What we think of as “Americana” is changing. A covered bridge in New England, a carhop waitress on roller skates, men at the barbershop on a Saturday afternoon – Norman Rockwell did it so well in his paintings that depicted American lives for the last half century or so. I think the scenes are changing, and this is a photo story that tells of new Americana mixes with old and is becoming every bit as much of a classic than anything else these day. I like that things are changing. We all love nostalgia, but change is good too.
We had some regular (repeat offenders!) guests stay with us again this July at our Albuquerque bed and breakfast. These folks are so good at finding new things to see and do in Albuquerque, and this time, lured by a fascination of the how, what, where and why of the phenomenon of Lowriders – hydraulics, la cucaracha horns et al – they wanted to check out a “Low Rider” shop. It just so happens there IS such a shop in our north valley neighborhood, and with one curious phone call the lowriders welcomed them into their world with open arms.
My guests were full of questions and what they got was the full shop tour and history of lowriders. The first lowriders came to be in the 1930′s in the American Southwest, where their motto was “bajito y suavecito”, low and slow. What started with sandbags in the trunk developed into an industry of stock modification and custom divergences from the normal street worthy automobile, rendering some not-so-street-legal fantasy cars that could hop like a conejo and crawl slower than la cucaracha. The term “lowrider” can mean the car or the driver. The culture thrives today and the cars continue to turn heads when they roll down the road.
When our guests returned from their educational afternoon they were grinning and delighted from their experience, which prompted me to ask for names and pictures. They were impressed not only with the hospitality of Classic Cars of New Mexico, but also with the immaculate condition of their shop, which my guests said “…was so clean you could eat off the floor.” Bravo to these Burqueños for treating Adobe Nido Bed and Breakfast guests so well, and for keeping the lowrider culture alive, well and thriving in Albuquerque.
Here it is… a new representation of what I believe is becoming the new Classic Americana. Don’t you agree? Click on each picture for a bigger view.
Classic Cars of New Mexico
5911 Fourth St NW
Albuquerque NM 87107
Sharing the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!