What do I love about Albuquerque? Well, first the sky. That's the number one thing visiting poets comment on—some have said that it seems endless. I tell them it is. No one has ever argued.
The Sandias are also high on my list—the Manzanos too. I've heard some complain about our lack of skyline (I'm a Norteño, in case you're wondering). Nonsense. Even the Manhattan skyline would pale in comparison to them. Then there's the view. The visibility is incredible (I'm told it's helped by the dry air, which I also love).
Dootl'izhiidziil (Turquoise Mountain, the Navajo's “Sacred Mountain of the South”—you know her as Mount Taylor) is over 50 miles away. On a good day you can see her clearly. I used to be able to see the mountain from the front porch of the house I once shared. I live off Central and I miss that luxury.
Speaking of Central Avenue, that's another of my favorite things about Burque. All of it—especially the old haunts like the Western View Diner and Steakhouse in the West (which writer John Gilmore turned me on to) and Garcia's by Old Town to Burning Paradise (my new favorite underground video/Luchador store) to Route 66 Diner (one word: milkshake).
Downtown, the university district, Nob Hill they have too many cool places to mention (quickly the tops: Anodyne, Launchpad, the Sunshine, the Frontier, Alphaville, The Guild, Flying Star, Natural Sound). Plus they get all the good publicity already. Also I miss Jack's and the Fat Chance. I'm still PO'ed about losing 'em.
As for East Central, if you've never been to the Caravan East, you've never experienced a real honky tonk. Sometimes you'll even see a few ghosts of Route 66 past mixed in with the modern specters, apparitions and actual people. I love that.