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Albuquerque Layers of History

I am immersed in the bathwater. I have been fighting a nasty cold for about a week. As winter break and my birthday approached, I decided I could use some quality time soaking in a bathtub. This is the primary reason I’ve come to Roadway Inn in downtown Albuquerque, to help recover from a cold. Lavender-scented Epsom salt transfers the heated water into healing water. I am content knowing this is much better than the three-minute shower allowed in my current rental (seems the hot water disappears fast). Believe me, it was worth it!

Roadway Inn, Downtown Albuquerque

In healing, the trillions of cells in my body arise to fight off alien bacteria and viruses. My body is a city. It carries the layers of life in scars, freckles, wrinkles, and greying hair. Everybody carries stories as does every city or town.

Albuquerque is no exception. In fact, this city has quite a history and is ever-evolving. Between soak sessions, I decided to wander down Central Avenue and visit Old Town. So, most of my sharing is in photo form. I do include some thoughts as they come my way.

Kimo Theater, Downtown Albuquerque

The Old Town was established in 1706, so the buildings of the area are well over 300 years old. The architecture reflects the Spanish and Pueblo influence and is built around a town square with San Felipe de Neri Church, the oldest building in the city, built in 1793. From 1593, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the main roadway from Mexico City to the south and Santa Fe to the north, meandered through the town. This was a major center for Spanish colonization of the New Mexico territory. So, consider this one layer of the city.

Town Square, Old Town Albuquerque

The second obvious layer reflected in a walk down Central is the route 66/ mid-century/ art deco architectural elements. Sometimes found uniquely in a building, such as the Kimo Theater, or simply in building details. The city has tried to build off this layer, but creating an art-themed center seems to have resistance. I think many like the “old funk” appeal of Albuquerque. I know when I lived in the city 30-some years ago, I always enjoyed exploring the pawn shops and the weekend flea market at the fairgrounds.

Some layers of this old city

Sadly, one of the elements found in the downtown area is the seemingly endless number of people living on the streets. I can’t really say why there are so many street people in the city, but they are a part of the cultural landscape. I have seen recent articles on the issues related to this dynamic and I doubt there is a simple answer to end this trend. I hope things can change for the better.

Garbled Graffiti along Central Avenue

So, join me in seeing some of the layers of Albuquerque. I hope you will enjoy exploring it as I have. Health and happiness to you and yours as we approach 2023! More history and more mystery are dead ahead!

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