Alibi V.27 No.17 • April 26-May 2, 2018 

Best of Burque 2018

Life in Burque

Life in Burque

Best City Politician to Get a Pat on the Back

Tim Keller

Recently, The New York Times covered the Tim Keller phenomenon with a look at our mayor’s abiding interest in heavy metal music. The Grey Lady’s Simon Romero—who used to write for Weekly Alibi, BTW—reports that Keller’s fascination with the genre is key to his enthusiasm as a public servant. Whatever the source of his inspiration Keller has taken to his position like hesher to feedback and despite the economic and social woes he and Burque’s citizens face, Keller seems ready to embrace the future loudly and forcefully, with devil horns blazing and progressive agenda in tow.

2) Gus Pedrotty

3) Debra Haaland

Best City Politician to Get a Pat on the Back

Tim Keller

Recently, The New York Times covered the Tim Keller phenomenon with a look at our mayor’s abiding interest in heavy metal music. The Grey Lady’s Simon Romero—who used to write for Weekly Alibi, BTW—reports that Keller’s fascination with the genre is key to his enthusiasm as a public servant. Whatever the source of his inspiration Keller has taken to his position like hesher to feedback and despite the economic and social woes he and Burque’s citizens face, Keller seems ready to embrace the future loudly and forcefully, with devil horns blazing and progressive agenda in tow.

2) Gus Pedrotty

3) Debra Haaland

Best Citywide/Statewide Scandal

ART

Guess, what readers? It’s late April 2018 and the ART project along Central Avenue in Albuquerque is still not up and running. The end of the project has been filled with snafus and, in spite of direct and dedicated efforts to right this boondoggle of a project by metalhead Mayor Tim Keller, it still looks like it’s going to be a while before the electric buses buzz through the middle of the street through post-brutalist style bus stops that look more like abandoned circus tents than places for transit-hungry citizens to gather. We’ll continue to update you on this long-in-the-tooth project, but don’t get your hopes up.

2) Susana Martinez Pizzagate

3) Crime

Best Drag Queen

Bradd Howard

Bradd Howard makes a vibrant splash in the Albuquerque drag scene as a member of The Dolls, known for their over-the-top and immensely entertaining Christmas shows. Involved with theatre and dance in New Mexico for decades, Bradd's flair for the dramatic and portrayal of new and extreme characters has earned the top spot amongst readers and peers for 2018.

2) Felicia Roxx Starr Faraday

3) ViLette

Best Use of City Money

KiMo Theatre

What’s at the KiMo Theatre? Well, the historic venue, designed by Carl Boller at the behest of Burqueño entrepreneurs Oreste and Maria Bachechi to reflect a reverence for Native American culture and design aesthetics, hosts some of the best in arts and music available in Albuquerque. Though the theater fell into bad times during the ’70s, the city renovated the facility and now it boasts hundreds of performances per year. From exciting touring bands, to local theater productions and a classic film series the KiMo remains a reminder of a what a city can do with fundage and a clear vision of the arts.

2) Penguin Exhibit

3) Murals

Best Waste of City Money

ART

We know, we know. How do you choose the best waste of money in a town known for its wastes of money? The options are so varied, and each carries its own flavor and timbre. But clearly, the connoisseurs know that the best way to waste money is to spend $135 million building a massive transit system that doesn't even function. Oh. And make sure to announce that it will be running at the beginning of 2018, while knowing full well it isn't going to happen. This project went so wrong that our new mayor actually called ART a “lemon.”

2) Civic Plaza Remodel

3) Albuquerque Police Department

Best Politician to Get a Punch in the Nose

Susana Martinez

Alibi readers have consistently trended toward the progressive end of the political spectrum, commonly eschewing rightist politicos from “Leather” Heather Wilson to old Trump himself. With that kind of history behind them, it’s no wonder they voted Susana Martinez as the politician mostly like to get a punch in the nose. We wouldn’t recommend that form of justice though; we hear La Tejana is well-connected to the state police in this state. Bet yet: don’t forget to pull the Democratic lever come this November. That’s the best way to keep nose-punch prone politicos on the sideline.

2) Mayor Berry

3) Dan Lewis

Best Local Athlete

Holly Holm

You know her, you love her. You love her a lot. Holly Holm is Albuquerque’s best local athlete, according to you fine Burqueños, and we can see why you think so: The Albuquerque-born boxer, kickboxer and mixed martial arts fighter has won multiple championships in multiple sports—she’s the only person to have won championships in both boxing and mixed martial arts. Also, like, that Ronda Rousey fight. We’re never going to forget that one.

2) Hobo Hank

3) Alex Bregman

Best TV News Anchor

Shelly Ribando

This brunette with the even-toned voice has been a reliable, relatable source of local news on KOAT-7 Action News since 2009. Her relationship with New Mexico audiences has been a close one, sharing hallmark moments like her wedding and pregnancy with viewers over the years. Plus, she makes stiff-necked co-anchor Doug Fernandez (love you too, Doug) look good.

2) Erica Zucco

3) Doug Fernandez

Best TV Weatherperson

Steve Stucker

Steve Stucker’s personality is all there in that toothy grin. His smiling face has graced KOB 4’s morning show for more than 25 years. Dressing up for the holidays and sharing the weather map with his “celebrity weather dogs,” Steve gives zest to the typical “dry and sunny” New Mexico forecast. And what would the annual International Balloon Fiesta be without his trademark, rainbow-colored Balloon Pin outfit?

2) Mark Ronchetti

3) Kristen Currie

Best Radio Station

89.9 KUNM

Weekly Alibi stopped by KUNM the other night to record some spots for a local music collaborative we’re working on over there. KUNM is the best radio this town has to offer: totally excellent studios, an award-winning staff of reporters, DJs and engineers as well as an overall attitude that says this station is solidly part of Burque and its many culturals combines with some of the most challenging yet listenable radio programming anywhere on the dial. Tune in, y’all, tune the heck in.

2) 100.3 The Peak

3) 104.1 The Edge

Best Local Nonprofit

Roadrunner Food Bank

The Roadrunner Food Bank has done more than any other single organization to alleviate hunger in New Mexico, so it’s not wonder they won y’all’s vote for Best Local Nonprofit. The Feeding America member food bank is a hub that distributes food to partner agencies in 16 counties throughout the state, which in turn feed 70,000 people each week. Through their volunteer efforts, mobile food pantry, healthy foods center and countless other initiatives, Roadrunner aims to permanently end hunger in New Mexico. If that isn’t a worthwhile mission, I don’t know what is.

2) Animal Humane New Mexico

3) Karma Cafe

Best Annual Charity Fundraiser

River of Lights

Come the winter holidays, there’s a river of lights in Albuquerque, along the storied Rio Grande, that is guaranteed to roust Santa from his northern slumber, invigorate his reindeer and provide just about every kid in this city with a sugar-plum filled vision of what Christmas should look like. Here’s a hint: it’s bright and colorful with artful animal forms that come to life and seem to caper along the river’s edge just as the sounds of noël bells kick in and the train from the zoo arrives, filled with gifts, with the startled and wondrously happy denizens of December.

2) Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation Mudd Volleyball

3) Roadrunner Food Bank’s Souper Bowl

Best Place to Take a First Date

Sandia Crest

A no-brainer, really. Atop the Sandias, you’ve got a panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley stretching out before you, with the volcanos and Mr. Taylor off in the distance. Schedule a trip during sunset and it’s about as magical as Albuquerque gets. Sadly, the opening of the new mountaintop restaurant (a replacement for the chi-chi, ’60s-era eatery High Finance) has been delayed, so you’ll have to find someplace else to eat. (Check out Alibi’s BoB Restaurant poll for that!)

2) ABQ BioPark Zoo

3) Flying Star

Best Place to Get Married

Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

There’s no better place to enshrine your love for another than this picturesque boutique inn/restaurant and working farm in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. The verdant, 25-acre property is so chic it was even profiled in a 2015 Vogue magazine article. Pro tip: The fields of organic lavender make a particularly colorful backdrop for any wedding pictures, so try to book a date during the summer harvest season. (Good luck, anyway.)

2) ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

3) Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa

Best Reason to Live in Albuquerque

The landscape, Sandia Mountains

Open your eyes, people. That’s all you need to do to figure out why you’re here. It’s the gorgeous, wide open desert landscape, stretching from the towering, watermelon-colored mountains on our east to … heck, squint and you can practically see the Arizona border on our west. Step outside once in a while and drink in that priceless vista, folks. It’s all ours.

2) Food, green chile, breakfast burritos

3) The weather, sunshine

Best Place to Hike

La Luz Trail

Once again our attention wanders to the Sandias. If you wanna hike in Albuquerque, the smart bet is to head straight for this 9-mile trail that takes you from 7,000 feet at the the junction of La Luz and Spur Trail 84 up to 10,678 feet at the top of Sandia Crest. It’s not a walk for pikers or lazy folks, and you’ll probably want to take the tram back down at the end of it. But you’ll make your way through some of Albuquerque’s most beautiful biomes conquering this daunting day hike.

2) Foothills

3) Elena Gallegos Picnic Area

Best Bike Trail

Paseo del Bosque Trail

We never ride a bike, ask staff writer Joshua Lee about that. Strike that, there indeed was the time one of us rented a big green steel Chinese unit to transport themselves around Kathmandu. It’s nothing like riding a bike here, one assumes. For one thing, you really don’t have to worry about distracted driving by automobile fanciers, but dang it, watch out for the water buffalos. Serio. The Paseo del Bosque Trail is our town’s premier bike path. It comprises over 16 miles of paved riding, heaps of public art to look at and access to cool places like the ABQ BioPark, the Rio Grande Nature Center and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. That all sounds like so much fun. Of course our readers agree and voted the trail number one this year, too.

2) Arroyo del Oso Trail

3) Otero Canyon

Best Place to People Watch

Central

At one point in time Central Avenue through Albuquerque was part of Route 66, America’s Main Street. It remains the lifeblood of our city, carrying folks from the far Westside to Atrisco, Dowtown, Edo, the University area, Nob Hill and East Central. That’s an impressively diverse slice of our city’s population. … Now, if only we can get the ART project moving, Burqueños can observe humanity at a much more rapid pace!

2) Downtown

3) The University of New Mexico

Best Outdoor Space

The Bosque

Granted, we’re entering that time of year when it tends to catch on fire (culminating in that terrifying, explosives-based holiday, the 4th of July). Barring the occasional brush fire, our city’s riverside space makes for a wonderful, tree-lined escape from city life. The Paseo del Bosque Trail features 16 miles of paved, multi-use trails and passes through historic Tingley Beach, the Rio Grande Nature Center, the Albuquerque BioPark and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

2) ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden

3) Tingley Beach

Best Golf Course

Sandia Resort & Casino

Many years ago, like more than 20, kids, what is now called Sandia Resort and Casino was a huge white tent on the edge of town that offered pull tab and bingo style gaming for citizens hungry for a true-to-life gambling experience near town and not in Las Vegas, Nev. The Indian Gaming Act of the early aughts changed things drastically and the money started to pour in. The result: a for real world class resort with almost any amenity you can think of, right on the edge of our growing Burg. Of course that worldliness includes the best golf course in town, what did you expect from one of this place’s greatest entertainment facilities? The grass is green and the vistas memorable at this 18 hole wonder on the edge of the desert.

2) Ladera Golf Course

3) Puerto del Sol Golf Course

Best Bowling Alley

Silva Lanes

Formerly (and more interestingly) known as “Eu Can Bowl,” this longtime establishment on Eubank and Candelaria is the 505’s preferred place to huck a rock. If you like to drink while you bowl, there’s the attached bar Punky’s Placer—which also serves as one of our city’s favorite (and least predictable) karaoke destinations.

2) Lucky 66 Bowl

3) Starlight Bowling Center

Best Movie Theater

Flix Brewhouse Albuquerque

People still like to go out and watch movies in a theater. But it takes a little extra to get us off the couch these days. Flix’s extra is listed right there in the name: It’s also a brewhouse featuring six special craft brews at a time. (Fancy a Lupulus IPA? or Umbra Chocostout?) You can order food (burgers, pizzas, wraps) right from your seat. To top it all off, the theater hosts special “Fan Fest” screenings, featuring a classic movie (Back to the Future, Pulp Fiction, Spaceballs), themed beer and food offerings and free souvenir glassware.

2) Guild Cinema

3) Icon Cinemas

Best Museum

New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old: Everybody loves dinosaurs. Our local outlet for dinosaur lore isn’t just a museum, either. It’s a working laboratory uncovering local discoveries (the famed “Bisti Beast,” a Stegomastadon skull unearthed near Elephant Butte). Throw in a planetarium with monthly “fractal” shows, a Dynatheater stocked with 3D documentaries and a rotating collection touring exhibits (currently the gadget-filled Da Vinci, The Genius exhibit), and you’ve got the recipe for Albuquerque’s favorite museum.

2) Albuquerque Museum

3) ¡Explora!