Basically, we’d all just like to have $500 to flitter away. Your methods of doing so range from the practical (Costco) to the tech savvy (the Apple Store) to the cultural (art) to the frivolous (casinos). And some of you think it would be fun to buy guns. Let’s all just keep our distance from those guys.
While this place carries a steady supply of new works, you love it most for the pre-read selection. Pick up a realistic-fiction Richard Yates novel, then slide over to mystery for some Jim Thompson.
2) Bird Song Used Books 3) Tie: The Book Stop, Title Wave Books
Best Magazine Selection
Flying Star Café
Nob Hill: 3416 Central NE • 255-4501 Downtown: 723 Silver SW • 244-8099 North Valley: 4026 Rio Grande NW • 344-6714 Uptown: 8001 Menaul NE • 293-6911 Northeast Heights: 4501 Juan Tabo NE • 275-8311 Corrales: 10700 Corrales Road • 938-4717 Bernalillo: 200 South Camino del Pueblo • 404-2100 flyingstarcafe.com
Ah, the simple pleasure of lemonade, a Buddha bowl with tofu and brown rice, and a copy of Elle Decoration UK—or whatever your special interest and dietary restriction/indulgence may be. It's easy to be periodically inspired at Flying Star Café.
It's not that Buffalo Exchange always has the best vintage selection—but when you do find that perfect, navy blue, '40s-era dress with white daisy appliqué, it costs scores less than its actual value, allowing you to purchase the five other items you also want.
Locating sharp menswear in Albuquerque ain't easy, but Toad Road helps fill the void. The Nob Hill shop not only carries higher-end fashion for men and women, it also sells the creations of local designers.
Stifled refinement, be damned. Free Radicals caters to lady punkers, goths, rockabilly chicks and horror enthusiasts. Whether you're trying to impersonate Bettie Page or find a locally crafted hair bow with a skull on it, look no further.
Catch her custom corsets if you can. Koeninger's output is prolific, but she's in high demand. Some are architectural, some are classic and others are inspired by morbid muses. All clutch female figures in their fetching grasps.
The emphasis is on constructive, educational toys, but that doesn't mean they can't be fun. From craft kits to puzzles to musical toys to kites, Out of the Blue crams its shelves with playthings for babies, toddlers, kids, tweens and teens. Not to mention the parents who indulge them.
Parenthood may be life’s richest pleasure, but there’s an emphasis on the “rich.” It’s pricey growing a little person into a big person. So a secondhand store for baby clothes? Now that’s a fantastic idea.
2) Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center 3) Baby Bear
Best Antiques Store
Christian Dimery Antiques (formerly Morningside Antiques)
Despite the proliferation of Southwest design here in New Mexico, Albuquerqueans tell us they like their furniture contemporary and vaguely Danish. Brushed-aluminum bar stools, blonde-wood bed frames and geometric area rugs fill the homes of our readers thanks to TEMA's huge showroom.
Searching for something? The good people at Astro-Zombies will help you dig through the stacks. In fact, an Alibi staffer’s family just went there to look for comic art done by her grandpa in the ’60s. The staff got all excited and dug up compilations that included grampy’s old, rare comics. The store even serves as a meeting spot with swap meets and signings.
You’ve got nothing but love for this epicenter of sex education and sensory delights. Co-owners Matie Fricker and Molly Adler’s sex-positive revolution is mid-swing (emphasis on the “swing”), and we’re all enjoying the ride. It’s service that leaves you with a smile.
What's better than great shoes? Great, affordable shoes. ABQ's two locations of Shoes on a Shoestring keep N.M. feet well covered in boots, sandals, athletic shoes, Mary Janes, sling backs and these totally hot cork wedges from Bronx.
This is the real deal, and the 505 knows it. If your velocipede is serviced here, it'll get done right. The shop carries a broad range of bicycles and accessories, not just the trendy stuff. The staffers are amiable, but most importantly, they heart bikes.
If you're gonna call yourself Skate City Supply, you'd better be well-stocked with skateboards, roller skates, figure skates, in-line skates and hockey skates. This place does you one better and throws in snowboards, scooters, protective gear and clothing to boot.
2) The BZ 3) 4D's Board Shop
Best Smoke Shop
2501 San Mateo NE 837-1942 2222 Central SE 255-5772
With several locations that serve the smoker about town, The Zone is without a doubt the best-known head shop in Albuquerque. And there’s plenty in there aside from pipes—incense, clothes, knives, art, you name it.
Staring down that spinning wheel of death again? More of our readers turn to Sandia Computers when they're at the end of their technical rope. Sure, Sandia sells made-to-order desktops and laptops, but it’s the company's tech support, consulting, data transfer and repair that keeps us calling them in a panic to ask what the hell a “registry/configuration error” is.
Your pets can’t tell you what’s wrong with them, so it’s important to have a vet you trust that can help you figure your furry family members out. Aztec, with its cheery layout and mega-friendly staff, has been earning this highest honor for years.
2) Northview Animal Hospital 3) Blue Cross Animal Clinic
New Mexico is one of the best states in the Union for venturing outdoors. We've got warm weather, varied terrain and plenty of public lands. Is it any wonder that REI is the go-to co-op for camping, hiking, climbing, cycling and all that other fresh air stuff? We'll have to take our readers' opinion on this one, though. We haven't been away from our desks in years.
All Defined Fitness locations have pools, great classes, and massive weight and cardio rooms. They also offer month-to-month memberships sans contracts. And those months are cheap. Hurray for affordable gyms, say our readers.
2) New Mexico Sports and Wellness 3) Planet Fitness
Used to be a simple karate chop or a judo throw was enough for people. Nowadays, they like their martial arts mixed. In that case, it's no wonder Jackson's comes out on top here. Greg Jackson is world-famous, having trained such successful UFC and WEC champs as Keith Jardine right here in the 505. He won Coach of the Year at the 2010 World MMA Awards. He writes books. He produces tournaments. Frankly, we wouldn't argue with him. Or the Alibi readers who train with him.
2) Chinese Shao-Lin Center 3) ABQ Kickboxing & MMA
This bright, window-walled studio is in the heart of Albuquerque’s historic business district, so it’s easy for professionals to get some yoga in before the day is done. Bhava also offers special classes for a tiny $5 fee—that’s worthy of a gold medal all on its own.
We’re all addicted to Betty’s signature lavender-and-lemongrass scent. Even if you only have $12 to burn, you can get 30 minutes in a hot tub all to yourself, and you can inhale that scent, primed for peace and relaxation.
2) Green Reed Spa at Sandia Resort & Casino 3) La Bella Spa & Salon
Offering relaxing soaks and restorative spa treatments, Betty's has some of the best therapy in town. The North Valley spa's skilled massage therapists have been helping Burque let go of it all since 2000.
Trusting your mechanic is essential. For those of us who can’t tell a clutch from a carburetor, we need all the trust we can get. Our readers put their faith in these two fine mechanic shops, which promise to treat you and your alternator right.
2) Jeff’s Gasoline Alley 3) All in the Wrist Auto Repair
Psychic readings, tarot, astrology and mentoring, by appointment only: 268-0160
This win should come as no surprise to Judy Delphonse ... because she won last year, too. A provider of psychic readings and spiritual oils, perceptive Burqueños know to turn to Ms. Delphonse when they need to peer into the future.
2) Psychic Ana 3) Mendy Lou
1500 Girard NE 268-9834
Our readers’ favorite thing about Harold's: There’s an in-house convenience store that’s always open, which allows them to wash their drawers and have a snack simultaneously.
2) Wash Tub Laundromat 3) Tie: Mountain Laundry, Spin Cycle
Best Dry Cleaner
Route 66 Cleaners
308 Central SE 242-0771
Located right on Central at Broadway, the folks at Route 66 Cleaners will have your suit cleaned and pressed within 24 hours, fold your underthings and even iron your sheets.
2) Master Cleaners 3) Tie: Hangers Cleaners, The Cleanery
Best Boot and Shoe Repair
Nob Hill Shoe Repair
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com
4208 Central SE 255-0481
New Mexico's penchant for long-living cowboy boots makes this category competitive, even in 2011. (Albuquerque's old school.) No one does it better, Alibi readers say, than Nob Hill Shoe Repair. Trust your fellow citizens, because you don't want to mess around with shoes.
Offering both residential cleaning and janitorial services of the eco-friendly persuasion, Green Sweep (locally owned and operated by Ms. Molly Moran) will make your space sparkle without contaminating it with toxic chemicals.
These guys can help you heal a gauge that you've messed up, sell you jewelry that’s both beautiful and healthy, and get you pierced with no fuss. And you can bank on the shop's standards of professionalism and cleanliness.
Your hair is something you wear every single day and worth a splurge. Well-coiffed Burqueños prefer to get their ’dos done while clocking in valuable relaxation time at one of Mark Pardo's multiple locations.
Albuquerque trusts the cosmetic care of its bits with Brazilian Waxing Boutique. Aside from servicing the nether regions, the salon's skilled aestheticians offer waxing for almost every other area of the body, and they do brow and lash tinting.
2) Mark Pardo Aveda 3) Inspire Salon
Best Nail Salon
New York Nails
2906 Juan Tabo NE, B 294-6366
Whether you want glittery red talons or a modest coat of glossy pale pink, New York Nails in the Northeast Heights can polish your look, finger to toe.
2) Happy Nails 3) Galaxy Nail & Spa
Best Gift Shop
3500 Central Avenue SE 262-1900
So much rad stuff, it should be illegal. This place has been in the Nob Hill Shopping Center for as long as we can remember. It’s a must-see for anyone in the market for novelty items.