I moved here in March, 31 years ago. I was very disappointed with the lack of green, the lack of (what I knew as) ethnic food, the sand that blew in my face, the lack of theater, music, (in my opinion) and the list went on. I moved here rather blindly from the greater NY area on the suggestion of a friend who attended UNM, and a few other folks from my home town who came out for a vacation and never came back. I followed them out here and became one of those new implants from the big city who complain incessantly about everything and whom locals roll their eyes at.
But it only took a few months for NM to charm me. Albuquerque became my home town. I would still snicker to myself when I thought, “gee, I am living in the biggest city in the state, and it isn’t even a city.” My then boyfriend, now hub, took me to the airport for my first trip back home, and I called it a hick town airport. (I was used to JFK and Newark Airports, both bigger than Albuquerque’s Sunport.) He stopped defending the Sunport when a man yelled quite loudly from the top of the escalator, “Rosa, where’s my moonshine?” I kid you not….true story, and the kind of thing that makes me love it here.
I still run into this type of thing from time to time and I thank God I am here in NM to experience it – to experience what I would never see in the place I left behind. Even though Burque is a big city now, it will never have that big city feel. (If I keep running into people I know all over town, then I am either really popular, or this city ain’t so big. I’m not that popular.)
Burque is destined to get bigger and bigger. Some say we are going to be right in the middle of the new “Heartland of America”. That makes me proud and scared. We will need transportation alternatives. We will suffer water shortages. We can learn from cities like Las Vegas, NV what not to do, and I hope someone is paying attention. I am happy I chose such a fine place to live and raise my family, but do I want to brave the changes we are sure to face, or should I make a run for it?
This link should take you to a great article about what may become of Central and Northern New Mexico. Mountain Megas: America’s Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper, It is an incredible report from the Brookings Institute. It is coming true, I am sure of it. I found this report extremely uplifting and encouraging, so I guess I am staying in Albuquerque. We are the epicenter. For those of you who are thinking of moving here you can’t make a better choice. To those of us with NM moss growing on us, (if there is such a thing), don’t go anywhere. Perhaps the best is yet to come.
The report tells that NM growth and diversity are a plus, and this is evident from the large number of businesses and corporations that are moving here, but existing transportation infrastructures are the big challenge. We know that. Albuquerque is growing rapidly and has been for decades. We feel the growing pains. This report is from July 2008. It outlines how well we will do with a little tweaking and some federal involvement, which is probably more likely now than it has been for the last few years. Maybe eight years. It is a “must read” for anyone considering relocation to another part of America.
I know there are people in NM who will see this as a bad thing, but I can hardly hold in my exuberance. Growth is inevitable. Assimilate, and enjoy! My conflict is over. I’m hanging around for this.
I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!