36 Hours in Albuquerque – The New York Times

Any dialog about journey to New Mexico appears to start out with Santa Fe, the tourist-magnet about 60 miles up the highway from Albuquerque, the state’s largest metropolis. But Duke City (so known as for its namesake, the Duke of Alburquerque, the early 18th-century Viceroy of New Spain) has been rising from its neighbor’s shadow ever because the well-liked drama “Breaking Bad” started in 2008. Home to sizable Native American and Latino communities, each with main cultural points of interest (together with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which holds greater than 700 cultural occasions a 12 months), Albuquerque expects extra time on digital camera since Netflix purchased native ABQ Studios final fall and introduced a plan to deliver $1 billion in manufacturing to the state over the subsequent 10 years. Entrepreneurs are beginning up midcentury-fashionable excursions, dealing intelligent T-shirts and kombucha on the Rail Yards Market, opening craft breweries and redefining retail. See town at its most colourful in the course of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Oct. 5 to 13, when lots of of scorching air balloons launch in early morning mass ascensions.

Get your bearings on a “Mezcla de Culturas” strolling tour with Heritage Inspirations. Among its guides, Bobby Gonzales, a 13th-generation New Mexican, leads two-hour rambles ($75) through Old Town, Albuquerque’s original settlement, established in 1706, and the emerging Sawmill District next door. While strolling through hidden courtyards and adobe-lined streets, he talks about the Spanish quest for gold that led explorers north from Mexico to Albuquerque on the Rio Grande. He identifies vernacular architectural styles like New Mexican farmhouse with adobe walls and metal roofs, and tells offbeat stories about the 36 days the Civil War came to town and Old Town’s attempt in the 1950s to divert some of the tourist traffic heading north to Santa Fe by remodeling Victorian buildings in Pueblo-evoking fashion.

Surrounded by 25 acres of lavender fields and gardens, Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, on the agricultural fringe of Albuquerque, champions farm-to-table fare at its restaurant, Campo. Residing in the farm’s restored dairy buildings that date back to the 1930s, Campo, which means field, focuses on cooking with fire and using local ingredients in dishes such as roasted vegetable tostada ($15) and grilled rack of lamb ($40). Its prime seats are at the chef’s table, where guests are served an eight-course meal with a front-row view of the open hearth ($120). Make a reservation in advance or dine at the bar, where the entire menu is served. Arrive before 6 p.m. to browse the inn’s Farm Shop next door which deals local artist-designed blankets, carbon steel cookware and ceramic dishes from Japan.

Dating back to 1942, when drugstores commonly had soda fountains, Duran Central Pharmacy has expanded on the tradition and given it a New Mexican accent. Guests enter through the pharmacy and gift shop and follow their noses to the bustling diner on the left where orange vinyl stools line the curved lunch counter, and the griddle behind it sears hand-rolled flour tortillas. They come ready to dip into the green or red chile sauce smothering the huevos rancheros ($9.30) or concealing a chile-topped burger ($10.30). On your way out, browse the gift section for jars of the restaurant’s signature chile sauce and flour-sack dish towels printed in bright graphics by the local brand Kei & Molly Textiles.

Work off those huevos on the 16-mile Paseo del Bosque Trail, a multiuse trail that follows the Rio Grande through its cottonwood “bosque” or forest where it’s cooler, even on the warmest days. The Pace shared bike program stations rental cycles conveniently throughout town ($1 for 15 minutes). But to go farther, faster and more comfortably, rent a hybrid bike from Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals where the staff readily offers directions and maps ($20 for four hours). The company also runs two-hour tours daily (from $50) and may customize the route based on your interests in history, architecture or even “Breaking Bad.”

After browsing the many Old Town shops selling souvenir ristras (strings of drying chiles) and Native American turquoise jewelry, hit the stylish Spur Line Supply Co. in the Sawmill District. The owner, Tess Coats, has assembled a collection of artisan-made and New Mexican goods in a showroom-size space, offering everything from apparel to housewares to vinyl records. Her own 1971 Airstream trailer sits in the middle of the store, filled with, recently, vintage clothing, ice buckets and inflatable pool toys. Shoppers will find locally made jewelry, Dryland Wilds botanical beauty products, macramé plant hangers and fun T-shirts, including one that salutes the state as “Land of Mañana.” A coffee shop invites lingering at the communal table or out on the patio.

One of the largest petroglyph sites in North America lies just on the western edge of Albuquerque in Petroglyph National Monument. Here, Native American ancestors to the modern Pueblo people carved images of turtles, parrots, hands, geometric designs and other symbols onto rock surfaces between 400 and 700 years ago. Archaeologists estimate that the 17 miles of escarpment within the park hold more than 25,000 images. Three hiking trails offer opportunities to see them. The shortest, the one-mile Boca Negra Canyon walk, passes up to 100 petroglyphs on a steep and rocky hill of volcanic boulders (free admission; parking $1 to $2). If you have more time, hit the 2.2-mile Rinconada Canyon to see up to 300 carvings.

May through October, the Sunday morning Rail Yards Market (free) combines local food — farm produce and prepared food — crafts and live music with an opportunity to see Albuquerque’s atmospherically crumbling Rail Yards. Once one of the city’s biggest employers, the train yard is home to the vast Machine and Boiler Shops with broken windows and rusty beams, now popular settings for film productions, including “The Avenger.” After sampling market fare, save room for tamales from nearby El Modelo Mexican Foods, which began making tortillas by hand in 1929. Fans line up at the to-go counter for tamales generously stuffed with shredded pork in spicy red chile ($2.60) and sloppy green chile brisket burritos ($5.15). There’s no indoor seating, so grab a stack of napkins and find a table in the shade in the adjoining parking lot or yard.

Source link Nytimes.com

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