Best of Burque 2013
LIFE IN BURQUE
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Best City Politician to be Awarded a Medal
Mayor Richard Berry
A lot of us didn’t know what to think about the Republican Richard Berry when he took the 2010 mayoral election. But it looks like the dude has won over a number of our readers with his strategic vision for Albuquerque. His unwillingness to grandstand—unlike Marty “Put My Name On Everything” Chavez—probably didn’t hurt either.
2) Martin Heinrich
3) Rey Garduño
Best City Politician to Put in the Stocks
Mayor Richard Berry
Maybe it’s his reluctance to provide leadership on questions like the city’s minimum wage enforcement, or maybe it’s the more aggressive stance he’s taken toward illegal immigration, or, hell, maybe it’s the mustache, but it seems like almost as many of our readers hate the guy as love him.
2) Susana Martinez
3) Ray Schultz
It may be no surprise, with an ongoing federal investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department, that the number one scandal in the city are the APD shootings. But, in a metropolis surrounded by the desert, it's kind of expected for some things to go down.
2) Domenici’s love child
3) Savvy tree chopping
Best Use of City Money
We like our bikes here in Burque-town, but sometimes nearby drivers don’t share the feeling. When some asshole is laying on his horn or insistently crowding you into the nearest acequia, it sure is nice to know that our city is committed to building more bike paths to get you away from those hulking road hogs.
2. Paseo Exchange
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
Worst Use of City Money
Unnecessary and Ceaseless Road Repair
A lane closed on Central? No problem, just detour onto Copper—except the intersection at Carlisle is blocked off. Hmmm, maybe up to Lomas? Oh, they’re working on a water main. Lead or Coal? Forget about it. Sure, road repairs need to be done, but sometimes it’s a wonder we’re able to get anywhere at all.
2. Salaries for politicians
3. City beautification
Best News Anchor We Want to Wear a Cowboy Hat for an Entire Broadcast
We’re thinking one of those tall-crowned white ones that Tom Mix used to sport while riding the cinematic range. Tom’s wise, even-tempered countenance would lend a certain dignity to it. So ... the ball’s in your court now, Tom.
2) Dick Knipfing
3) Steve Stucker
Best TV Meteorologist Who Also Must Wear a Cowboy Hat
A cowboy hat in Albuquerque seems suspect, really—this isn't Tucson, after all, and it's certainly not Dallas. Can't you imagine these cats in a sombrero instead, maybe wrapped in a serape and selling cheap Chinese made trinkets in the shade somewhere, taking nips off a tequila bottle, while at the same time talking about the weather? And who really cares about the weather here anyway—"today it's sunny and hot, today it's sunny and cold"—these are the choices we have and really anyone with a teleprompter and good dictation could pull it off. Nevertheless, we have our favorite weather folks—and we’d like them all to wear cowboy hats.
2) Steve Stucker
3) Joe Diaz
Best Radio Station
The Burque music scene permeates the region with its charisma, its vibrancy, its faithful attitude for what makes good music a necessity. KUNM, voted best radio station, spins its progressive and news-worthy annotations for the Duke city.
2) The Edge
3) The Peak
Best Radio DJ To Pick the Alibi Theme Song
Well, I've got sour grapes on this one because they didn't pick my winner—the cats who run Music to Soothe the Savage Beast on KUNM—but there are five of them, after all, and one of them writes for us, so go figure. I still think "The Death March" by Diamanda Galás should be our theme song, but I suspect our actual winner will have other ideas. Should we call and ask?
2) Buck and/or Dex
2) Tie: Swami King and Erica Viking
Best Dog Park
Burqueños y Burqueñas are devoted to their canine BFFs. For socialization and exercise, Los Altos is this year's Duke City dog park of choice for savvy pet owners and their dander-shedding, oxytocin-inducing brethren.
2) North Domingo Baca
3) Santa Fe Village
Best Golf Course
Arroyo del Oso
“Nestled in Bear Canyon Arroyo, this 27-hole Northeast Albuquerque course is noted for its interesting topography.” That description comes from the City of Albuquerque website, and it makes the 1965-built public course seem like a mighty charming place to knock your balls into some cactus. In 1981, Golf Digest Magazine named Arroyo del Oso one of the Top 50 Municipal Golf Courses in the nation. Who are we to argue?
3) UNM Championship
Best Public Restroom Graffiti
Tractor Brewing Company
You call it art. You call it a documentation. The age-old cave-wall canvas manifesto splattered, smeared, or scrawled on a place that catches the eyes of many. That good ole public restroom. Tractor Brewing Company seems to be the biggest on-hand exhibition where people can drop bombs and bomb at the same time.
2) Burt’s Tiki Lounge
3) Frontier Restaurant
Best Place to People-Watch
Now that you know where to watch the people, all you have to do is cut a couple of eye-holes in your Weekly Alibi and nobody will be able to tell you’re watching. Stop looking at me!
3) Frontier Restaurant
Best Bike Trail
Paseo del Bosque
Albuquerque’s premiere multi-use trail stretches from the north edge of town to the far South Valley, meandering through the Rio Grande’s cottonwood bosque. This 16-mile paved trail passes the Rio Grande Nature Center, the Albuquerque Biological Park and the Rio Grande State Park. That provides riders with plenty of opportunities to spot public art, wild animals and homeless people camping along the river.
3) Elena Gallegos
Best Place to Catch Tadpoles
We all know the best place to catch tadpoles. In the water, right? Somehow Alibi readers were inclined to get more specific about things.
2) Rio Grande/Bosque
3) UNM Duck Pond
Best Place to See Bats
Oh, you charming, pun-loving wags. We meant the biological kind, but you gave us the sporting kind. Never mind. You are correct. Isotopes Stadium is a fine place to spot bats. (Sometimes, during select night games, you might even catch a few of the animal kind patrolling the stadium lights for tasty bugs.)
Best Place to See a Ghost
If y’all are feeling hauntological, visit Old Town. Get schooled on the spectral with a walking tour or do your own research and get your DIY spook-trek on.
2) KiMo Theatre
3) Albuquerque Press Club
Best "Breaking Bad" Location
Octopus Car Wash
“Breaking Bad” brought an iconic yet grimy status to our humble burg. It’s no wonder that our citizens prefer Octopus when trying to wash off the memetic aftertaste of the now-legendary TV series.
2) Dog House Drive In
3) Java Joe’s
Best Place to Have Your Ashes Scattered
In death as in life, Burque denizens prefer the mountains to the mesas, the peaks to the plateaus. So it’s probably better to spend eternity among the timbers as opposed to the tumbleweeds. But the river's nice, too, and, according to Billy Joel, we all end up there anyway.
2) Rio Grande River
3) Jemez Mountains
Best Reason to Stay in Albuquerque
Weather can make or break your love of a city. Too cold? You're asking for a snow scraper and calloused hands. Too hot? Hydration becomes too much of a chore. But here in Burque, the weather is phenomenal: beautiful sun-filled days and cool, clear nights. That's a reason to stay.
3) The diversity of the population
Best Reason to Leave Albuquerque
Hey, violent crime and property crime are on the decrease. But we get your point. In 2010, Albuquerque was higher than the national violent crime rate average by 94.92 percent. Sperling’s Best Places has rated us an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 for violent crime (10 being the bad end of the scale). Still we’re way down from 2009, which saw 56 murders. In 2013 we’re only projected to have 47 murders, 386 forceable rapes and 992 robberies (according to CityRating.com).
2) The People
3) The Weather
50 Years on the Carefree Highway Tour: Gordon Lightfoot • folk, singer-songwriter at Legends Theater @ Route 66 Casino
Galician Dinner at National Hispanic Cultural Center
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