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Making Grown Men Cry Since 1992
If you do wander over to this serene strip mall off of Comanche Boulevard, you’ll be rewarded with a carefully curated collection of #OptOutside treasures. Cacti are not exotic here in the high desert, but Northeast Heights newcomer No Longer Wander features an abundance of the more attractive and housebroken species, giving the snug space an inviting, secret garden feel. The plants are potted in a variety of sizes from 10-gallon to 1-inch micro pots that could double as tree ornaments. The variety of cacti and their allies on display here is impressive, from candelabra cacti and current favorite succulents to cloud forest air plants ($12-40). While not exactly native (Euphorbia ammak is endemic to the Middle East and Tillandsia hails from Guatemala and Honduras), the cacti here are birds of a feather with prickly locals. No Longer Wander even has cacti-specific potting soil for sale. Those of us who’ve tried to grow these desert denizens at home know that soil is a far cry from the poorly draining black goop you’ll find at many nurseries. You’ll also find stylish vegetal-adjacent products like candles with and lotions with earthy scents, incense holders, herbal bitters and CBD-laced chocolates ($5-30) as well as silk scarves ($45) and jewelry. There’s even a field guide on offer ($20) in case you want to stretch your legs or get behind the wheel in your search for chlorophyll.
The undecideds have a lot of choices at ABQ Collective, a busy Eubank space that hosts a baker’s dozen of local merchants in a cozy hive of creativity. ABQ Collective features a salon and couch-laden performance space. This hub of upcycled and handmade goods and carefully chosen antiques feels like a slice of Austin’s South Congress hipster style. Never fear, though, there are plenty of items trumpeting Burqueño pride to confirm you’re in Albuquerque. Drool over jellies made of wine varieties from Cabernet and Sauvingnon blanc to rosé that can be bought singly or in carefully compiled gift boxes; vintage clothing for that special evening out; hand-painted luggage and traveling cases; and vintage cookware. Self-care during the holiday hubbub could certainly be facilitated with the retro fainting couch lounging in one passageway. A recycled chandelier featuring a variety of bulb and lamp styles in one fixture runs $40. An antique corn bread pan that turns your carbs out shaped like tiny corncobs costs $20. There are a variety of items for the newly made human in anyone’s life, like onesies with cartoon cacti and animals on them, as well as something that I’m going to call burp mitts, which could probably deal with a hot pan as well as a moist youngster. Succumb to bean-based decision-making thanks to the embedded coffee bar all done up and ready to grind industrial road-warrior style.