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I live downtown and yet almost never go the eight blocks to its very heart. An odd and …is eccentric the right word…little downtown it is. I worked there for many years managing the KiMo Theatre, a restored art deco movie house that, for awhile, was quite a thriving performing arts theater. It was never dull downtown even though the transition from being frequented by winos to horny young men and women in search of booze and each other had not yet transpired. Then, for food and entertainment there was only Lindy’s, a sort of great old-fashioned coffee shop on the corner across from the KiMo. Now there’s a multiplex with lattes and mineral water and a good Brazilian restaurant next door. Also many bars and pizza joints. The plan to make downtown a hub of arts and culture did not work out although 516 ARTS, a classy little contemporary arts gallery, does well and the KiMo seems to be okay sticking to a steady diet of classical movies. But I like it down there in a way because it hasn’t been renovated to that super cute stage. Between 1st and 8th along Central feels kind of like any one of a thousand small towns across the country that’s tarted up Main Street just enough to have an espresso bar and at least one restaurant that serves salads with field greens and cranberries. Albuquerque is a small city and not a small town, but I think it’s okay to have a vaguely old-west main street. After all we have malls and Uptown and Starbucks all over the place so our basic needs are pretty much covered and we can a afford a little funky ambiance here at the center.


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