The Climates of Albuquerque

Time off between cheer and homework.

Time off between cheer and homework.

Albuquerque was born on the banks of the Rio Grande and grew up climbing the Sandia Mountains. Now in November it’s cool and sunny down by the river where I live (elevation 4900 feet or so) and cold and sunny up here in the beginning of the foothills where son Steven and family live (over 6000 feet high). So why aren’t we called the Mile High City? Because we are the Duke City, after the Duke of Alburquerque (spelling intentional) from Spain or Portugal. I think.

Up by Steven's mountains.

Up by Steven’s mountains.

Steven is spending the weekend in Portland, Oregon where Michele sometimes works so I’m hanging out with Sara the Cheerleader here at home…her home last night, then my home tonight, then her home before Monday morning school. We’ll journey back and forth through the climates of Albuquerque—from my Tingley Beach ducks to bear-spotting up here in the wilds of the Heights as this part of town with its mostly Anglo population, a bigger middle-class and more Republicans is called.

I am not so fond of the Heights. It lacks character; no flavor of a New Mexico almost equally divided between its Anglo and Hispanic citizenry, or the strong presence of the original Native American New Mexicans. Even the small but active African American population doesn’t seem present up here. It is, as I said, very white, very middle-class, very conservative. I’m happy to say my kids are among the Democratic minority up here. Still they like it and my granddaughters have had the benefit of some of the better public schools in Albuquerque—and better cheerleading squads!

I prefer the Valley. My granddaughter asks, “Why do you live in the ghetto, grandma?” Really, dear? Property values in my ‘ghetto’ are higher than most of the uptown blocks. But our downtown scruffiness is more obvious. And charming in its own way. We are seriously multi-cultural downtown/Old Town…more rich people (out along the Rio Grande a little farther), more poor people, more Latinos, Native Americans, gays, Democrats, artists, homeless people, more…us.

Watching ABC Family and “Holes.” It’s what one does with the granddaughter that’s still a mid-teen and lounging about between cheering for the game last night and going to practice this afternoon. Besides I quite like “Holes.” She was going to watch “Gray’s Anatomy” but fortunately could not get Netflix to work this morning. I’m not sure I could handle that…watched for a season years ago but it did not grow on me like “Orange is the New Black” for example.


Now it’s evening. We’ve had a fine Whole Foods dinner. Pasta, a roasted happy chicken, Cranberry baguette and oatmeal raisin cookies. And back to TV. “The Hunger Games,” which I’ve missed until now. I do like Jennifer Lawrence finally but am not at all enamored of the film. Didn’t think I would be but with so much attention there was always the possibility. So that’s today.



About mneset

Writer, Traveler, Director/North Fourth Art Center

Posted on November 23, 2014, in Living LIFE and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. all true….downtown and near the river, and of course the north valley all have character…heights does not…what is it about every neighborhood is walled off from the streets? Is this to protect the population from APD firing wildly at feeling mental patients?


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