We stayed busy seeing the sights in Albuquerque, beginning with a trip to the Corrales Growers' Market, where we bought some jelly, pecans, red and green chiles and chile powder, all of which were produced locally. Farmers' markets are always a must stop for us, and this one was especially enjoyable, as a couple of entertainers were on hand singing western songs, one of which, "Ghost Riders in the Sky," is a favorite. I'm looking forward to using these new spices to make my own version of New Mexican red and green chile sauce. (Please don't tell anyone I know in Texas; I don't think sauces from New Mexico are legal there.)
After this, it was lunchtime, so we stopped at California Pastrami to split a hot pastrami on rye sandwich with a side of slaw. Now this wasn't as tasty as what you get at the Stage Door or Katz's in New York (as if there could be any better), but it was really good. Good enough, in fact, to go on our list of favorite restaurants on this blog.
Having gone for a few hours without shopping, Sandy felt obligated to correct that omission and save her reputation. So, I dropped her at the Coronado Mall, where she picked up something for the grandsons, who will be joining us in about a week in Durango. She returned to the car rejuvenated, chatting merrily about what she had found for "the boys."
She is truly the ultimate Mimi, complete with a license to spoil. Me? I don't remember saying no to, well, anything. I see my role as making sure the funds are readily available. I guess that makes me just as complicit, doesn't it?
After that, we made a stop in Old Town and took in a couple of the exquisite museums found there. At the Museum of Natural History, we decided to see a show in the planetarium. This was excellent, and we were a little surprised at what we had forgotten about what we see in the heavens.
We then went over to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History to take in the Route 66 exhibit. This was a very enjoyable and nostalgic visit to a simpler time when Americans were beginning to enjoy traveling their country in the postwar years. I love this historical period, and I applaud those who are attempting to save the iconic buildings along Route 66 as it traverses Albuquerque and much of the width of New Mexico.
Here is an iconic, art deco gateway sign the city has erected over U. S. 66 in downtown Albuquerque:
Do you remember these old signs at Chevrolet dealerships?
After enjoying the Route 66 exhibit, we strolled through the art museum, which had some very nice paintings. I'm not quite sophisticated enough, I suppose, to enjoy modern art all that much, so we didn't spend much time in that section. We saw later a couple of oil paintings with a western theme that we thought were spectacular.
The first one below was painted by Ernest Blumenschein in 1920. "White Sun and Star Road" was his impression of the angst among native Americans as a result of forced assimilation and the resultant loss of culture, as well as the generational reorientation of attitude between the elder man in the background (sadness) and the younger one in the foreground (definance); this is so well borne out in their expressions. The photo doesn't begin to do justice to the artist's magnificent work, including his amazing capture of the light from the noon sun that is overhead the two men. I would return to the museum again, I think, just to take another look at these paintings.
The next painting we liked was by Santa Fe artist Tom Palmore. He painted "Survivor" in 1995. It is a perfect rendering of a coyote and one of the most popular paintings in the museum. Again, the photo is wholly inadequate to portray the breathtaking likeness to the real animal.
After our afternoon at the museums, we stopped at Pad Thai, a tiny, family-run Thai restaurant where they know what they're doing with Thai food. Since the restaurant was named for the iconic Thai dish, that's what we had, along with a beef salad and chicken satay. It was among some of the best Thai food we've had and it, too, will go on our best restaurants page on this blog.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.