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NY Times reviews Albuquerque ...
... and mostly gets it right.
The article came out in today’s travel section and is part of the “36 hours in ...” series. It appeared online on Thursday, Oct. 20.
Dune surfing. Couch surfing.
Late Sunday night found my roommate and I sitting on top of a dune in White Sands National Monument with an English couple we'd met earlier that morning. We'd lent them a tent, dropped their backpacks at our house and set out for a five-hour road trip through southwestern New Mexico. Bring a swimsuit for Elephant Butte Lake, we said, and a sleeping bag.
Reporting from the tracks
It’s a Wednesday morning, and the New Mexico Rail Runner Express presents a smorgasbord of snacking children, camera flashes, gimmicky tourist cowboy hats and the unmistakable crinkling sounds of unfolded, then refolded, maps. A handful of bowed head locals immerse themselves in the faint glow of a laptop screen, but the average age of rider seems to be about seven.
We leave the city and pass mobile homes, parking lots of eighteen-wheelers and neat stacks of bricks and cement blocks waiting for transport. A cluster of horses snooze under the shade of a lone tree, and a shirtless older man pushes a wheelbarrow through the hay brown fields.
London In Detail
The highest resolution picture ever taken of a major city has been posted online. The London Gigapixel Project took six weeks to complete using high tech computer software and “a powerful Fujitsu Celsius workstation with dual 6-core CPUs, 192GB of RAM, and a 4GB graphics card.” The resulting image is made from 7,886 high-resolution individual photos, adding up to an incredible 80 billion pixels. Allegedly, the creators at 360cities.net had to Photoshop out a woman who was standing in her window naked, but other than that, the image is untouched. The interactive website allows you to move around and zoom in like mad. Quite the vacation photo!
John Bear gets nuked
A road trip to the Trinity Site
I went to the Trinity Site on Saturday.
The Trinity Site is the spot in the desert southeast of Socorro where scientists first demonstrated – in the beautiful desert no less – they could compress a ball of plutonium or uranium into a critical mass, causing a nuclear explosion. The United States would later demonstrate that such a device can turn people into star dust. Twice.
An Evening in Taos
Two weeks ago, because we didn’t strike out for Califor-nah-ay this summer as planned, my husband and I opted to take a regional vacation and went to Taos instead. Despite having lived in New Mexico for most of 11 years, I’d never been. I was excited to see the metaphysical mountain town, and experience its fabled vortexes firsthand. The two-hour drive from Albuquerque was quick and pretty, and the road into town took us directly to our accommodations for the evening. Not so long ago I attained a half-price one-night stay at the Historic Taos Inn through Alibi Bucks—not because I’m thrifty, but because boutique and/or historic hotels are one of my great joys in life. The couches of friends are fine, but when given an option, I’ll take Ace, Kimpton or Hotel Congress-type lodging any day.
It’s Winter Somewhere in New Mexico
My mini-staycation at Sandia Peak
Yesterday following a very successful (I bought an excellent dresser) and celebrity-sprinkled (wouldn’t have known it was him, as I’d never heard of him, if it weren’t for my movie industry companions) trip to the Antique Specialty Mall, we were driving east towards my favorite thrift store for new crap, T.J. Maxx. As I admired the lovely grey day and the wonderfully gloomy cloud cover on the mountains, it occurred to me that Albuquerque has a tram—the longest one in the world, at that. Offhandedly, I said it’d be a nice day to take the novelty ride. Rather than digging through “active bottoms” at the Maxx, I soon found myself forking over $20 for a Sandia Peak Tramway “flight” and suffering screaming children. This began to seem like a very bad idea. Once we boarded (without the sobbing three-year-old who was still apparently wearing diapers) things got freaking pretty. The rain and views of the city were beautiful. Snow flurried around at the peak and it was suddenly winter. After shooting camera phone photos, we headed to the High Finance bar for whiskey and snacks. We hung around the bar for about half an hour, listening to some smooth-ass jazz (”God, how do you make a guitar sound this gay?”) and wondering why there’s no mountain lodge for overnight stays. We caught a handsome buzz at 10,000 feet, then boarded he tram back to town, giggling all the way down. Between the three of us the whole experience cost about $100, but I deem the monsoon season peak experience money well-spent.
Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in Peru
I somehow managed to become deathly ill on my very last night in Peru. It was the dreaded "stomach thing" again. Everyone traveling here gets it at one point or another. I've had it twice in six weeks, as have all my voluntario housemates and people I've traveled with. Milt, who flew here to visit Machu Picchu with me, and to make sure I actually came home from Peru, got it a few days after he arrived, despite brushing his teeth with bottled water and following all the suggested food precautions. Generally this is nothing that a little imodium won't cure. But what hit me on this last night was the "stomach thing" with a vengeance. It came on swiftly, relentlessly and violently, con mucha fuerza. I spent my last night in Peru camped out on the bathroom floor in a hotel room in Cusco, memorizing every floor tile. By the next morning, I was so sick I could not stand up. The problem was, I had not one, but two flights to take that day, one from Cusco (the airport closest to Machu Picchu) to Lima, then later from Lima to the United States.
A Word About Cocaine in Peru
Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in Peru
I received an amusingly large number of responses from many of you after I mentioned in one of my first emails that Peru is the world's second largest producer of cocaine. Here are more facts on that subject.
More Fun Facts About Peru
Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in South America
Peru has the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca in Puno. It sits 12,500 ft. above sea level.
Peru has the two deepest canyons in the world, Colca Canyon and Cotahuasi Canyon. They dip down 10,600 ft. and 11,000 ft. respectively.
Gov't Mule • Southern rock at Sunshine Theater
Mysteries of the Unconscious at North Domingo Baca Multigenerational Center
22 Jump Street at UNM Student Union Building, Atrium (ground floor)More Recommented Events ››