BOB: Community Pick
Maggie Hart Stebbins
Bernalillo County Commissioner/Bernalillo County Water Board member
Best Albuquerque Event
Without a doubt, the ABQ Pride Parade is my favorite Albuquerque event. Every year it’s a huge, outlandish, fabulous 2.4 mile-long celebration of Albuquerque’s LGBTQ community and our city’s marvelous diversity. Thousands of revelers come out to march and show their support—and the parade participants and fans have an over-the-top celebratory spirit no other event can touch. With recent court rulings protecting same sex marriage [in New Mexico], the 2014 Pride Parade on May 31 should be a particularly festive occasion, and it’s not to be missed!
Best Urban Farm
Growing Awareness Urban Farm produces: extremely tasty artisan honeys from local bees; top-quality, locally grown vegetable seedlings and plants; and handmade terracotta “ollas” for traditional drip irrigation—all from the heart of Albuquerque’s International District. Best of all, the farm provides honest employment and self-sustainability for families in some of our city’s most deprived neighborhoods. The project is a micro-enterprise of East Central Ministries, and all profits are invested back into community-focused projects including a health clinic, a neighborhood food co-op and a housing co-op.
Best Open Space
While UNM North Course is indeed a great place to tee off, it’s really so much more than just golf. It’s 65-plus acres of magnificent open space in the urban core of our city—an oasis with migrating birds, resident coyotes and abundant local wildlife. Any time of day, you’ll find joggers and walkers, high school track teams (and the occasional Olympian), families with children, students, professors and countless other community members who visit the space for a bit of calm in the center of our city. Completed in 1941 as the last WPA project in New Mexico, it has towering trees, great views, a tiny John Gaw Meem structure hidden on the western edge of the property and a great legacy as the first egalitarian golf course in this city that was “open to anyone and everyone.” Come at sunset when the golfers go home and the community gathers to walk children and dogs and enjoy the expanse of peaceful green space.
Best Albuquerque Landmark
Giant Red Arrow at Carlisle/Indian School: How often do you drive through the intersection at Carlisle and Indian School and not take a look at the giant red arrow, stuck there in a big stone block? Most of us breeze by or pull into the Whole Foods parking lot with hardly a glance. But if you take the time to stop and look at the thing, it’s magnificent! There since 1961, it’s a sleek bit of roadside art that’s been a constant at that location for more than 50 years, despite the many changes in that shopping center and in our city. Now missing its original neon and fancy paint, it’s a well-loved landmark for many of us who grew up in this town.