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My sign? Rusty pastel and dead neon

June 20, 2009

I want to give this guy a cape…or, some kind of ‘preservation chair’ at the city’s Planning Department.



Thanks for the follow-up, Jimmy

March 11, 2009

Emily Blunt graced the Late Night con Jaime Fallon set last night. Q out of the gate, “Did you enjoy filming in Albuquerque?”

Nice, Fallon. Watch Jimmy’s interview for yourself, or, embrace my abridged summary: Coronado is a real American shopping mall and try the Mexican Auntie Anne’s Pretzels.

Emily Blunt is no Jessica Alba

March 8, 2009

Uh, first question Ms. Blunt– How’d you get your name?

Someone needs to bring British actress Emily Blunt into the loop: Albuquerque is the most wonderful place in the world, if you’re doing an interview for your new film.

Poor Blunt dangerously toes well established Jessica Alba territory in an interview with NY Daily News:

That trailer park was a real location in Albuquerque. How did you like filming on location?

It takes some getting used to. We actually were given great accommodations to live in, but we also got a real sense of Albuquerque. It is a bit of a shock on the system – it’s rather a bleak place, and everything was beige. I ate a lot of Mexican food, though, so I was happy.

So, the food was good. Better than Applebee’s?  And, when in New Mexico try the Mexican. Got it.

Bleak, huh? Shock on the the system.  Hmm. Let’s try, “a broadening experience.”

Being fair, Ms. Blunt isn’t saying anything an out-of-towner hasn’t said before. Fine. Her quote is a 1.7 on the Richter Scale. But really, did she have to say beige? Why not “earthy heather?”

Coca-Cola gets hip to Blue Sky’s hippie vibe

March 6, 2009

You know what is nice about semi-trucks? They rumble. You can hear ’em from a mile away. Never have to worry about one sneaking up on you–until now.

I can only imagine the glum that beset HQ when Coca-Cola learned adding lime flavoring to your drink doesn’t make you a member of the green commercialution. (Confounding environmental movements! C’mon. Let’s uniformly throw our hands up in .) Fortunately, the company had a Plan B: hybrid diesel trucks.

Oh, baby.

Dear reader, let Coca-Cola be the first to introduce you to the Kenworth T370 Hybrid Tractor (PDF). Shazam!

From KING Channel 5 in Seattle, WA:

According to a company news release, Coca-Cola has ordered 150 Kenworth T370 diesel-electric tractors and 35 Kenworth T370 hybrid trucks, all of which will be on the road this year. The Kenworth T370 tractors (rated at 55,000 lb. GCW) are the largest hybrid delivery truck on the road in North America.

Hear that? Largest. Very nice.

Kenworth says Coca-Cola plans to use the hybrid tractors in Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, New Orleans, New York, San Antonio, San Francisco, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver, B.C. and Washington, D.C. The hybrid trucks will be deployed in Seattle, Albuquerque, Boston, Cincinnati, Columbus (Ohio), Jacksonville (Fla.), Knoxville, Las Vegas, Missoula and New Orleans.

Don’t you think Missoula should get MN in parentheses, too. Not because there are a bunch of Missoula’s out there, but because I’m not too sure many people know where Missoula is exactly.

So, anyway, do I buy Coke Zero because it is delivered on a hybrid or do I continue to surrender dead presidents to our local all natural carbonated kola syrup company, el Blue Sky Natural Cola ?

Answer: Coke Zero. Blue Sky isn’t local anymore, anyway.

Trader Joe’s trading in East Downtown?

February 29, 2008

The opening of any Trader Joe’s outside California makes news. I mean, what other grocer offers gluten-free organic TV dinners precooked frozen meals and two dollar bottles of wine? Exactly.

So, we all know the the sole Trader Joe’s in Albuquerque has gone completely gangbusters from day one. Heck, that wasn’t too hard to predict. SoCal ex-pats + -(Trader Joe’s) = Demand. Not very surprising, TJ opened their first Burque store smack dab in the middle of the most affluent part of town. (Forgive them for being risk adverse.) Anyway, after the Albuquerque store’s first week of operation the obvious question was, “Where are they opening the next one?”

Trader Joe’s is a fifty year old company, and if they wanted to be everywhere they could have easily raised the capital and done it by now.  Let everything marinate for a minute… ah, Trader Joe’s gestation period is a little longer than Starbucks.

So, are we getting another Trader Joe’s? Well, yes… to the best of my shaky/what you might call/close enough to knowledge.

Trader Joe’s locations are popping up a little faster around the country. TJ isn’t committed to a one store per town policy. So, more store openings and a bona fide hit in Albuquerque mean we’re getting another Trader Joe’s, right?

Yeah, those are good indicators, but we don’t know until we know, you know?  And, here is what I know: no one has said there won’t be more Trader Joe’s in Albuquerque’s future. BAM! How is that for insight?!

We’ve all heard murmurs about a new grocery store in Huning Highlands East Downtown… a Whole Foods? Trader Joe’s? Tesco’s Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market? We’ve also all heard a grocer won’t move in because there aren’t enough people. (*Cough* Bullshit. Residential density, while an important part of the equation, isn’t the only part of this algebra.  How about the near 100k that work in or commute through downtown daily?)  And, people are moving back to Downtown. Naysayers, do what you do, but folks are buying some (relatively) expensive square footage in Albuquerque’s core.

It is only a matter of time before Downtown strikes a grocer (besides Lowe’s). The hot action is still near Old Albuquerque High. While I like the idea, I have my doubts. Namely, traffic. Grocery stores are busy. Where are you going to put the cars? What are you going to do when the intersections back up? I’ve heard several folks suggest a store on Arno St. Well, the only space with the right footprint seems like the ABQ High Arts building. Nice pad, but you can’t have grocery store traffic there (unless you maybe block auto access to/from Central Ave.). I’ve visited other downtowns’ grocery stores with underground or rooftop parking, but I think it’s safe to say we won’t get anything like that at Old ABQ High. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea, but logistically I don’t see it happening. Someone, show me how it is suppose to work.

Back to Trader Joe’s. Last year I spent several months working in California. My temporary residence was across the street from a TJ. I’d stop in every two or three days to pick up some carbs, protein and other food pyramid blocks. Anyway, checking out one day, the manager rung me up. He wanted an ID for the booze. Scoping it, my bearded clerk voluntarily voiced, “New Mexico? Don’t see to many of those. You live in Albuquerque– we opened a store there not too far back. It’s doing hella good business. We’re going to open at least another there.”

And there you have it. Some store manager out in California says we’re getting another Trader Joe’s. It’s gotta be true, right? Yeah. Well, we’ll see.

I like the EDo idea. It’s the whole fruition part I’m waiting for; we’re waiting for. There has to be something behind it.  You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it. Golly-gee. Enough hearing, let’s see something.

In other grocery store news, I think we’re a day or two from seeing our another Whole Foods proper. Peep the Carlisle/Indian School Wild Oats, yo.

Tonight Downtown! Sounds of smoldering ash!

February 28, 2008

If I want to have an afternoon beer, then dammit I’m going to have one ten. Unfortunately, the Golden West is ashed out, the El Rey’s terracotta roof is a little over baked, and the Launchpad is grounded indefinitely. You can’t judge me.

The video is just unreal. I can’t believe it.

Not that any of the venues are the 8th Wonder of the World, but the Golden West and El Rey are grossly historic. I hate to say it, but  you don’t know [what you] have until its gone. I think a lot of folks took the history of the El Rey for granted. Always a little outshined by the KiMo, you know?

The Launchpad was well on its way to becoming one of those “must have” played venues for future legends of rock, too.

I hope Joe Anderson can bring “Burque’s Best Music Venue” back to life. Man. And God bless Kathy Zimmer and her family’s effort in recent years to revitalize the Golden West and El Rey. Not that everything was perfect, but did you catch a show there lately? Talk about steps in the right direction.

The Trib shuts down on Saturday and El Rey/Golden West burn down on Thursday? Albuquerque, preserve your freakin’ history.

What a blow to the local music scene.

Urban Outfitters now fitting Nob Hill?

February 21, 2008

Nothing gives you street cred like shopping at chain retailer, right?  Certain Duke City urbanites have clamored for for years, begging for urban chic clothiers to infiltrate Burque’s turquoise lined coffers. While ABQ Uptown has fancied a few foreigners, it’s failed to allure a number of the boutique-big guys: American Apparel, H&M, Urban Outfitters, and high-end label specialty stores. Well, folks, a new day might be ready to dawn. Through some strange sorcery, Urban Outfitters may actually materialize in Nob Hill.

The legend has circulated for years and, yes, many passed it off as mere myth. A myth? Maybe no more. Evidence? Urban Outfitters is looking for a store manager in Albuquerque. Granted, this is the only job posting for the Albuquerque manager position I can find. Granted, I can’t find the date for when this job posting was, uh, posted. But you don’t go around posting for positions you don’t intend to exist, right?

Fantasy! you say? Well, the idea isn’t as far fetched as you may want to believe. Late last year, Urban Outfitters, Inc. opened an Anthropologie in ABQ Uptown. A first dip in the muddied waters of the Rio Grande! Once you go Grande… (I’ll leave that one right there). Anyway, the Company is here; right in your own faux new urban retail center (read: outdoor mall). Do you really think we’re that far removed from an Urban Outfitters proper?

So what is this about Nob Hill? Well, I’ve heard from at least one Nob Hill business owner about some shifty UO operatives creeping around the ‘hood. Something about a spot really close to Il Vicino. Nah, there is no space there. Perhaps a new tenant at The Place? Perhaps. I haven’t heard any announcements on future tenants, yet. We’ll just have to wait and see. Uptown is clearly out. Too shiny, not enough vacant square footage–yet. Downtown? Nope. Downtown is having a chicken or the egg problem. Look, either folks need to move down there or shops need to open up down there. One has to come before the other. Stop waiting for some cosmic big bang to make it all happen at once. So as it is, Downtown is out and Nob Hill must be in.

How you like dem apples? Sure.  There is a lot of hocus pocus magic type-o-stuff going on, but there is something going on. What exactly, eh…over it.