a kitty with me & this chain does not allow pets, so the Holiday Inn Express in Rawlins it is.)  and found it to be very nice and comfortable.
Very family friendly even though beer is the highlight.
There is still a downtown which is where I ate. I've been asking lately as I travel around about local breweries with restaurants, and Farmington has a real good one which is obviously doing very very well. Three Rivers Brewery has taken over a whole block downtown. They have a restaurant, where I ate, a tap room and a pizzeria. All were packed on a Saturday evening in October. I had a real good burger and a nice glass of beer (I can't recall which kind, but it was tasty.)

Would I want to live there? Probably not now, but when I was practicing midwifery, there are places in or near Farmington, mostly associated with Native American health care, where there are long standing places to work. When I was wanting a practice job, had there been one there for me, I would have moved there and, I'm sure, liked it just fine. Except there is no yarn shop!

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