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V.19 No.43 | 10/28/2010

Culture Shock

The Fat Man Cometh: Hitchcock at the KiMo

Halloween: spooky, creepy, blah, blah, blah.

If you don’t have kids to take trick-or-treating and don’t feel like getting drunk, what to do can be a real quandary.

I’ve got you covered.

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V.19 No.35 | 9/2/2010

Feature

Walk on these wild life refuges

Three nature-filled trips that are close to home and far from ordinary

Get out and see some wildlife before it’s all gone. New Mexico is home to seven federal refuges, two of which are fairly close to Albuquerque. Visit fws.gov/southwest/refuges/nmrefuges.html for a full list of federal preserves in New Mexico.

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Nature

The Belen Marsh

A really cool short trip south of Albuquerque

Snowy Egrets sit in the Belen Marsh at dusk.
John Bear
Snowy Egrets sit in the Belen Marsh at dusk.

The jewel of the City of Belen is nestled behind a Taco Bell.

It’s the Belen Marsh, an accidentally made salty wetland where nearly 100 species of birds come to entertain bored photojournalists.

Legend has it the Belen Marsh was created when road crews dug out a large amount of earth to build a freeway bypass. They ended up hitting the water table and brackish water filled the hole in the ground, forming an ideal place for shorebirds to hang out.

Many amazing birds can be found in the marsh: Snowy Egrets, Ibis, Black-necked Stilts, American Avocets, Kill Deer and a bizarre duck called Ruddy which has a turquoise bill. There are also muskrats in a nearby irrigation canal and a clutch of burrow owls is roosting in a nearby field. It’s a great place to take children who will find the large shorebirds reminiscent of dinosaurs.

The marsh has, unfortunately, been used as a dumping ground, but a local environmental organization has gone out and cleaned up some of the wreckage. It sits on private property so it is probably wise to stay on the street, unless, of course, you are daring.

It has been a source of contention, as one group wants to see the marsh drained and filled to make way for a parking lot. Another wants it left alone as it is a unique miniature ecosystem.

To get to the marsh, take I-25 south to the first Belen exit. Head east. Once you see the Taco Bell, take a right. It is to your left. It’s buggy down there so bring mosquito repellent. A camera wouldn’t hurt either, and it’s a good place to practice taking action shots. Those birds move.
Enjoy. And hurry before some oil company comes along and starts drilling and there are no more birds to enjoy. It could happen.

News

The Daily Word 02.26.10: Beer, traffic, coffee party

Doug Vaughan of the Vaughan Company was arrested, and the state is investigating the bankruptcy of his real estate firm.

Albuquerque ranks 54th in worst traffic congestion.

The way deputies got ahold of 300 child porn videos was unconstitutional, judge says.

Beer might make your bones healthy.

Albuquerque Journal runs mugs of suspected burglars. Some are arrested, but most end up back on the street.

Rep. Harry Teague is behind Steve Pearce in early polls.

One senator from Kentucky is blocking a 30-day extension that would stop 1.2 million Americans from losing unemployment benefits next month. He says, "Tough shit."

Lefty coffee party forms in reaction to the tea parties.

The world's largest Arabic robe.

Some women can own property in Swaziland.

Malaysian opposition leader on trial, accused of engaging in sodomy with 25-year-old man.

Birds play guitar.

V.18 No.50 | 12/10/2009
The Wild Birdhouse
Eric Williams

Feature

Bernalillo

Camino del Pueblo and U.S. 550

Camino Real Antiques & Collectibles

Step through the door of this teeming antique shop and the squeak of the wood floors alone is enough to send you back in time. Wander the free-flowing aisles and you're guaranteed to trip over (maybe literally) some bygone goodies—most dating from the middle of the 20th century or so. You won't find a lot of Victorian clothing or Federalist furniture here, but there are plenty of pop cultural gems, from the big (a full-size Pepsi-Cola cooler) to the small (a tidy selection of classic 45 records). You can spend a little ($2 for rustic, decorative kitchen utensils) or a lot ($3,000 for an actual juke box). Alongside your standard Americana (old advertising signs, rusted license plates, collectable salt-and-pepper shakers) are some sharp Western items. Ornate, hand-tooled saddles will run you upwards of $400. Professional branding irons go for $145. Indian blankets range between $85 and $125.

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