This morning I got an email from a long time Albuquerque resident who didn't mean to end up in the Duke City. Yet she did, and over the years, she came to love this amazing place. I'll be posting her letter soon for all to see.
In the meantime, I have just a few reasons of my own about what Albuquerque has to offer. We're affordable, there are tons of recreational opportunities, annual traditions, and the geography is outstanding. There's something about walking outside at sunset, looking up and seeing the Sandias glow in that pink hue.
Take a look at some of the reasons to love Albuquerque, and let me know what you would add!
An instrument petting zoo, a Jewish film fest, an arts and crafts fair, a star party, a benefit for kids and more are on tap this weekend. Enjoy!
Metro Youth Art Exhibit
The annual APS art show features examples of student artwork. Each weekend, high school music ensembles will perform. Weekend hours are 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. at the Fine Arts Gallery. The free show runs through March.
ABQ Jewish Film Fest
The first annual film festival runs March 6 - 11 at the African American Performing Arts Center at New Mexico Expo. All films are $5 in advance or $8 at the door. The series of films touch on World War II, Broadway musicals, the Shin Bet, baseball and Hava Nagila.
First Friday Fractals and Fractals Rock
Art and science meet under the planetarium dome for these live presentations on Friday, March 7.
Crazy for Swayze
A tribute to Patrick Swayze features The Outsiders on March 7 at the KiMo Theatre. Popcorn is a mere $1.
Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival
The Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival has 200 craftsmen and artists showing their work in mediums such as jewelry, pottery, woodworking, clothing and many kinds of handicrafts. There will also be food, kids' activities, artist demonstrations, entertainment and more. See the website for a $1 off coupon. At the New Mexico Expo March 7 - 9.
See professional motocross at Tingley Coliseum March 7 -9. Join the Track Party on March 8 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.; recycle any MONSTER ENERGY can with a valid Saturday ticket at the gate entrance to get in. Tickets are available at the Tingley box office, online at Ticketmaster or by phone at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are $10-$30, $2 more the day of show.
High School Reunion Cabaret
The New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus will perform songs that recall a high school reunion. See it at the South Broadway Cultural Center March 7 - 9. Songs will be sung by soloists, duos, ensembles and the full chorus.
Garden Planning and Sustainability in the Home Garden
Learn how to assess your landscape to turn it into a garden space. The free class takes place at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House in the south valley on March 8 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The class is the first in a six part series. Register online.
Instrument Petting Zoo
The UNM Music Prep program offers a free instrument petting zoo on Saturday, March 8 from noon to 1 p.m. Children can listen to and learn about a variety of instruments and then get on stage to try the instruments out for themselves. Find it in Keller Hall at UNM. It's free!
Second Saturday at Casa San Ysidro
The San Ysidro church in Corrales is open for free from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. The historic church provides a glimpse into how residents lived in the area hundreds of years ago.
2014 Hershey Track and Field Games
See the star local track performers aged 9-14 at the Albuquerque Convention Center downtown on March 8 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Art in the Afternoon
The free weekly performances take place at the Albuquerque Museum on Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. This week, hear Bossa Nova group Rio.
The classic To Have and Have Not screens at the KiMo on March 8, continuing the Bogart film series.
The Albuquerque Astronomical Society presents a star party at the Open Space Visitor Center on March 8 beginning at 6 p.m. There will be telescopes on hand for sky viewing, and a green laser tour will begin when star gazing is optimal. It's all free. Stop by between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to see the sun through a solar telescope.
Spring comes early to the Botanic Garden, where colorful blooms provide a spring show March 8 - April 4. March Madness is included in regular admission.
Lynn Harrell Plays Tchikovsky
Joshua Weilerstein conducts Ligeti's Romanian Concerto. Guest artist Lynn Harrell performs Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, followed by the New Mexico Philharmonic performing Mendelssohn. See it at Popejoy Hall March 8.
Rubber Stamp Show
Creative types will love this show, with vendors displaying examples of what can be done with rubber stamps. Stamps will be for sale and there will be door prizes. It's at the New Mexico Expo March 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prepaid tickets are $5, or $7 at the door. One ticket good for two days.
Fly Me to the Moon
The Fly Me to the Moon gala performance featuring kids will help support pediatric cancer patients receive alternative treatments. See it at the Hiland Theater on March 8. Gala begins at 6 p.m. and show begins at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit Kids Supporting Kids.
UNM Jazz Band with Ingrid Jensen
Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen will perform with the UNM Jazz Band in the closing concert of the Jazz Festival. The concert is at the African American Performing Arts Center at New Mexico Expo on March 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $4-$8. Phone 222-0778.
The Girls in the Band
As part of Women & Creativity month, a screening of this film will be held at the Outpost Performance Space on March 8 at 7:30 p.m. In the thirties and forties, women musicians toured the country in glamorous all-girl bands, and others played side by side with male counterparts. By the mid-fifties, they had all but disappeared. This film tells their story. Tickets are $5-10.
Master guitarist Manuel Barrueco will perform at the National Hispanic Cultural Center March 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Nicole Atkins with Arc Iris
The acclaimed singer-songwriter has been compared to Roy Orbison and Loretta Lynn. Hear her at the Outpost on March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Twilight Los Angeles, 1992
Using the verbatim words of people who experienced the Los Angeles riots, the play goes directly to issues of race and class. The documentary theater piece can be seen at the Desert Rose Playhouse through March 9.
Rapture, Blister, Burn
The Pulitzer-nominated comedy makes its southwest premiere at the Aux Dog Theatre in Nob Hill. See it through March 9.
My Favorite Year
A musical production about Benjy's favorite year, 1954, when he was an assistant writer on a comedy show.. See it at the Adobe Theater. Call 898-9222 to reserve. The show runs weekends through March 16.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles. See it at the Albuquerque Little Theatre weekends through March 23.
Cause of the Week
Team Sophia Fundraiser
Second Impressions consignment boutique is having a sidewalk sale on March 8 to help raise funds for Sophia, an 8 year old with leukemia. Support Sophia, who dreams of one day being a nurse who helps children. Second Impressions is located at San Mateo and Osuna.
Kids going through cancer often benefit from massage, acupuncture and other alternative medical treatments. As healing and therapeutic as alternative treatments are, they often aren't covered by health insurance. Kids Supporting Kids seeks to change that by raising funds to pay for the alternative treatments, and they propose to do it with the power of kids.
Fly Me to the Moon, a benefit gala and show, takes place this Saturday at the National Dance Institute (NDI). The NDI's dancers, guitarists from Albuquerque Academy and other young dancers, poets, artists and musicians will take the stage to support kids facing health challenges. Adults will be part of the performance too, with talent such as Albuquerque's poet laureate Hakim Bellamy and Fred Simpson, master African drummer.
Fly Me to the Moon features a gala with refreshments before the show, or the option of show only. Tickets are $50 for gala and show, or show only tickets are $20 or $25. Tickets can be purchased through UNM Center for Life.
Find out more about the show.
Every Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, IHOP has a special Pancake Day to help charity. The deal is pretty sweet. You get a short stack of free buttermilk pancakes, and donate what you can to the Children's Miracle Network. The Shriners Hospitals, one of my favorite causes, is part of the network.
The free pancakes are available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. This year, IHOP hopes to reach a goal of $3 million.
Find out more about Pancake Day, and where you can get those pancakes in Albuquerque.