Monday, March 16, 2009

Old Town Albuquerque - Where Past Meets Present

It's been three years since Albuquerque celebrated its Tricentennial anniversary. In a city full of creative people I found celebratory manhole covers placed throughout Old Town an especially fun idea; a nice mix of new artistry celebrating old heritage. Old Town is a lot like these manhole covers - full of 300-year-old adobe buildings that showcase a wide variety of new art in many different forms.

Hot air balloon enthusiasts enjoy Discovery Balloons, where there's everything from T-shirts to Tiffany-style lamps and wind socks decorated with balloons. In the shops of Plaza Dom Luis, near San Felipe de Neri Church, patrons purchase handcrafted kachina dolls, gorgeous handmade sterling bracelets or handwoven Native American rugs and baskets. And, of course, chile artistry is evident among the ristras, sauces, and rubs available in several shops near the central Plaza.

Old Town is also a place of celebration, from live mariachi music that fills a retail courtyard, to shop owners who 'christen' passers-by with brightly colored beads. And margaritas + enchiladas never taste better than when they're savored on a cozy patio with a view of New Mexican history.

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