Bob: Life In Burque

Best City Politician To Get A Pat On The Back

15 min read
Best-Dressed Burqueño: Alibi publisher Carl Peters—er, make that Don Schrader (left) (Valerie Hollingsworth)
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Oh small-town America, your politics are so physical. What politico hasn’t learned the magical act that includes pressing the so-called flesh and kissing babies while the cameras click away. And of course, when you all do a good job, you deserve a good old pat on the back. That said, this year’s winners ought to get a hug, too. (AM)

2) Isaac Benton

3) Rey Garduño

Bob: Life In Burque Best City Politician To Get A Punch In The Nose

See above but please note, gentle reader, we at the Alibi do not and never have advocated violence. It’s just not our thing, and we are convinced it is just not hip. Anyway here’s a perfect metaphor for citizen dissatisfaction that still fits within the wonderfully sweaty physicality that is our brand of politics. (AM)

2) Debbie O’Malley

3) Isaac Benton/Ken Sanchez

Bob: Life In Burque Best Scandal

“Scandal” is a serious word that often points to tragic failures made public. Such is the case with our local police department. APD is embroiled in a bloody, perhaps murderous, controversy—allegedly submerged in a culture of violence and machismo and now featured at the top of many Americans’ YouTube queues. Meanwhile, tourists and their feria slink away, frightened; you could say the word “scandal” is an appropriate initial description of what is going on over in local copland. The others on this list are mere imbroglios in comparison. (AM)

2) Rail Runner

3) Candy Lady

Bob: Life In Burque Best Use Of City Money

It’s really cool when the robotic overlords over at City Hall decide to dish out a little plata to improve the infrastructure of our great military outpost in the northern reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert. Where would our glorious city-state be without safe and architecturally attractive roads, bridges and public buildings, verdant or prickly parks and plenty of paths for our vanguard of local biciclistas? In other words, it’s about time, dudes. (AM)

2) Bike Paths

3) Open Spaces/Parks & Rec

Bob: Life In Burque Worst Use Of City Money

The same hands that dish out the dough to projects aimed at sharpening up El Duque can be seen by some as investing in boondoggles, or worse, large pieces of pork. With the river so low in these parts, every drop of water counts. That sort of droughtborne Nuevo Mexicano conservatism makes every City expenditure or proposal questionable. With the aforementioned Best Scandal going viral, it’s no wonder APD came in second. And who wants a Bosque redevelopment plan anyway? That place should always be sorta wild, like Burque. (AM)

2) APD

3) Bosque Redevelopment Plan

Bob: Life In Burque Best Tv News Personality: Male

KOB weatherman and all-around local good guy Steve Stucker has been selected by BOB respondents as the top local TV news personality for the ninth year in a row. In a town that’s notoriously weather-minimal, it’s ironic that his closest competition was Marc Ronchetti, meteorologist at a competing network affiliate. Anchorman Tom Joles got third, a changeup from how things are usually organized in the world of local teevee journalism. (AM)

2) Marc Ronchetti

3) Tom Joles

Bob: Life In Burque Best Tv News Personality: Female

KOB—do you see a trend developing here?—morning news anchor Nicole Brady wins. A telejournalist with deep New Mexico roots (her great-great-great grandfather William J. Brady was a sheriff during the Lincoln County Wars and was gunned down by Billy the Kid), Brady has been at the helm of Channel 4 for a decade. Native New Mexican Marisa Maez, the KOAT morning anchor, takes the silver, while KRQE meteorologist and cohost of 2KASA FOX talk show “New Mexico Style” Kristen Van Dyke walks away with a well-earned bronze. (AM)

2) Marisa Maez

3) Kristen Van Dyke

Bob: Life In Burque Best Tv Newscast Overall

Folks definitely favor KOB Eyewitness News over its competitors. From the on-air personalities to overall production, KOB rules the portion of digital spectrum devoted to information dissemination in a conveniently understandable and alluringly attractive format. Channel 7 has been number two since I was 10 years old. Channel 13, no matter its current incarnation—or redesign or new management or whatever—has been number three since Hartsell Cribb stumbled across the studio floor toward the weather map. (AM)

2) KOAT 7

3) KRQE 13

Bob: Life In Burque Best Radio Programming

KUNM won this category for a simple reason. The station has excellent, locally produced radio shows that range from news to interview to music programs and are mindblowing in their depth, range and use of resources. The Edge was voted in at number two. They are reportedly a radio station that plays alternative rock and roll, but they only seem to know two or three Radiohead songs. I don’t think they play any Wavves either, but my wife says maybe. The Peak came in third. The last time I tuned into that station, a Santana tune with the singer from Matchbox 20 was playing. (AM)

2) The Edge 104.1FM

3) The Peak 100.3FM

Bob: Life In Burque Best Radio Personality

There are a number of wildly talented longtime local radio personalities on this list, and all our honorees in this category deserve kudos for surviving in an increasingly cutthroat corporate radio culture. The only big surprise is the lack of representation of personnel from the once-mighty 94 Rock Morning Show. (AM)

2) Erica Viking (Coyote 102.5FM)

3) Jackie, Tony and Donnie (The Peak 100.3FM)

Bob: Life In Burque Best Golf Course

Popular as a lubricant for business as well as a means of focusing the mind on guiding small objects toward equally small holes in the ground, golf is part of culture in Burque, with a number of private and public courses to choose from. The lush course at Sandia Casino garnered the most votes. My personal favorite is Arroyo del Oso, but that’s only because I grew up in the adjacent neighborhood and recall wandering the course after hours. It was a great place to make out or smoke la grifa on summer nights. Los Altos is filled with beautiful trees and tough roughs. (AM)

2) Arroyo del Oso

3) Los Altos

Bob: Life In Burque Best Place To People-Watch

I went into the Frontier the other day for breakfast. I took along this dude who is a professor from Ohio. He spent the whole time eating and looking around at the most diverse collection of humanity available for ocular consumption this side of the Ledo in Paris. Nob Hill is decent, too, but you gotta keep moving. There is plenty of sidewalk café and bar action, but Central Avenue is damn close, loud and distracting. UNM is great: There are no cars at the duck pond, the quad or near the SUB and plenty of humans, though not many food choices like Nob Hill. That’s a bit of a drawback because you do want to have something to talk about (and food is easy) in case you actually meet someone during your people-watching ritual. (AM)

2) Nob Hill

3) UNM

Bob: Life In Burque Best Albuquerque Insult

I learned tons of insults from my father, a native New Mexican. There are literally thousands of them, ranging from mild curses to epithets guaranteed to peel the paint from walls and get you one heck of a shiner. Believe it or don’t, some folks even consider the SoCal slang term for everyone and everything, “dude,” an insult. Since the answers in this category were wildly diverse and far-ranging, I thought I’d list my favorites. Here goes: “Fuck you, sasquatch,” “Nice driving, Ron Bell,” “That bugs” and, of course, “Pinche cabron.” There are heaps more, but I prefer to remain affiliative, dudes. (AM)

2) “Pee-pee hearted”/“Are you from Española/Rio Rancho/Colorado/etc.?”

Bob: Life In Burque Best-Dressed Burqueño

Don Schrader’s shameless embrace of the sun-baked minimalism made famous by his evolutionary predecessors, los hipis de Nuevo Mexico—you know like the kind from places with names like Tawapa—sets the trend for comfort, wearability and the ability to manifest the idea that we would all secretly like to parade around like that, bare-chested and fully human. This reporter has no experience with winners Maxwell or Swagerty, but he has seen Mayfield at “Smythes” on Constitution and knows for a fact he dresses swell. (AM)

2) Solve Maxwell

3) James Swagerty/Dan Mayfield

Bob: Life In Burque Best Place To See A Ghost

Our last overnight houseguest said the next morning that he was sure the place was haunted. Staying up a couple nights past 2am with just a pack of smokes and a plastic cup filled with Walker’s amber restorative only seemed to confirm things. It was a shimmery spectre if you want to know, and it rattles and clanks along on a bad foot. But besides mi chante, Old Town has its share of haunts as does the old hospital-cum-hotel on the edge of Downtown. A kid died in the KiMo, too. People leave that ghost donuts to keep it from raising hell. (AM)

2) Hotel Parq Central

3) KiMo Theatre

Bob: Life In Burque Best Local Ufo Sighting

If you’ve ever seen a UFO hovering above the Sandias or following the river through this bend and that, please send a note over here to the paper so we can get an interview going. Personally I haven’t seen any signs of extraterrestrial intelligence in either of those places. But I want to believe. Once I think I saw some sort of transdimensional craft or another driving down Central, craftily disguised as a 1967 GTO. Anywho all the best sightings have to do with Thunder Scientific, Paul Bennewitz and the Manzano Base, esé. No one seems to remember that stuff, which is probably for the best. (AM)

2) Bosque

Bob: Life In Burque Best Annual Charity Fundraiser

Citizens in our town are generally charitable. The support of noble and helpful causes is second nature to many Burqueños y Burqueñas. Number one on this year’s list: the soup-laden fundraiser produced by Roadrunner Food Bank. Benefits aimed at improving the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science and supporting efforts of the New Mexico Humane Society were also noted by civically minded BOB voters. (AM)

2) Chocolate Fantasy

3) Doggie Dash & Dawdle

Bob: Life In Burque Burqueño Most Likely To Succeed In 2014

Succeeding in Burque can be quite a challenge. In this town, suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune requires stamina, perseverance and a bit of luck. Although plenty of respondents opted for the narcissistic approach—hoping for their own good fortune above others—some of you out there mentioned up-and-coming politico Javier Martinez. Local actress and “Shit Burqueños (New Mexicans) Say” star Lauren Poole—famous for her character Lynette’s portrayal of New Mexican accent, dialect and colloquialisms—tied for third with rising senatorial star Martin Heinrich, Sunport Director Nick Bakas and tattooist Frankie G. (AM)

2) Javier Martinez

3) Frankie G./Lauren Poole/Martin Heinrich/Nick Bakas

Bob: Life In Burque Best Reason To Stay In Albuquerque

Staying in Albuquerque means you’ll probably never see a downpour again. Just kidding. Perpetual sunshine, comparatively mild winters and a dry heat all summer long top the list of reasons why folks stay. Of course, there’s always the food; chile in its many manifestations and the food common in these parts generally make for reasons to keep calling Burque home. The Sandia Mountains and vasty sunsets also add to the allure. (AM)

2) Chile/Food

3) Sandia Mountains/Sunsets

Bob: Life In Burque Best Reason To Leave Albuquerque

Contrariwise, reasons you might consider pulling up stakes or filling up that awesome carpet bag with what’s left over after the garage sale and hightailing it often have to do with factors that beset most midsize Southwestern cities in the USA. Things are tough all over, and drought and desperation don’t help matters. (AM)

2) Drought

3) Crime

Bob: Life In Burque The Thing We Lost In 2013 That We'll Miss Most

Burque may be the quintessential expression of the term “Land of Enchantment,” but it’s still part of the material world. Things fade, and everything changes. It’s the second law of thermodynamics, yo. Of what has passed, readers’ memories of the glorious teevee show “Breaking Bad” continue their vibrancy and constancy. As a community many remembered the fire that consumed the “flamenco building” and had also housed Working Classroom. And though restaurants in the student ghetto come and go—sometimes within a semester—one health café proved especially memorable to our respondents. (AM)

2) Flamenco Building

3) Fei’s Café

Bob: Life In Burque The Person We Lost In 2013 That We'll Miss Most

In the chemistry classrooms, seedy drug dens and teevee-soaked living rooms scattered around town, “Breaking Bad” antihero Walter White will be missed. In our bright and sometimes troubling reality, beloved local artist and athlete Michelle Dawn Arnold and 9-year-old innocent victim—of child abuse and what an outraged citizenry decried as CYFD and APD neglect—Omaree Varela will be mourned … not as celebrity fictives but as flesh-and-blood beings with souls that touched the hearts and lives of their fellow humans. Rest in peace. (AM)

2) Michelle Arnold/Omaree Varela

Bob: Life In Burque The Thing Albuquerque Doesn't Have, But Needs Most

This category might as well be titled “Things Burqueños dream about but alas, will never realize.” Like the In-N-Out Burger fantasy: It’s a well-known fact that something about the corporation’s supply chain prevents them from operating so far out from their base of operations. We are nearly 900 miles from LA, well out of range of anything remotely “Animal Style.” As far as a water park goes, the fact that we live in a desert and this is a time of perilous drought didn’t seem to affect the soggy reverie of our readers. When one lives in the desert, pools and cascades of agua are common mirages. As far as IKEA goes, they have a website. (AM)

2) Water Park

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