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Aileen O'Catherine

Albuquerque

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Easter Brunch

Wednesday April 16, 2014

bunny

The list of places to eat Easter brunch keeps growing the closer we get to the holiday. Choose places that offer an elegant champagne brunch or a more informal meal complete with a visit from the Easter bunny and face painting with the kids.

Take a look at the options for Easter brunch.

Passover Seders

Monday April 14, 2014

seder

Passover begins at sundown tonight. The Jewish holiday known as Pesach in Hebrew, commemorates the Israelites' escape from slavery in Egypt. The ritualized meals contain unleavened bread, recitations of the dramatic redemption of their ancestors, and the seder plate, which contains symbolic foods that help tell the story of the flight from Egypt.

Passover is a time to reflect on what ails the world, and to seek justice for those who have been wronged. If you aren't having a seder at home, find out where to go to participate in the community seders happening around town.

Passover runs through April 22.

Photo © Scott & Zoey/Photolibrary

Best Weekend Bets

Thursday April 10, 2014

dye

The weekend's events include cars, a run and dye 5k, dogs, the Isotopes home game operner, our city's birthday bash and much more. Enjoy!

Budo
Josh Karp is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, recording artist, producer and touring musician. The trumpeter's unique sounds can be heard at the Outpost Performance Space on Friday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. Local musician Zack Freeman will open.

Cesar Millan
The well known dog whisperer will reveal the secrets of happier relationships between dogs and their human companions. The live show takes place at Legends Theater at Route 66 Casino on Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. Millan will be joined by his famous dog, Junior, and other dogs. An audience Q&A is part of the evening.

NM International Auto Show
Foreign and domestic manufacturers will be on hand to showcase autos and answer questions. See them at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Buy tickets online and skip service fees. The show takes place April 11-13.

Isotopes vs. Rainers
The Albuquerque Isotopes will open their home game season on Friday, April 11, facing the Tacoma Rainers. They'll continue to play Tacoma with more games Saturday through Monday, and on Tuesday begins its streak of games against El Paso. Go 'Topes!

Simon as Sergio
Simon pretends to be his brother online and then finds the girl of his dreams. The modern romantic comedy is part of the Linnell Festival of New Plays. See it at UNM's Experimental Theatre April 11-20.

To Kill a Mockingbird
The story of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era south, will be at the Albuquerque Little Theatre weekends, April 11 - 27.

Gibraltar
An adaptation of James Joyce's book Ulysses, the play is adapted for two actors. Delve into Joyce's language as it centers around Leopold and Molly Bloom, at the Aux Dog Theatre weekends, April 11 - 27.

Fishing Derby
Catch a rainbow trout at Tingley Beach on Saturday, April 12. The free event will feature more than 5,000 trout at the central pond. Catch one and win a prize. Fishing licenses required for those 12 and older. The derby begins at 7:15 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.

Run or Dye 5K
The colors of the rainbow will appear at Balloon Fiesta Park on Saturday, April 12. Kicking off at 9 a.m., the run features at least five dye stations with different colors. Albuquerque can use the Run or Dye color widget to vote for the color that should blast you as you run the race. Get colored like an Easter egg, then stay for the Dye Festival afterward, where you can Tie-Dye the Sky with your own packets of dye. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Lung Association.

Balloon Museum Car Show
See all makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles at the Balloon Museum. Enjoy a silent auction, live music, face painting exhibits and more, on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Founders Day Fiestas de Albuquerque
Join the City of Albuquerque as it celebrates its 308th birthday bash with a look at the history and culture of the city. The celebration takes place in Old Town, where there will be music, dance, food, vendors, entertainment and activities for the kids. The event is free and runs from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 12.

Second Saturday at San Ysidro
Learn about dogs and their history at Casa san Ysidro in Corrales. there will be a dog training demonstration and a talk about dogs in the ancient southwest. The event is free, and be sure to leave your pets at home.

Awadagin Pratt: The Emperor
The New Mexico Philharmonic will perform at Popejoy Hall with world renowned pianist Awadagin Pratt on Saturday, April 12 at 6 p.m. This is the last season concert.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The New Mexico Young Actors present the classic story, with young actors only, at the KiMo Theatre, April 12 and 13.

Spring Time Around the World Flower Show
See floral designs and unique plants that highlight the flowers of the world at the Botanic Gardens on April 12 and 13, as part of the spring floral displays.

Albuquerque Theater

The Gin Game
Two nursing home residents play gin rummy to pass the time, and discover life along the way. The Pulitzer-prize winning play will be performed weekends in Sandia Park by the East Mountain Center for Theatre, April 4 - 13.

Who Am I This Time? (and other conundrums of love)
Love, pure and complicated, told through three early comic pieces by Kurt Vonnegut. See it at the Desert Rose Playhouse weekends through April 20.

Dancing at Lughnasa
Five sisters in Ballybeg, Ireland living in extreme poverty find joy despite the extremities of their lives. See it at the Adobe Theater as part of the Southwest Irish Theatre Festival, April 4 - 27.

Into the Woods
The Brothers Grimm take Broadway in an epic fairytale updated into a modern classic. Staged by Musical Theatre Southwest on weekends April 4 - 27.

Arsenic and Old Spice
Join the Foul Play Cafe at Sheraton Uptown for a mystery dinner theater. Help headmistress Hedda Hare from McAdam Academy figure out who might have done her in. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through May 31.

Cause of the Week

Benefit: Shaken, Not Stirred
The Albuquerque Museum will have a cocktail party to benefit "Lead With the Arts" and other educational programs at the museum, on April 11 at 7 p.m. Lead with the Arts provides art studio experience for local high school students, who are mentored by professional artists, curators and educators. The evening includes a host bar, appetizers, live music and a raffle that has a trip to Paris as the prize. Tickets are $75.

Isotopes Begin Home Game Season

Tuesday April 8, 2014

ball

The Albuquerque Isotopes begin their home game baseball season on Friday, April 11 with a game against the Tacoma Raniers. The Friday game begins at 7:05 p.m., but gates open at 5:30 p.m. The first 3,000 fans get a knit Isotopes hat. They'll play the Raniers again on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

From Tuesday, April 15 to Friday, April 18, they'll take on the El Paso Chihuahuas. The kids will be on spring break, so it's a great time to take in a game with the entire family.

See the entire Isotopes home game schedule.

Photo © Aileen O'Catherine

Cake Pan Lending Now Available at the Library

Monday April 7, 2014

pans

This is such a great idea, it's a wonder no one thought of it sooner. The Albuquerque Public Libraries will be lending out cake pans now! Many's the time would have liked to buy a specially shaped pan that would make a cake shaped like a flower or dinosaur, but the cost often didn't justify the purchase. What if you only want to make that cake once? Thanks to libraries, you can now make that Elmos or Spider Man cake without the worry of the cake pan expense.

"Libraries aren't just trying to expand people's minds," said Linda Morgan Davis, Assistant Director of Collections and Community in a press release. "The library's role today includes helping people lead better lives in a variety of ways."

One of the best things about the deal is you can check out the cake baking books along with the pan. Pan varieties include Christmas tree, Darth Vader, Hello Kitty, butterfly, #1 and more. To find out more about the cake pan lending, visit the library online.

Photo © Annabelle Breakey/Taxi/Getty Images

Little Big Man Benefit Car Show and Concert

Saturday April 5, 2014

juju

The Little Big Man Benefit Car Show and Concert at the Journal Pavilion on Sunday, April 6 will feature lots of live entertainment, to include Fast and Furious, Assassin, Noel G, Mateo, Mo Money, Zig Zag and more. Special guests will sign autographs: Tim "Dirtybird" Means, UFC KOTC flyweight champ and legacy veteran Brenda Gonzales and Ray "The TazMexican Devil" Borg.

The proceeds will benefit three-year-old Junior Olivas, "Little Big Man," also known as "JuJu" to those who love him. Junior recently underwent a bone marrow transplant, and he is still recovering. Although he's doing better, it isn't quite time for him to come home, and the medical bills keep piling up. Junior has Cartilage-hair hypoplasia, a rare form of dwarfism characterized by an abnormal immune system.

Everyone has their fingers crossed that the transplant will continue its positive effect.

Sunday's event takes place at the Mesa del Sol parking lot from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $10 and children 12 and under are admitted at no charge.

Photo courtesy Meghan Daniels

Best Weekend Bets

Thursday April 3, 2014
Elvis in Old Town, spring cleanup, pillow fight day, and a benefit for the National Institute of Flamenco are just some of this weekend's activities. Enjoy!

Animal Myth Day at the Zoo
Is it silly to believe everything you hear about animals? Come learn the truth about why opossums play dead, why a zebra has stripes and how animals use patterns and behaviors to fool each other. Free with regular Zoo admission, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on April 4.

Elvis on the Plaza
Elvis spent time in Albuquerque, even performing at the Armory in 1956. He stayed at the Bottiger Hotel in Old Town. Celebrate his music in Old Town at the gazebo. There will be an Elvis impersonation contest, karaoke contest, classic cars, and food and drink. This is a free event, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Friday, April 4.

First Friday Fractals and Fractals Rock!
Art and science meet under the planetarium dome for these live presentations on fractals. See the show Friday, April 4 at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Friday, April 4. First Friday Fractals shows are at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Fractals Rock! shows are at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Jungle Book
The Cardboard Playhouse presents The Jungle Book, a tale of a boy and his jungle bear. See it at the North 4th Theatre April 4 - 6.

Albuquerque Coin Club Spring Show
Over 40 dealers and 100 tables of coins. Free appraisals, door prizes and coins will be at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Friday, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

International Pillow Fight Day
These events happen worldwide, and look like great fun. Anyone want to start one in Albuquerque? Pillow Fight Day is Saturday, April 5.

Spring Cleanup in the Sandia Foothills
Each Saturday in April, volunteer cleanup crews will meet at different Open Space areas to maintain trails and cleanup the area. Bring gloves, water, sturdy outdoor shoes, sun protection and a picnic lunch. April 5 cleanup is at the Copper trailhead, east of Tramway on Copper Avenue, beginning at 9 a.m.

Puccini and Popcorn
Parents and children of all ages can join conductor and educator Oliver Prezant to discover the world of opera. The free event at the Albuquerque Museum runs from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on April 5.

Art in the Afternoon
The free weekly event at the Albuquerque Museum features bossa nova and jazz group Jazz Brasilerio. Hear them from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

National Institute of Flamenco, De las Cenizas
The evening features eight renowned local dance companies, to include Kalpulli Ehecatl, Baila! Baila!, the Odara Dance Ensemble, and Festival Ballet. The concert will benefit the National Institute of Flamenco's fire recovery efforts. The event takes place at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Yesterday Once More: A Tribute to the Carpenters
The music of the Carpenters will be enhanced with behind the scenes stories and anecdotes of '70s pop culture. See it at Popejoy Hall on Saturday, April 5.

Introduction to the Classics: The Brahams/Schuman Triangle
Brent Stevens of classical KHFM will host a concert that introduces the triangle of Brahms and the Schumanns. The New Mexico Philharmonic will perform at the KiMo under the direction of renowned conductor Oriol Sans. The concert is April 5 at 6 p.m. at the KiMo downtown; doors open at 5 p.m. Sans will also conduct the Sunday concert at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, where NM Phil oboist Kevin Vigneau will perform two oboe concertos. That concert is April 6 at 2 p.m.

de Profundis
The a capella men's ensemble will present a medley of tunes of songs from across the pond. Yankee Ditties & Celtic Aires will perform on April 5 at St. Michael's and All Angels Episcopal Church, and April 6 at Immanuel Presbyterian.

MasterWorks of New Mexico
See the artwork of New Mexican artists in this free juried show. At the New Mexico Expo April 5 through the 26. The show is free; $5 for parking.

Albuquerque Theater

Juno and the Paycock
The Sean O'Casey play is directed by Brian Hansen and is part of the Southwest Irish Theatre Festival. See it at the Vortex through April 6.

Arsenic and Old Spice
Join the Foul Play Cafe at Sheraton Uptown for a mystery dinner theater. Help headmistress Hedda Hare from McAdam Academy figure out who might have done her in. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through May 31.

Dancing at Lughnasa
Five sisters in Ballybeg, Ireland living in extreme poverty find joy despite the extremeties of their lives. See it at the Adobe Theater as part of the Southwest Irish Theatre Festival, April 4 - 27.

The Gin Game
Two nursing home residents play gin rummy to pass the time, and discover life along the way. The Pulitzer-prize winning play will be performed weekends in Sandia Park by the East Mountain Center for Theatre, April 4 - 13.

Who Am I This Time? (and other conundrums of love)
Love, pure and complicated, told through three early comic pieces by Kurt Vonnegut. See it at the Desert Rose Playhouse weekends through April 20.

Into the Woods
The Brothers Grimm take Broadway in an epic fairytale updated into a modern classic. Staged by Musical Theatre Southwest on weekends April 4 - 27.

Cause of the Week

Ellen Reavis Race for Autism
Since 2009, the Ellen Reavis Race for Autims has gathered advocates, supporters and members of the autism community to raise awareness and acceptance and to educate for one day. The race takes place at Balloon Fiesta Park, where there will be a crafts fair, horse rides, jump houses, a rock climbing wall and an autism resource fair. The race takes place Saturday, April 5 beginning at 9 a.m.

Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant

Wednesday April 2, 2014

chimayo

When it comes to New Mexico, I'm easily smitten. I can see a string of ristras and be instantly charmed, smell a bowl of green chile stew and become ravenous. I can visit a village like Chimayo and fall in love. Can you fall in love with a place? One of the best things about Chimayo is the Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant. The restored adobe house was a labor of love for the Jaramillo family, who opened it in 1965 with the goal of serving authentic northern New Mexico food to anyone who stopped by. It's about to reach its 50th birthday, and no wonder. The food is wonderful, the atmosphere charming and the ride up to the village, well, let's just say whenever I visit, I always wonder why I don't go more often than I do.

Read about Rancho de Chimayo Restaurant.

Discover Hotel Cascada

Monday March 31, 2014

cascada

Though I've been to the Hotel Cascada in the past to hang out at their indoor water park, I recently had the chance to stay and see what the hotel was all about. Having gone on a weekend, I discovered it was prime time for the kids--though I should have known! Families take advantage of the hotel's in-town proximity to create mini staycations, and the kids must love it. The hotel was bustling with children in both the indoor pool and the water park. At this time of the year, the waterpark is only open on weekends, but in summer, it's open every day but Wednesday.

We enjoyed our stay, though next time I'd request a room away from the indoor pool or the water park, to increase my chance of a quiet morning. It's a definite hotel to put on your list of staycation weekends if you've got young ones or even teenagers in tow. The teens will love the FlowRider, a wave machine that will have them imagining they're beating the waves along the Pacific coast.

Read my review of Hotel Cascada.

Photo © Aileen O'Catherine

Best Weekend Bets

Thursday March 27, 2014

flag

The Vivian Vance exhibit opens Saturday at the Albuquerque Museum, with festivities to celebrate. There's also a special April Fool's event at the Natural History Museum, a spring cleanup and the Cesar Chavez march. Enjoy!

Nights at the Museum: April Fools Shindig
Get fooled by a street-style magician, dance to live music, enter the disco cave, see a planetarium show or talk with a curator. Will you be fooled? Cash bar for those 21+. It's happening at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science on Friday, March 28.

Opera Southwest: Bizet's The PearlFishers
The fully staged opera with orchestra presents a novel work by a young Bizet. See it at the National Hispanic Cultural Center March 28 and 30. Roger Melone conducts.

Backyard Garden Train Show
The New Mexico Garden Railroaders Club members will be at the Botanic Garden to show how your backyard can be brought to life with garden trains. The train displays will run 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 28 and 29 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 30. The show is included with regular admission.

Great American Clean-up
Albuquerque hosts this year's Great American Clean-up! The state-wide kickoff takes place Saturday, March 29 at Alamosa Park, 1100 Bataan Drive SW, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jobs include helping to repaint shade structures, bike racks, and re-sand the playground. Or you can volunteer to help with the cleanup at Route 66 Open Space in Four Hills from 9 a.m. to noon.

Showfest
New Mexico's middle and high school choirs will gather at New Mexico Expo and take to the stage to battle with their peers for the title of Showfest State Champions. Just as in the show Glee, kids will perform their hearts out. It begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 29.

Public Opening: Vivian Vance
Vivian Vance, best known as Ethel in the Lucy television show, got her start at the Albuquerque Little Theatre. The Albuquerque Museum will have music and performances to celebrate the museum show, Vivian Vance, on Saturday, March 29 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a performance at 3 p.m., music from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. with Swag Duo, and an art activity from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. It's all free.

20th Annual César Chávez March and Celebration
The free public event celebrates César Chávez's life. The march begins at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and ends there with guest speakers, community awards, dance presentations and live music. From noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 29.

Julio Iglesias
Spend an evening with the man who has sung duets with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Placido Domingo and more. He'll perform at Route 66 Casino on March 29 at 8 p.m.

Sibelius and Shostakovich
Conductor Oriol Sans and the New Mexico Philharmonic orchestra bring the magic of the circus to the stage at Popejoy Hall. Cirque performers from programs around the world will dazzle with their acrobatics on Saturday, March 29.

ABQ Grand Slam Poetry Championship
The top performance poets in Albuquerque will compete at the Outpost, with the top performer competing at the National Slam in August. The show takes place March 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Donna the Buffalo
The feel-good danceable music of Donna the Buffalo is a mix of Cajun, zydeco, rock, folk, reggae and country. Hear them perform at the South Broadway Cultural Center on March 29 at 8 p.m.

Sherman Alexie
Hear author, poet and screenwriter Sherman Alexie at Popejoy Hall. His sharp humor and stories about American Indian life have made him one of the most popular writers today. See him March 30 at 3 p.m.

Albuquerque Theater

Cinderella
The story of Cinderella in modern times involves a prince in love with himself and a king with a royal lifestyle. See it at the N4th Theater, performed by Elite Dance of New Mexico. See it March 28 and 29.

Hembras de Pluma
A collective of women artists present stories of childhood, love, loss, and growing older. See it at the National Hispanic Cultural Center March 28 - 30.

The Glorious and Bloodthirsty Billy the Kid
The wild west show and cabaret is one of Tricklock's biggest shows. Full of song and dance, stilts and hoops, the story explores Billy the Kid and killing in the American west. The show runs through March 29.

Fiddler on the Roof
Dairyman Tevye tries to instill traditions in his five daughters, but finds he has his hands full. See it through March 30 at UNM's Rodey Theater, performed by Landmark Musicals.

Juno and the Paycock
The Sean O'Casey play is directed by Brian Hansen and is part of the Southwest Irish Theatre Festival. See it weekends at the Vortex through April 6.

Arsenic and Old Spice
Join the Foul Play Cafe at Sheraton Uptown for a mystery dinner theater. Help headmistress Hedda Hare from McAdam Academy figure out who might have done her in. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through May 31.

Cause of the Week

Color Dash
The Color Dash is a 5k event that has you start your run with a clean white shirt only to end it with a rainbow of colors. You'll get 'colored' as you dash through, and the fun benefits the Watermelon Mountain Ranch programs. Watermelon Ranch is a no-kill animal shelter. The Dash takes place Sunday, March 30 at the Santa Ana Star Center. The dash begins at 10:30 a.m.; be sure to register ahead.

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