Alibi V.23 No.14 • April 3-9, 2014 

BOB: Goods & Services

Best Book Store

Page One Bookstore

Best Tattoo Shop: Star Tattoo
Best Tattoo Shop: Star Tattoo
Eric Williams

Recently relocated up to Academy Hills—where Juan Tabo and Eubank come together—this April marks 33 years of fantastic new and used books, magazines and gift items, author events and café lounging at Page One. Simply put, they're all set to rock your reading socks. With its packed calendar of in-store readings and events, it's no surprise Bookworks placed second. And Bird Song Used Books (whose owners dealt with health issues this year) was edged out of the rankings this year by Treasure House Books & Gifts in Old Town. (HVW)

2) Bookworks

3) Treasure House Books & Gifts

Best Comic Book Store


The latest and greatest in super-heroics and mega-villainy, back issues, pop cultural merch and a staff that knows all the tasty morsels of comics world trivia that make it all so much fun: Astro-Zombies in Nob Hill has it all. Kaboom Test Labs and Lobo Anime & Comics, both nestled in the Northeast Heights, nudged North Valley-based Twin Suns Comics and Games off the chart this year. (HVW)

2) Kaboom Test Labs

3) Lobo Anime & Comics

Best Men's Apparel

Izzy Martin

Situated squarely in Nob Hill, Izzy Martin offers all the finest menswear styles, along with accessories and decorative articles. Practically across the street, second-place winner Toad Road is known for its uncommon stock, locally made accessories and personalized advice. And, of course, Free Radicals has all the genre-busting awesomesauce you'll ever need to slide on, lace up, zip into or button down. (HVW)

2) Toad Road

3) Free Radicals

Best Women's Apparel

Free Radicals

Did we mention the awesomesauce at Free Radicals? Because you guys sure did! Alongside second-place superlative Toad Road, Free Radicals scored the highest with women's clothing aficionados. Look for the leopard-print storefront on Yale Boulevard, south of UNM. Free Radicals is essentially the clothing boutique version of a very cool rockabilly/punk/goth/industrial club. If there were a bar and live music, the place would be nirvana. (HVW)

2) Toad Road

3) 66 Pin-Ups

Best Vintage Apparel

Off Broadway

Maintaining a grand assortment of the just-so vintage items you need to complete your yore-referencing outfit is the entire raison d'être for longtime Nob Hill fashion juggernaut Off Broadway. The Octopus and the Fox and Frock Star will help you look good in the past, too. (HVW)

2) The Octopus and the Fox

3) Frock Star Vintage

Best Shoe Store

Shoes on a Shoestring

Fashionable yet comfy footwear is what we like, and Shoes on a Shoestring is always around to get us into it. Second place goes to Nob Hill footwear vendor Terra Firma, and third-place winner Schushop occupies the university area, as well. It's clearly time to get some new kicks. (HVW)

2) Terra Firma

3) Schushop

Best Thrift Store

Thrift Town

With super deals on stellar duds, Thrift Town tops the gently used glamour heap this year. If you suddenly need a boombox and a set of five matching apéritif glasses—and really who hasn't?!—this is your destination. Maybe you'll run into Macklemore over there; he seems like a nice boy. Family Thrift and Assistance League Thrift are also prime spots for unearthing treasures with a past. (HVW)

2) Family Thrift Center

3) Assistance League Thrift Shop

Best Toy Store

Out of the Blue Toys

“Toy store" is an understatement: Out of the Blue is the self-described and top-voted “Ultimate Toy Experience.” All the latest and greatest gizmos, gadgets, sets, puzzles, blocks and baubles for kids of all ages are readily available. Just pop over to Rio Grande Boulevard to get your playtime on. Second-place winner Astro-Zombies is Toy Central in Nob Hill. Last but not least, Northeast Heights denizens shout “game on” at Bigglesnorts. (HVW)

2) Astro-Zombies

3) Bigglesnorts Toys

Best Antiques Store

Morningside Antiques

Like a very hip museum you can buy from, Christian Dimery's Morningside Antiques is the spot to nab that rug that really brings the room together, dude, and any other hep vintage furnishings your heart desires. Retro Revolution and Antique Specialty Mall are rather groovy, too. (HVW)

2) Retro Revolution

3) Antique Specialty Mall

Best Furniture Store

American Home Furniture

From the smallest end table to the largest mirror you've ever seen in a private residence, American has the selection, prices and service to put your pad together like a pro. American staff are notoriously helpful, seemingly spring-loaded with personal (and personable) advice and attention. Both their main store at the northwest corner of Menaul and Carlisle, and their warehouse/clearance center at Comanche and I-25 are bursting with great pieces and a nonstop parade of discount offers. (Editor's note: Runners-up TEMA and Retro Revolution respectively proffer Eames-adjacent sofas and rectilinear shelving, and quintessentially 1950s formica-and-chrome dining tables and kitchen canister sets.) (HVW)

2) TEMA Contemporary Furniture

3) Retro Revolution

Best Bicycle Shop

The Bike Coop Ltd.

This year's Best Bicycle Shop race was handily won by The Bike Coop, with 2013 winner Two Wheel Drive decelerating to third ... and last year's third-runner-up slingshotting into second position. This is as exciting as the Tour de France. (HVW)

2) Fat Tire Cycles

3) Two Wheel Drive

Best Skate Shop

Silver Skate Shop

Much like bike shops, skate shops are perpetually in rotation for best-ness. Silver Skate Shop in Nob Hill takes the cake this time around, and all other things being equal, I expect it is their fixation on socks that brings Silver to the top. Beach Zone and Skate City get high marks from the skate-or-die crowd. (HVW)

2) Beach Zone

3) Skate City Supply

Best Smoke Shop

The Gas Pipe

Have you ever found an empty matchbox and thought it would be a good thing to put your weed in? Well, there are stores that sell little boxes specifically designed for that. Plus, many also sell cigars, black light posters and all kinds of interesting nicknacks. All hail Gas Pipe, reigning champions of this industry, and runners-up Birdland and Oasis. (CP)

2) Birdland the Hippie Store

3) Oasis Smoke Shop

Best Music Equipment Store

Grandma’s Music and Sound

Do you know how to play “Barracuda” by Heart? That guy playing the Ibanez does. Grandma's is a beloved institution among Burque's musicians and well deserving of that love. If they don't have the gizmo in stock, they can probably get it for you cheaper than the internet. Marc’s and Grumpy’s are reader faves, too. (CP)

2) Marc's Guitar Center

3) Grumpy’s Guitars

Best CD/Record Store

Charley's 33s & CDs

Lurking over at Pennsylvania and Menaul, Charley's seems like your average, well-stocked music shop with all the new, used, rare and amazing CD, cassette and vinyl treasures you lust after. But even beyond that, you'll find a dragon's lair of merch: pins, stickers, patches, jewelry, vintage clothing, hats, t-shirts, posters and whatnot. It is the whatnot that keeps us coming back. Downtown curatorial vision Mecca and web-interactive Nob Hill Music also make our readers' audiophile hearts go pitter-patter. (HVW)

2) Mecca Music & Books

3) Nob Hill Music

Best Plant Nursery

Osuna Nursery

Look for the bright yellow building. That's Osuna Nursery, and that's this year's BOB-approved Best Plant Nursery. Check out their wide selection of trees, tools, houseplants, pots and other gardening supplies, as well as clever landscaping and decorating ideas. The friendly staff is always nearby to help. Alameda Greenhouse and Rehm’s are our runners-up. (CP)

2) Alameda Greenhouse

3) Rehm's Nursery & Garden Center

Best New Age Shop

Blue Eagle Metaphysical Emporium

There are many paths to the truth, and Blue Eagle honors spiritualities of all types, from Pagan to Wicca, Norse to Eastern. Stop in for a runestone or a tarot deck, and get a psychic reading right in the store. Crystal Dove and Abitha’s have that new-age thing going on, too. (CP)

2) Crystal Dove

3) Abitha's Apothecary

Best Pet Shop

Clark's Pet Emporium

How much is that green doggie in the window? Yes, I mean the iguana. Hooray for Clark's, Burque's favorite mini-zoo of happy critters and critter supplies. Don't forget to join their cricket club. Pop by for the shot clinic and leave with a chinchilla. Their knowledgeable staff will have you feeling like you took a master's level zoology course. Long Leash on Life and Dawg Gone Good are also darn fine pet stores. (CP)

2) Long Leash On Life

3) Dawg Gone Good

Best Adult Shop

Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center

If you've ever read our events listings, you know Self Serve isn't just here to sell you some kind of boat-floater or skirt-blower-upper; they want you to know how to get what you want. What you need. What your last lover couldn't find with both hands, a flashlight and a you-are-here map. They're just looking out for you. Castle and Video Maxxx have sexy locked down, too. (HVW)

2) Castle Megastore

3) Video Maxxx

Best Art Supply


People, we need to talk. It's no wonder Artisan came in first place; they are the only full-service, full-product line art supply in town. Your second-place pick, Langell's, announced their retirement and closed down the store nearly two years ago. Artisan is a great store, but that isn't the issue. The fact that you voted for a long-dead art supply shop makes me think you're not buying enough art supplies, and I know you're not buying enough of ’em locally. Hit up street art-centric Caps, too. (HVW)

2) Langell's Art Supply (Closed)

3) Caps Paint Shop

Best Camera Shop

Kurt's Camera Corral

It's never just the cameras; it's also the film, accessories, mounting and display options, the gadgets and—perhaps more than anything else—the wisdom of the staff. If we merely wanted to buy some sort of camera-thing, we would all be ordering from B&H. But Kurt's has it all. If you can't find it right away, maybe you oughta ask someone. Film and photography paraphernalia dealer Camera & Darkroom and camera/parts/service/rentals guru AP-T are leading lights in our readers' photo albums, too. (HVW)

2) Camera & Darkroom

3) AP-T Camera Repair

Best Flower Shop

Peoples Flowers

Peoples has five branch locations and all the floral bounty you could ever want. Maybe you need a bouquet of apology, a sympathy arrangement or just a little spring fever in a vase. Peoples can hook you up. They can do arrangements while you wait, or you can call ahead, order online, pick it up or have it delivered. When in Nob Hill, consult second-runner-up The Flower Shop; if you're based in the Heights, visit Melba's and you'll come out smelling like roses. (HVW)

2) The Flower Shop at Nob Hill

3) Melba's Floral Studio

Best Gym

Defined Fitness

In Alibi readers' estimation, Defined Fitness has the best hours, equipment, staff—the best everything. What more do you want? Presumably the people who voted in this category are the types who actually go to the gym and not the types who get a gym membership and never go; so you can safely assume they know what they're talking about. NM Sports & Wellness and eVOLV make you wanna sweat, too. (HVW)

2) New Mexico Sports & Wellness

3) eVOLV Fitness

Best Martial Arts School

Jackson's MMA

With two locations and all kinds of ass-kicking, Jackson's MMA is a knockout whether your ambition is fun, fitness or a secret career ambition as a no-holds-barred cage fighter for fun and profit. Jackson's can take you from lard-ass to hard-ass. You know, as long as you're willing to show up and work really, really hard. And you'll have learn how to take a punch without crying like a little bitch. (HVW)

2) Mantis Kung Fu Academy

3) Blackman Taekwondo Academy/Champion Martial Arts Center

Best Yoga or Pilates Studio

Cloud9 Divine Healing Center

Affordable, encouraging and intimate, Cloud9 wants to help you get your flow on. They even have black light sessions for the ultra-groovy yogis among us. Open to all levels of fitness and experience, Cloud9 is a comfortable place to stretch your horizons as well as your connective tissues. eVOLV and Bhava will leave you all kinds “namaste,” too. (HVW)

2) eVOLV Fitness

3) Bhava Yoga Studio

Best Computer Help

Metalogic Computers

Corrales Road-based technology center Metalogic wants you to have the best computer your money can buy and the best user experience possible. They build machines to spec, repair, advise and can help with upgrades and recoveries. PC Place and Sandia Computers also offer hardware-centric services and blue-screen-of-death exorcisms. (HVW)

2) PC Place

3) Sandia Computers

Best Auto Repair Shop


Politicians and mechanics agree: One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. But while you might have trouble finding an honest politician, there are still some mechanics who won’t try to scare you about your air filter. Reincarnation is the latter, and they service most foreign models, including Toyota and Volvo. Plus they have a cartoon pinned up where God reluctantly allows Satan to create Jiffy Lube. Independent Vehicle Service and Jim’s Automotive probably post similar cartoons. (CP)

2) Independent Vehicle Service

3) Jim’s Automotive

Best Psychic

Melissa Frei

Call it a hunch or intuition. Some people get impressions of events or thoughts of distant places with an eerie degree of accuracy. Melissa Frei is such a person, and the majority of Alibi psychic users recognize that. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it. Look her up online or listen to one of her radio shows. (CP)

2) Mendy Lou

3) Robin Gile

Best Veterinary Clinic

Aztec Animal Clinic

Down at Washington and Zuni, Aztec Animal Clinic is the health care anchor in the lives of many locally beloved animals. When our furred, feathered or finned family members aren't feeling good, we want them in the best hands, and Aztec is readers' top pick for vet care in 2014. Northview and Manzano can be trusted with your best friend's health, as well. (HVW)

2) Northview Animal Hospital

3) Manzano Animal Clinic

Best Laundromat

Harold's Laundry

If you must leave home to do your washing, Harold's is the best. Open 24 hours with a 75-cent cold-water wash and wifi, Harold's even has convenience store snacks for sale. It's the perfect storm of laundromats. Spincycle and Lobo Laundry are reader favorites, too. (HVW)

2) Spincycle Coin Laundry

3) Lobo Laundry & Cleaners

Best Pest Control

Richard “The Bugman” Fagerlund

Don't let those bugs drive you buggy or drive your dune buggy. Let “The Bugman” exert his considerable influence to suggest they leave—without any need for toxic chemicals. Join his Bug Club and learn to intimidate bugs yourself. The man knows bugs. The man knows spiders. The man knows mice. And they all respect him. Watch for his fascinating column right here in the Alibi. (CP)

2) Preventive Pest Control

3) AAA Organic Pest Control

Best Tattoo Shop

Star Tattoo

Don't tell me Corrales Road is too far to go for a tattoo. You're going to have that thing on your birthday suit forever. Star is the top spot for fresh ink this year, with their knowledgeable and health-conscious staff, fair pricing and super artistry. Make a field trip over to Star any day of the week for your first tat, a touch-up, a cover-up or your next full-scale masterwork. All is One and Tinta Cantina are also lauded, trustworthy and fleshly fantasy-savvy. (HVW)

2) All Is One Tattoo and Design

3) Tinta Cantina

Best Tattoo Artist

Frankie Gutierrez

Working out of 505 INK, Frankie Gutierrez is this year's hotshot ink-slinger. His killer customs, unbelievable cover-up work and attention to detail have Gutierrez in serious demand. To put it another way: You're going to want an appointment if you want to get under his gun. The same advice goes for scheduling sessions with local masters Chris Partain at Star Tattoo and Johnny Mac Howell at Tinta Cantina. Go forth and become art. (HVW)

2) Chris Partain

3) Johnny Mac Howell

Best Barber Shop

Ace Barber Shop

Albuquerque may have a reputation for letting it all hang out, and let's be honest, going around town in pajamas doesn't really speak to a profound appreciation of personal style and grooming. But if you're going to be that guy, you really need to keep that mop looking sharp. And the Flowbee cut is out-out-out! Only a good barber can really keep you lined up like you want. Ace Barber Shop at Fourth Street and Central is there for you. Runners-up Randy's, Da Shop, Klip Joint and King of Fades can hook it up, too. And please put on some real pants before you head out. (HVW)

2) Randy's Barber Shop

3) Da Shop/Klip Joint BarberShop/King of Fades Barbershop

Best Salon: Hair

Lavish Hair Lounge

A full-service hair salon is hard to beat: The stylists know what they're doing and understand what you want; and they will get you as close to the perfect ’do as possible short of breaking laws of physics. Lavish is that salon, and if you're on a quest for the hair of your dreams, it's a fine place to start. Inspire and Square Root salons can turn your bad hair day around in a flash, too. (HVW)

2) Inspire Salon

3) Square Root Salon

Best Salon: Nails

Polished: Nails at Nob Hill

Although our society is a big fan of one-stop shopping—with our malls and big-box retailers—there is much to recommend in specialization. Polished is a perfect example of this: They do one thing only—nails—and they do it very well. Put your hands in their hands, and see if you don't come around to the beauty of specialization. Manicures at Inspire, Saigon Beauty and Essence will leave your digits looking sharp, too. (HVW)

2) Inspire Salon

3) Saigon Beauty Salon/Essence Hair & Nail Salon

Best Salon: Other Services

Lavish Hair Lounge

Lavish is not only out to give you the best hair on the planet, they will also do your make-up, extend your lashes and generally make you just as gorgeous as you can be. They are down by Old Town on Rio Grande north of Central, and you can book your appointment online. Massages, soaks and more make Gambei Wellness and Betty's notable oases in our manic world, as well. (HVW)

2) Gambei Wellness Spa + Salon + Studio

3) Betty's Bath & Day Spa