Alibi V.17 No.14 • April 3-9, 2008 

News Feature

A Woman is a City is a Woman

Burque Makes a Name for Herself

As seen in the Alibi...
As seen in the Alibi...
[click to enlarge]

It's time again to personify our hometown with respect to the national lists she's made. And, as always, she's none too easy to define: a woman who imbibes a little too often and never eats her greens, but who loves sports and adventure enough to stay svelte. She loves dogs, but her shelters are shabby and overworked. She lives in a crime-ridden region but loves to get out and attend events. She has a good job but can't cough up cash for charity.

Sound familiar? Maybe you know her. Maybe you are her. Or maybe you disagree entirely. Your job sucks, you can't afford to go out and you eat locally grown produce every day. These are lists compiled by outsiders, after all—big national magazines that find it all too easy to order things as complex and changing as cities, a collection of people, into Top 10s or Top 100s.

It's an exercise in generalizations, to be sure, but fun to peruse nonetheless. Here she is, Burque as seen by the rest of the country in all her contradictions.


Loves Dogs

Though Lady Burque isn't so hot at providing good conditions for her plentiful strays, she probably has some kind of four-legged friend on a leash. She can take her dog with her most places in the city, says MSNBC, and that's why the Burqueña rose to third on the list of the Top 5 Cities for Dogs. And she's in good company: New Mexico comes in at No. 2 on the list of dog-ownership rates.

Eats Badly but Stays in Shape

You probably won't spot her chomping on fruits and vegetables any time soon, and she drinks too much, says Men's Fitness, but the magazine's report card ranked her the third fittest in the nation. Her topography got an A-. Her participation in sports got another A grade. And she's able to attend one of many gyms wearing all the right gear bought from a variety of sports stores, too. In particular, you'll find her shooting hoops, playing tennis, using an abdominal machine, cheerleading, cross-country skiing, day hiking, swimming, doing aerobics or pedaling a stationary cycle.

Lives in a Dangerous Area

Let's hope Burque bones up on her self-defense and carries a bottle of Mace around. According to Congressional Quarterly,she's living in the third most dangerous state in the nation, second only to Nevada and Louisiana. High rates of burglary, assault and rape land her area on the bad list.

Has Plans for Tonight

Let no one say there's nothing for our Burqueña to do. A list by of the 25 most happening places in the United States put the Duchess City at No. 20, right behind Las Vegas, Nev., and above Baltimore, Md. Museums, festivals, and strong scenes for music, theater and arts make for plenty of reasons to leave the house.

Is Cheap to Visit

It's expensive to go on vacation right now, but visiting your old pal Burque is easy on the wallet. AAA noted a family of two adults and two children could expect to pay $165 per day in food and lodging. Not too shabby.

Holds a Decent Job

Forbes places the Duchess City at No. 8 in the Top 10 cities for jobs. How'd she make the list? She did it with a low unemployment rate, good job and income growth, and a strong median household income compared with a relatively low cost of living. The 100 largest metropolitan areas as defined by the U.S. Census were measured.

Clings to her Cash

Out of 100 cities gauged for charitable impulses, this skinflint woman came in 89th with a D, according to Men's Health. Considered in the ranking: IRS data on individual donations, the number of corporate charitable foundations, how many people volunteer with AmeriCorps and the Urban Institute's donations per capita rankings. This comes after Turbo Tax named Albuquerque No. 3 on its tightwad list last year.

Seeks Adventure

Burque loves adrenaline. She appeared on the National Geographic list of 50 adventure towns. Called a "biking mecca" by the magazine, she was noted for the cycling paths along the Bosque and the 52-mile Turquoise Trail beyond the city limits.