...just as Thoreau came to understand, there are volumes of things to learn and experience, even right outside the front door.
Thoreau, that great collector of experience (and I don't mean that in a nominal way, even though I know Walden Pond was just a walk from Concord) once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” In the full throttle spirit of abandoning what is (arguably) a bit divested of meaning (that is, the things that we amass and discard in great quantity around this time of year), why not use your monetary wealth to garner some experiences for those you care about—and suggest they really be present while they have them—so they can understand what Thoreau was so on about? Because, just as Thoreau came to understand, there are volumes of things to learn and experience, even right outside the front door.
Tricklock Company 110 Gold SW $62-161
If you know someone who is keen to travel the world, but is lacking in time, confidence or funds, you might consider acquiring a different sort of travel document for them this year—that is, the Revolutions passport. The farthest they'll need to physically travel is to downtown Albuquerque, but once they step through the doors of the lounge and into the theater of Tricklock, they might as well be stepping onto another continent. With troupes from all over the globe (Argentina, Uganda, Colombia, Poland, France, Zimbabwe) performing original pieces, the Revolutions Theater Festival provides the opportunity to learn about other places and cultures through their theater. I've never failed to be transported by the work at Tricklock, give someone you love that gift, too.
Gift Certificate (I know, I know, let me explain)
Empire Board Game Library 3503 Central NE $ You decide
With several hundred board games shelved within the walls of this cafe-come-gaming paradise, a gift certificate to Empire Board Game Library is a gift that provides hours of strategizing, stomaching the luck of the draw and settling Catan. In my opinion, stealing the Longest Road card from a friend is an important, character-building experience for all. But there are many worlds to inhabit at Empire. Take for example, Mysterium—a board game with an arts bend. The first time I played it, we all settled around a heavy wooden table, assuming the roles of various psychics, while one person became the ghost. Passing out “vision cards” of cryptic dreamscapes, the ghost indicated how to solve the murder that happened in that fateful run of the game. Attuning to our subconscious powers, we unraveled meaning out of color, shape and iconography, a real exercise for the imagination. Flex your giftee’s mind with a gift certificate to Empire Board Game Library. (Incidentally, they can also flex their stomach muscle, as these certificates aren't just good for play time, but cafe fare as well.)
Introduction to Small Metals class
Meltdown Studio 601 Menaul NW $75
Culling forth the creative spirit from the metalsmith's forge, or you know, stamping, cutting metal and designing wearable works of art, are what's in store for the experience-hungry at Meltdown Studio. Led by Meltdown founder Lauren Tobey, who boasts 15 years of metalwork practice and 10 years of instruction at various spots around town, this course covers the basics and allows your giftee to walk away with as many as five of their own, handmade works. This class is at a steep markdown for the holiday season, so don't wait too long before you invest in the creativity of your community by giving this class as a gift to the budding jeweler or metal worker in your life.
Maple Street Dance Space 3215 Central NE $40 and up
Ballet? Contemporary? Salsa? What movement and music resonates with your loved one? You can count on their being a class for that at Maple Street. The Nob Hill dance studio offers up a plentitude of classes for those looking to put their creative energy into their bodies. Is zumba more their thing? Or maybe they like to set their breath to yogic movements? They have that too. Each class is delivered by experienced instructors, who rent out the studio space for their sessions, so be sure to check their website (maplestreetdancespace.com) for classes and pass availability. Each pass generally allows students to attend four classes. Now, get out there and encourage everyone you know to break a leg (figuratively).
Hiking to History: A Guide to Off-Road New Mexico Historic Sites by Robert Julyan
Treasure House Books 2012 S. Plaza NW $24.95
This is a twofer, you lucky dog. I would argue that reading a book is in and of itself, an experience. On top of that, your special someone will gain the pleasure of translating that reading experience into exploration of the varied landscapes of their immediate world. In this book, author Robert Julyan unpacks New Mexico's history along the routes of some of the state's most beautiful hikes. From Hermit Peak to Glorieta's Civil War battleground, Julyan has done all the research so that your giftee can take all of the insights that can color a mountain path with historical significance with them on their next outing.