Best Dance Company
Well, Keshet, of course!
Best Theatre Company
Tricklock—and not just because they are Keshet's sister company but because they are responsible for starting revolutions! Well, that and the fact that Joe Pesce is such a hottie.
Best Musical Experience That Makes It Really Difficult to Stand Still on Wednesday and Thursday Nights
500 Second Street. But there's a $5 cover and you should probably know something about drawing or painting from the figure.
Couldn't possibly choose.(But I do have some serious soft spots for Duvian, Jeffri, Jeremy and Dennis. Check them out at the above musical experience.)
The German Chocolate Cake at Flying Star. It has to be the best in the world. I've had it several times and I still can't believe how good it tastes. It reminds me of the old Mary's Muffins that once was on Central across from UNM. When that place closed a lot of us felt like crying.
Best Thai Food
Thai Cuisine at Montaño and Coors. Once you taste #87 or #74 you will pack your belongings and try to move into the restaurant. The 87 is spicy ground chicken over rice. The 74 is a spicy fried rice with your choice of tofu or chicken. The lunch buffet left a brother speechless.
Garduño's. If you're looking for a flavored one, you have to try my personal favorite, the Coconut Margarita. Don't order a pitcher, just a glass (they're almost the same size anyway).
Best Female TV Personality
Diane Anderson. Not only is she damn good at what she does, she's also a hottie!
Best Place to Find Old School Music
Christy's Records and Tapes. Been around since I was a kid when I was looking for hard-to-find music.
Best Reason to Vote Bush in 2004
To piss off Don Schrader. Other than that, I can't think of a thing.
Best Radio Station
KUNM. Although its extreme variety is bound to be displeasing in some instances, it is the only radio station that plays anything quite original. Why, it's not even run by Clear Channel.
Best Place to Buy Used Music
Charlie's has loads of used CD's and vinyl, they play interesting music on the speakers, and the people are nice. Besides, they have ice cream. Natural Sound has a good selection, but anytime I go in there the people who work there kind of seem to growl.
Best Place to Rent Videos
Best Way to Spend a Monday Night
Head over to Atomic Cantina and see Heather and Suni host their pop quiz night. If you buy them shots, they might let you win.
The Best Way to Spend the Day After You've Ditched Work/School
First, call a friend who drives a Vespa so that you guys have a mode of transportation on a nice, sunny day. Next have lunch at, let's say, El Patio. Get some margaritas on this hot afternoon and talk about how you want to start your own revolution.
Best Cure-All for Being Sick, Hung Over, Having Allergies, etc.
Go to Frontier and order hash browns with cheese, a side of tortillas, extra honey and get some stew from the pot. Make some mini burritos and you've got instant relief—don't forget the large water.
Best Local Hero
Eva Encinias-Sandoval for her incredible work providing and educating the community in our flamenco heritage.
Best Place to Find Energy to Dance for Three Hours Straight
Fei Cafe for plenty of Bubble Milk Green Tea.
Best Live Theater/Performance Space
The soon to open Disney theater at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Best Place to Walk to For Chicken Wings With Four or Five of Your Best Friends
Pearl's Dive on Central.
Best Place to Get a Parking Ticket
Gold Street between 2nd and 3rd.
Best Economic Development Idea for Albuquerque
To become the renewable energy capitol of North America by 2015.
Worst Place to Hide A Weapon of Mass Destruction
In front of the museum in Old Town.
Wilder at Univision.
Best Shameless Sabotage of City Taxpayers
The development community's current attempts to kill PGS Impact Fees.
Best Legislation Killed by Industry Lobbying
“Scooby's Law” which would have protected kids and dogs from antifreeze poisoning.
Worst Legislation Proposed in 2004 Session
“Dooby's Law” which would have made it easier to hire cops with a history of marijuana use.
Best Day Trip
One of the best, yet least known, day trips from Albuquerque is the Ojito Wilderness Study Area. Less than an hour from Albuquerque and closer than the Jemez Mountains, Ojito is the perfect place to explore on a weekend outing. You won't find babbling mountain brooks here, just New Mexico desert at its best. Parched, yet sublime landscapes made up of broken mesas and undulating badlands capped with twisted and ancient junipers that may predate the arrival of the Spanish. Ojito is truly unlike any other place we know and it keeps us coming back. Combining elements of the Bisti badlands with Santa Fe skies, Abique fossils, and southern Utah redrock, this is a place more than worth the short drive from Albuquerque.
Best Ethnic Supermarket
Best Community Action Group
You gotta realize that I'm partial to the North Valley, having vowed long ago never to go east of San Mateo. I'm so proud of the fighting spirit of Sawmill Advisory Council and later the Sawmill Land Trust that I'm beaming at their success. Also, the folks at the Rio Grande Community Farms who are trying to introduce urban kids to traditional valley agriculture on the old Anderson Fields are pretty cool, too. Common Cause, PIRG and the American Cancer Society are friends in the legislative arena.
Best Local Heros
505. I'm addicted to this stuff. It's so good, you don't even need the chips! Just drink it!
Best Bargain Store
Big Lots. It's like a treasure hunt ... and best of all, you can walk away from the place with a bag full of goodies for under $20.
What do I love about Albuquerque? Well, first the sky. That's the number one thing visiting poets comment on—some have said that it seems endless. I tell them it is. No one has ever argued.
Best Place To Take Kids Out For A Stroll
Farmer's Markets. My kids get good exercise, they get to meet the folks that grow the food they eat, and I get to support local farmers who provide the freshest produce in town. Arts and crafts add to the colorful experience.
Best Place To Take Kids Out For A Hike
Rio Grande Nature Center. I get good exercise, my kids get to see the resident ducks and turtles, and point out the migratory visitors (we saw sandhill cranes earlier this year). The view of the Sandia Mountains is spectacular.
Best Venue in Which to Hear Live Music With The Kids
Best Day Trip
El Malpais—It's just far enough to make you feel like you've gone somewhere, but it's still an easy day trip. There's amazing stuff to see, and it's a real kick to just wander around for hours. Also, my dog threw up an apple there. Yup.
Best Place To Get A Chocolate Fix
Best Local Politician to Go Bar Hopping With
It's gotta be Manny Aragon. I imagine Manny would have the hookup wherever we went, no waiting for a table. Hell, we probably wouldn't even have to pay for a drink in most places. He's sure to know and tell stories about New Mexico politics and politicians that would never even be hinted at by the press. And if we did have to pay, hopefully he would pick up the tab cause he would be loaded with dough from all, the, uh ’political gifts' he has received over the years.
Best Reason To Vote Bush in 2004
If you're rich, white and you love sexist, racist, homophobic, hypocritical, avaricious, moronic, liars and murderers.
Best Bowling Alley
Leisure Bowl. This place is about more than just bowling. If you're planning a birthday party for your kid, Leisure Bowl offers pop-up Bumper Bowling on every lane. They will even supply the invitations! For adults, they also have drinks and karaoke.
Best Radio Station
88.3 FM. Compared to 90.5 FM, this Christian Rock music station has more information about Christian concert dates and new Christian CDs. It also offers a good variety of Christian music 24 hours a day.
Best Korean Restaurant
Yen Ching. Yen Ching serves both Chinese and Korean food. They have an excellent daily lunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You can try all kinds of authentic Korean dishes here. Some famous Korean dishes are Bul Gal Bi (barbecue rib), Bul Go Ki (barbecued beef), Dae Ji Bul Go Ki (barbecued pork), Dak Bul Go Gi (barbecued chicken) and Gob Chang Gui (barbecued marinated tripe). They also have a delicious Japanese sushi bar.
Best City Political Stinkeroo
Sally Mayer squashing the green cone art scheduled for the new I-40 Louisiana Interchange. She missed the public meeting when her constituents spoke in favor of it, sneaks it into a City Council meeting around the City Arts Board and made sure it was vetoed soundly. Now she's trying to appoint herself to the Arts Board—if that happens we'll probably end up with a giant cowboy boot as an Uptown landmark.
Best Cultural Bargain
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. That's right kids, there are 19 pueblos in our beautiful state. Can't make it out to each pueblo for Feast Day dances? This place has free traditional dances every weekend. Check it out.
Best Place to Fall in Love with New Mexico All Over Again
Chaco Canyon, a.k.a. Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Sure the last 20 or so miles to get there are marked by washboard dirt road madness, but once you catch site of Fajada Butte ... ah. A place not to be missed.
Blake's Lota Burger
Best Fast Food
There's a lot to like about Albuquerque, from our fabulous weather and scenic vistas to our friendly, multicultural atmosphere and terrific cuisine. From our visual and performance arts communities to our historic and contemporary neighborhoods, our recreational opportunities and special events, Albuquerque is truly unique and I am always proud to be part of it. One area where I have been getting a lot of positive feedback lately, in the Biopark: our Rio Grande Zoo, Botanic Gardens and Aquarium. I went with my family last weekend, and the facilities continue to be clean, user-friendly and fascinating. This is a great set of amenities with a lot of new attractions, so it's no wonder the Biopark is the state's number one attraction.
Gone (forever, we hope) are the days when whiners can complain that there's nothing to do in Albuquerque after dark. As you're about to discover, there's more than enough nightlife to go around in this city—from live music and dancing to fine dining and drinking, you can't swing a dead cat in Albuquerque without hitting something fun to do with your leisure time. Furthermore, Weekly Alibi's very own Arts, Naked City (live music and entertainment) and Community and Events calendars are jam-packed with great stuff to do every day of every week. If you're not satisfied with your social life, it's only because you're not willing to miss an episode of “Cops” every now and then. We hope our readers' choices in the following categories will inspire you to have fun, relax, make new friends and become part of our vibrant community.
Every year, our Best of Burque issue is built on some crazy theme. In the early days, this practice proved to be a lot of fun. But in recent years, our thematic presentations have become, well, progressively more clichéd and downright cheesy. Take last year, for instance: What the hell did pirates have to do with Albuquerque in any way, shape or form, past or present? Similarly, this year we've packaged our Best of Burque issue in an undersea treasure/adventure theme. Someone apparently forgot to tell the Marketing Department there's no water here. So as I sat down to scribe this introduction to our most gargantuan issue of the year, I found myself having a hard time separating the pirate and undersea treasure themes. I did the best I could, but forgive me for occasionally straying into pirate mode. Here goes:
If there's one thing we've figured out about Burqueños, it's that we like to stockpile our crap. And lots of it. Whether it's a backyard collection of rust-eaten Buicks or the latest gadget from Williams and Sonoma, the cult of objects is as New Mexican as a plate of huevos on Sunday morning. You can see it for yourself, too. Every weekend we spill out from our homes, money in hand, on a mission from God to scour the desert for the best deal, the biggest piece or the rarest find. Sometimes we actually find it and, miraculously, it's just a few bucks less than we expected to pay. But even if we come away empty handed, it's that satisfaction of a full-day's hunt that sends us blissfully to bed, where we dream again of acquiring junk. Blessed, beautiful junk.
First, an explanation. While you will find, within these pages, information that will help you locate the best micro-brew/Celtic music experience or to scout locations for your Vietnamese-language remake of The Godfather, we want to remind you that we're saving the best for later. Later this year, that is, when the annual Readers' Choice Restaurant Poll hits the stands with hundreds and hundreds of ooey-gooey, scrum-diddly-umptious restaurants that have been tried and tested by our readers. So consider the “Eats and Drinks” section of our Best of Burque poll to be a mere appetizer for the very big meal to come in October.
Uh, congratulations to Amanda, Rory at Applebee's and Virginia at the Ranchers' Club. Remember ... safety first.
The people, places and sights in Albuquerque make our fair city one of the finest places to live regardless of the studies that paint a gloomy picture. Just recap the past 12 months and there's plenty to cheer about. Downtown continues its revival, the media didn't uncover a single fundraising scam at the mayor's office, the Isotopes brought baseball back with a bang, Tingely Beach is finally getting a makeover and the arts are thriving like never before. And that's only a quick sample. But there are always things to gripe about and we like to do that too once in a while. So here's this year's Life in Burque winners (and losers), so one way or another, we can all feel better about ourselves. Enjoy!
If by “foreign” you mean “arty” then by all means our winner is your one stop shop. But if you translate “foreign” as “Japanese science-fiction with lots of monsters and martial arts too” then newcomer Burning Paradise is where you should be paying late fees. For a wide selection of new releases (if nothing else) Hastings hits the spot.
Still winner and champ-een! For the buhzillionth year in a row, Frontier has smothered the competition like a goopy blanket of red chile and cheese. Thanks to the 'Tier, nothing says New Mexico like eating your breakfast at 11 p.m., surrounded by epic pastels of John Wayne's likeness and, apparently, people you're scared of or scaring. For those who actually eat breakfast in the a.m., there's Flying Star Café's turkey sausage and pristine pastries, or the unbeatable slabs of bacon and drool-inducing queso at The Range Cafés. You also report that the grub at Weck's gets you out of bed on your coveted weekend morning.
We live in a city that prides itself on its skin-searing quantum creative energy. Stand on almost any street corner—especially in neighborhoods like Downtown, Barelas and Nob Hill—swing your purse in a nice wide arc, and you'll more likely than not hit an artist, an actor or a musician squarely in the jaw.
As long-time readers of the Alibi already know, Chevy on a Stick (a.k.a. “Cruising San Mateo I”) always wins this category. It's some kind of law of nature. Yes, our city is filled with great and diverse pieces of monumental public art, but something about that delicious Chevy on a Stick, located at the corner of San Mateo and Gibson, perfectly symbolizes the thriving neon auto culture that has defined Albuquerque for the last 60-odd years.
Best Movie Theater
Madstone. I have never been disappointed by a film experience there. Nice people, weird movies and alcohol. Who can beat that?
Best Coconut Drink
Annapurna on Yale. I have to stop myself from humming “Kokomo” every time.
Best Extinct Bookstore
Sisters and Brothers. We will miss you.
Best Looking Staff
Flying Star on Central. Damn!
You would be surprised ... PF Chang! So Good! (In my best Teen Girl Squad voice.)
The big guy wins this one for the second year in a row. Seriously, who wouldn't love to go bar hopping with the guv. He's gotta have a few good stories to tell. Mayor Chavez took second, and City Councilor Eric Griego and former city councilor turned Alibi columnist Greg Payne tied for fourth. To be fair Griego probably deserved one extra vote for the entry that said, “the guy who thinks he's funny,” but the judges said no. Of course, Payne learned the virtues of sobriety the hard way, so perhaps folks thought he might be useful as a designated driver.