From more than 60 submissions via the original blog post and Facebook, the list has been narrowed down to a select few.
As promised, an esteemed panel of judges (all of you!) will pick the winning name. The winner will receive a dozen eggs (if you live in town). If the winner lives out of town he or she will receive something of similar, but less perishable, value.
We recently spent a lovely day as tourists in our own city. On a stunning Memorial Day weekend Saturday we ventured out the Albuquerque BioPark complex.
We started at the Botanic Garden. The highlights were all the plants in full spring bloom and the recently-opened-for-the-season PNM Butterfly Pavilion.
We then ventured over to the Albuquerque Zoo and ran into an old friend, a zookeeper, who got permission to let us FEED. THE. HIPPOS. Hippos are remarkably, fantastically cute. Especially when they’re behind six-inch steel bars. It was also public giraffe feeding time so we did that too!
To top off a lovely day, we had dinner with some of our favorite people and the saw The Avengers, most of which was filmed right here in Albuquerque.
Here are some gratuitous butterfly, hippo and other assorted pictures for your ooohing and ahhhing enjoyment (mostly hippos though).
A night heron.
Japanese Sasebo Garden waterfall.
Who says pink isn’t bad-ass?
I’m done thinking for now.
Mama orangutan hiding from baby.
Here hippo, hippo, hippo.
Hungry, hungry hippo.
The noble hippo.
Time to get back in the water.
Hungry, hungry hippos!
Perspective shot on size of hippos mouth vs. my head.
Mmmm – delicious elm branches.
In which the giraffe licks Alex instead of the elm branch.
Mama and baby elephant cooling down.
Good thing I’m wearing a giant hat.
We’ve been messing with the high-speed video feature on our new camera and braved the white fluffiness to bring you this slow-motion snowstorm. I find it rather zen-like.
This year’s Nob Hill Shop and Stroll was severely impacted by sub-freezing temperatures. In an inspired effort, many of the local Nob Hill merchants of banded together for a Park & Shop on Thursday, December15, 2011 from about 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (depending on store hours). And don’t forget, parking is free up-and-down Central in Nob Hill during the holidays.
Here’s a little bit from the event creators on why a second try at a holiday shopping extravaganza is so important:
In Nob Hill many small businesses are struggling. Shop and Stroll is usually the biggest day of the year for most of the retailers, but an epic wind storm made it hard for the community to come out this year. The timing couldn’t be worse.
For many Nob Hill Merchants this year has been the most challenging year we’ve ever faced. A huge number of stores have closed in the last few years in Nob Hill, and many of us are struggling just to get by. Many shops have cut hours, laid people off, taken on more, and learned how to do more with less just to survive. What’s happening in Nob Hill is happening all over America, and through this action we hope to make it easier for folks to keep their money in their communities.
When you shop in Nob Hill you are supporting businesses that are based in Albuquerque. We live here and we love it. We support the community through community donations, gross receipts taxes, and (perhaps most importantly) through the love and care that we put into our interactions with you in our shops and restaurants in our own wonderful and quirky ways. We believe the neighborhood of Nob Hill is special, and we appreciate the experience of creating this incredible community with you.
The event’s Facebook page has some of information and you can go here for an updated list of all the specials being offered by Albuquerque’s fantastic local merchants including:
A Celebration of Love Weddings
Bailey’s on the Beach
Bath & Body Bistro
Cowboys & Indians
Dawg Gone Good Boutique, Barkery and Paw Spa
Gambei Wellness Salon and Spa
Heart + Soul Salon
Ingrid Mari Boutique
KINK a beaux arts gallery
Kosmic Trading Post
Nob Hill Fabrics
Olo Yogurt Studio
Ooo Aaah Jewelry
Rhythm Dance Company
Rockit Hair Studio
Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center
Serafin’s Chile Hut
Sexy Me Brazilian Wax Salon
SOLE Art & Antiques ~ SO much more than just antiques!
Stilo Lifestyles Accessories
Stone Circle Massage
Stone Mountain Beads
Sukhmani Nob Hill
The Barber’s Shop
The Herb Store
The Yarn Store
TNA Tobacco & Supplies
No, really, it’s ridiculously easy.
And think of this recipe as a broad green chile stew framework, experimentation is encouraged. Feel free to post any modification suggestions in the comments!
One tablespoon olive oil or butter
Two cloves of garlic, minced
One/half medium onion, chopped (or a whole onion, just depends on your oniony-ness)
Four cup mushroom broth (broth, not cream of mushroom broth, blech). Here’s my favorite broth. You can also easily substitute chicken broth if you don’t like the taster or color of mushroom broth (it’s dark brown).
One 14.5 oz. can chopped tomatoes
One small rotisserie chicken, skin removed, shredded into chunks (don’t shred too small, big chunks are better for stew). (Yes you could cook the chicken, but why bother)?
Two cups chopped green chile. (Make sure your of your diners heat tolerance before going overboard with the chile or just make fun of them for being a chile wuss).
Three medium potatoes (I prefer yukon golds), chopped and microwaved or roasted until just starting to turn soft.
Heat olive oil or butter in large pot or dutch oven*. Add garlic and heat until fragrant. Add onions and heat until translucent.
Add mushroom broth, chopped tomatoes, chicken, green chile and cumin. Heat at a medium simmer for one to two hours. Depending on how much time you have and how much you want the flavors to blend. Taste occasionally and season as necessary.
Add the almost-cooked potatoes about a half-hour before you’re going to serve the stew. It’s ready when the potatoes are tender. Don’t cook the stew forever with the potatoes in it, or it they will just break down into mush.
Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a tortilla on the side.
*Note: This also works well in a crock pot. Just put the potatoes on top or stir them in later so they don’t break down too much.
The Nob Hill Holiday Shop & Stroll - one of my favorite nights of the year in Albuquerque.
Central Ave., the old Rt. 66, turns into a boulevard perfect for an evening ramble with friends and family as it will be once again closed to cars and opened to pedestrian traffic from Girard to Washington. Along the way you’ll encounter street performers, carolers, plenty of Santas, pet adoptions (?), live music and more.
There really is no better way to celebrate a random Thursday in December then celebrate your city. 2011 marks the 16th year of the Shop & Stroll, put on by Nob Hill Main Street.
And this is an excellent opportunity to remind you of my favorite current topic – shopping locally. Some of the best local stores in town are in Nob Hill. And if the stores are too crowded (the popular ones sometimes are) do some window shopping, get a snack and return this weekend to buy.
See you at the Shop & Stroll. I expect you to show off your best mosey.
Poster by Nob Hill Main Street. For more information on the Shop & Stroll, you can check out the NHMS Facebook page.
We went to REI today to get some hiking booths today as my five-year-old boots have never been quite right. Their ill-fit caused me horrible blisters on our hike up Wheeler Peak as well as a backpacking trip to Heart Lake.
I was bummed to be shopping for new boots. What a waste to spend money when the old ones were in good shape (I hadn’t worn them much because of their blister-inducing misery).
But, our upcoming trip requires boots that don’t have “crippling” as one of their key features. So there we were in the REI shoe section with old boots in hand so I could ensure that my new pair had nothing in common with my old one.
As we were shopping, the REI shoe guy mentioned that if I hiked in my new boots and didn’t like them, I could return them for a refund – REI has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I joked that I should try and return my old boots as I’ve never been satisfied with them. He said that it was worth a try as I might get a few bucks for them. So, we went up to customer service without much hope. I put down my old boots and said “these are old, but since I’ve had them, they’ve caused me nothing but misery.” She said, “no problem, did you buy them with your REI membership?” I gave my member number, she looked up the purchase, and she gave me a full refund. A full refund. For five-year-old boots.
I’ve been know to complain about REI prices in the past, but now I’ve realized the REI Co-Op model probably requires higher prices to accommodate returns like mine as well as the much-beloved REI dividend.
And so, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – my new lovelies. Thanks REI, you’ve got a customer for life.
Just in case you’re thinking of skipping Albuquerque on your trip to New Mexico, the New York Times tells you how to spend 36 hours in Burque complete with slideshow.
Featuring everything from Marble Brewery to Mary & Tito’s, it’s a wonderful take on how to spend three days in central New Mexico. My favorite part about the article is that, if a visitor followed this guide, it would be a damn good time in this city.
Because if you came to visit me here, the article features things I would want you to see, to eat, to experience. But, because nobody has unlimited inches, there are a few things I would add to the list.
The Botanic Garden
Model Pharmacy (An egg cream fix is an important part of any trip)
A Basketball Game at The Pit. (Trust me on this one, even if you aren’t a basketball fan).
A Baseball Game at Isotopes Park (Trust me on this one, even if you aren’t a baseball fan).
There are so many more things to do and see, of course, but thanks to the New York Times, writer Zora O’Neill and photographer Eric Draper for capturing the essence of what makes my quirky, imperfect city so special.
Spaceport America was dedicated today in southern New Mexico. And, in celebration, Sir Richard Frigging Branson popped a bottle of champagne while rappelling down the side of the Spaceport.
The commercial spaceport will (hopefully) usher in an era of space tourism for a mere $200,000 a ride. Here are some more photos of the event, which looks like it pretty much kicked ass.
Seems the Very Large Array is no longer an appropriate name for the Very Large Array. (I always thought it was rather descriptive).
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is looking for new names for the VLA as part of the Name the Array contest.
The VLA, a radio telescope west of Socorro, NM, has been around since the 1970s, and a recent equipment upgrade was the impetus for a new name.
Entries will be accepted through December 1st.
I’m pushing for the T.O.U.S – Telescope of Unusual Size.
Special thanks to John Fleck of the Albuquerque Journal for first posting this story (paid content).
Photo: “Very Large Array” by Caveman Chuck Coker. Used under Creative Commons licsense 2.0.