[RE: Commentary, “EDo: Albuquerque's Boob Job,” Jan. 25-31] First, I must commend you for writing a provocative piece. That's always the underlying goal of good editorial writing. Your cynicism for the EDo banners is certainly your prerogative, but it's unfortunate that your opinion is not well-informed.
Before crowning yourself the knower of “the neighborhood's true identity," you might have spoken to a few residents who might know the past better than yourself. You might have spoken to Deacon Gilmer at the First Baptist Church, for example. He's Albuquerque High, class of ’46, walked to school along Broadway when they had a horse trough at the Central intersection. You might have talked to the owner of the newly opened Daily Grind, AHS Class of ’61, whose new coffee shop is a sort of homecoming after years of living in other parts of the city. Or even Jim Maddox, who has lived, raised his family and kept an office in Huning Highland for 30 years. (Not to mention Jim was one of the first advertisers in the Alibi dating back to 1992—he told me, with a big, joking smile, that your commentary made him want to pull the zirconia from his fake Rolex and throw it at you). All of these folks can tell you about the "respite" in the neighborhood in recent decades. It was an area where humanity's light did not shine its brightest; it was as bad if not worse than the current state of east Central today.
My point is, these guys all put up money and/or support as part of the BCCP to promote the banner initiative that you scorn as a facade of yuppie ideals. They are just a few examples, there are many others, and these are folks who could not be yuppies if their lives depended on it, and who lived in the area long before you arrived, or were even born, who support the current, dare I say positive, initiative to “evolve" the area.
Most unfortunately, you have rewritten history, wrongly, with your comment that “a New Urbanist developer from out of town and a team of supporters dictated the neighborhood's future and identity." This is a common refrain among cynics like yourself, but I disagree with you. First off, the Lofts redevelopment is a public/private partnership with the city. Rob Dickson's proposal was accepted by the city in 1999 in a competitive bidding process. More to the point, when the EDo master plan was being crafted, back in 2002/2003, there were banners hung across Central between Broadway and I-25 stating that anyone and everyone was welcome to participate in the charette to redesign an area long-stricken with urban blight. The signs said something like "come and design your neighborhood." The charette was totally open to the public and took place in the Baptist Church for several days. There were ads on the radio and in the Alibi promoting it as well. If you lived in the neighborhood back then, surely you would have known this.
Out of that charette came the EDo master plan which passed the City Council on a 9-0 unanimous vote after many concessions were made to the very small but vocal group of naysayers. The EDo master plan is now a template for advocates of the Nob Hill sector plan and west Downtown who are trying to incorporate much of the same language and ethos.
And then you state that Huning Highland's name has been “exorcised," which is, of course, bogus. I've got a few other gripes, but I'll stop there.
You might not want to call the area EDo, but judging from your misstatements, uttering “EDo" is the least of your concerns if you want to avoid sounding like a “dipshit."