Before I moved to Albuquerque a few months ago, I had a talk with my roommate (who had already lived here for a year). She explained to me that Albuquerque was a huge art-based city with such attributes as relaxed people, balloon festivals and green chile. She explained that you had to ask for “no green chile” or else people put it on everything. She also warned me of another thing.
She paused for a second before saying, “Well, the people here are really nice.” My initial response: “Oh no … ” “Yeah,” she said, “That means you have to learn how to be nice back.”
She wasn't lying. Since I've moved here, I've noticed that everyone I've met, or had the pleasure of conversing with, is incredibly nice to the point where it makes me feel inadequate, almost foreign. Not to say I'm this huge egomaniacal, mean-spirited, better-than-everyone person. In fact, just the opposite. Everyone I've met has told me how incredibly nice I am, but when I meet people that are described as “nice” or “sweet,” my guard is immediately up. But that hasn't happened here.
Whether I'm riding the Tram over a plane crash that happened years ago (fearing for my life) or traipsing through Old Town in search of some old-fashioned quality to help me escape the somewhat-midlife modernity of adulthood, everyone I speak to always wants to know two things: Where are you from? And what brought you to Albuquerque? I've never seen a place where people want to know your story, know who you are, and know about your hobbies, goals, artistic endeavors, favorite color, etc.
What was once a fear and apprehension of moving to a city surrounded by the desert quickly turned into relief at the fact that this city not only has so much to offer, but that its people are just happy and content to be here. And that shows in their carefree attitudes. My hometown could use a little of that. This, in itself, is one of my first experiences of living here, and though people have suggested a few items of adventurous inquiry, everything worth doing is done in due time.
Who knows? By next Friday, maybe I will have ridden a donkey in the desert while sipping Tequila, or fired a shotgun at broken bottles at the foothills, or eaten at a traditional, Burque restaurant. I'm always up for more suggestions.
In this week’s news section, reporter Jack King highlights a lack of transparency when it comes to the Dirt City’s water supply.
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority spent millions on a project that’s designed to take some of the strain off our aquifer. We divert water from the Colorado River Basin and add it to the Rio Grande. But the utility hasn’t met its relief objectives for 2009 and 2010, and the governing board had no idea, according to King’s story.
The utility’s promised to up its transparency game.
This week, County Commissioner Art De La Cruz wrote a letter to the Alibi defending the project. He writes:
First and foremost, after three years of project operation the U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that the aquifer is showing signs of rebound. According to the USGS New Mexico Water Science Center, increases in winter groundwater levels (which are most representative of aquifer condition) are being observed. This is consistent with predictions from model simulations wherein groundwater pumping was reduced in favor of using surface water. Given that the water-level trend had generally been downward through the early part of this decade, the reversal is an extremely positive development.
Read the rest of his letter in the next edition of the Alibi, which will be online tomorrow evening. And look for another article by King in the coming weeks.
Family of civil rights lawyer Mary Han says police botched the investigation of her death.
Los Ranchos may get a plastic bag manufacturing plant that operates 24 hours a day.
Guv sent out letters to see whether immigrants with driver’s licenses still live in the state. She says more than a quarter of them were sent back by the post office.
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The other day I was fined for having water flowing from my yard into the street. Now, I'm not complaining—wasting water is bad, especially since New Mexico is in an extreme drought. But guess who is wasting the most water ... not me, not your annoying neighbor who never fixes the sprinklers. No, it's the city.
According to KRQE, in the last year the City of Albuquerque has racked up a hefty fine of over $21,000 from the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Authority. Even more surprising than the fine is that the areas where the most water is wasted are not large city parks or grassy areas, but street medians. Wow Albuquerque, it may be time for some new sprinklers, don't you think?