It's hard to characterize Albuquerque. Some days, the politicians and headlines depict a city ready to modernize, courting businesses and industry found in real cities. But there's the rub. If Burque were a man, he'd have a pretty big little-dude complex.
It's all part of growing up. Burque's a confused "tween," stumbling on oversized feet around pretty girls like industry, technology and cash. But when it comes to art, he's an old-timer, his talent stretching back hundreds of years with little peaks of notoriety and interest from the rest of the country.
He makes more lists every year, his name gaining recognition around the county. At the end of the day, Burque's still a slick-talking cowboy, but he's ready to catch up with the world and make new friends.
MovieMaker Magazine heralded our nouveau-happening metropolis as the fourth-best city for making flicks. Long-time bigwigs New York City, Philadelphia and Austin are still ahead of Burque, but sunny weather, tax breaks for filmmakers and the future Albuquerque Studios helped court the praise.
Albuquerque was called the third-best metro for Hispanics by Hispanic Magazine, just behind Miami and San Antonio. Climate, culture and investment in older sections of the city bolstered Burque's ranking, along with a "sporty culture."
Forbes handed Burque top honors in business and careers, since, according to the magazine, median household income jumped 19 percent over two years. And at 24 percent below the national average, business costs here are the lowest in the country. The Milken Institute called Albuquerque one of the best-performing cities, with growth in wages and jobs.
Business periodical publisher Bizjournals heralded him the 10th smartest in the nation, which probably has something to do with UNM, CNM and Sandia National Laboratory. About 6 percent of Burque citizens earned an associate's degree; 18 percent have a bachelor's; 13 percent have a graduate or professional degree; and 24.2 percent pursued higher education, but didn't stick around for that expensive piece of paper.
Sure enough, this cowboy's got an artistic side with exhibits like "Picasso to Plensa: A Century of Art From Spain" and the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s "African Presence in Mexico" on display now. Among midsized cities, Albuquerque's No. 2 for art, according to American Styles.
That's right. In spite of carrying the monogrammed briefcase of career advancement and business opportunities, Burque's among the most miserly in the U.S., according to a study by Turbo Tax. In fact, tightwad Burque came in at No. 3 in the Top 10, right behind San Antonio and Buffalo, N.Y. Citizens here give an average of $749 each to charity. Salt Lake City, Utah, was the most generous city, ponying up $2,200 on average per person.
There's got to be more to this town than the climate, but weather and the International Balloon Fiesta made Burque one of Orbitz.com's insider staff picks for the next five future travel hot spots, right under Shanghai, China. Old Town is also mentioned. For similar reasons, USA Today called it one of the "six destinations to keep on your radar for 2006."
Pasty in the glow of the screen, New Mexico's got his tech on. But don't knock him; his techie paycheck comes out to about $2.5 billion every year. New Mexico's tech industry employed 42,500 tech workers, according to a Cyberstates report released by the American Electronics Association. High-tech exports make up 77 percent of the state's total exports.
Burque got this No. 13 ranking by Men's Health Magazine last year (down from ninth-place), and it was all he could talk about. Him? Buff? A muscle-bound meathead with a six pack and great glutes? Well, he's sure about the six pack—at least, if you're talking about booze. Funniest quote in the survey: "Albuquerque is in the bottom 10 percent for the number of bars per capita, but alcohol consumption is much higher than average for cities in our survey." All that drinking must be catching up with him. He slipped to 39th in the 2007 ratings.