The “A” List

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Albuquerque has multiple personalities. Not in the psychological sense (well, maybe, that depends on who you ask), but in the sense that it is filled with rich history, diverse cultures, beautiful vistas and outdoor activities. Albuquerque is known for its heavy Spanish, Mexican and Native American influences, but there also influences from the Asian, Middle Eastern and African communities. The richness in the culture plays out in the visual, performing and culinary arts. There still is a booming film industry and it’s not uncommon to be driving through the city and see the film marker signs or walking downtown past a live film set. You can hear live music every night of the week, and from community theater to Broadway musicals to impromptu street performance, there is something for all theater goers. The downtown community is the entrepreneurial hub with co-working spaces, incubators and access to the community college and university. There’s a bustling brewery scene and one can easily get java-nated in the city’s art-filled and eclectic coffee shops. And because Albuquerque is an urban area with pockets of rural farming, the farm-to-table concept and the many growers’ markets, reign supreme throughout the summer and early fall months. With 310 days of sunshine, there’s huge opportunity to soak it all in. Whether it’s hiking in the Sandias or Petroglyphs, biking on the trails along the Bosque or shavashyna in the park, Albuquerque’s got something for everyone that enjoys outdoor activity. The city is fortunate to experience all four seasons and fortunately, not to the extreme. With a short and beautiful drive, you can enjoy the changing colors in the fall and ski the Sandias in winter.

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For those of you who like games, Albuquerque is home to Minor League Baseball, collegiate sports and Premier Development League Soccer. The city is known for its rich history in communities like Old Town and Barelas. However, the Duke City (named after the Duke of Alburquerque) is also a cosmopolitan, mid-sized city drawing fresh out-of-college faces because of the startup scene and those looking to retire because of the mild temps, and access to services. The entire demographic spectrum appreciates the relatively low cost of living. The metropolitan area is host to a number of live-work-play communities such as downtown, EDO, Nob Hill and Uptown. In those spots, you can find great restaurants, shops, and other activities. It is a great town for a getaway, for a romantic weekend or a solo exploratory trip to find yourself.

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How do I know about what I write? I’m a Native New Mexican who loves to share and connect what the city has to offer to the outside world. I love fashion. As a designer and stylist, I appreciate the beauty in the authenticity of southwestern design, but there are also emerging designers with style so unique that I only see Albuquerque growing as a fashion mecca. Quaint shops and boutiques cater to the discerning customer with products containing the likes of lavender grown in the valley, custom made jewelry and clothing manufactured locally. As an entrepreneur in the creative economy, I have the opportunity to travel and I have to tell you there is a reason New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. Have you been in Albuquerque during the first week of October to see the sky full of color like a Dolce & Gabana runway? Or, have you sat on a rooftop bar sipping cocktails while talking with your party and watching the mountains turn that fleshy watermelon color against the velvet blue sky? Have you taken a stroll through Old Town on Christmas Eve to see it outlined in light by farolitos (aka luminarias—if you’re from Albuquerque)? That light against the Victorian and old adobe buildings transports you to a different era. There is also a sense of Zen in Albuquerque. The pace is a little slower, so people visiting from the fast-paced environment of the East Coast either love or learn to love the groove found in here. All these things have inspired me to create even more. I see the draw to so many visitors, and those who become “entrapped” by the Land of Enchantment.

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Life is about exploration, adventure and experiences. We take what we’ve learned and it shapes us into whom we become. It is not only about what we bring to the table, but what we learn from other influences. Thinking of the Andalusian region of Spain and the varying influences from early Iberians, Greeks, Romans, Byzatines, Castilians, Christians and Moors: they all played a role in the rich culture and diversity that the area provides. That is a glimpse of the Andaluz life—culture, food, travel, adventure, and conversation. It has to be fun, and to be part of it, is to be on The “A” List. With adventure, that can be found in your own backyard. That is what you will find here—enjoying a truly rich life! We hope you will follow along on the adventures or more appropriately misadventures of The “A” List.

Ciao until next time,

The “A” List