Gutierrez-Hubbell House

Bernalillo County Parks and Recreation owns and manages eleven very unique properties (totaling about 1,000 acres) under its Open Space initiative. What began as grassroots efforts by numerous local groups was confirmed by larger community support when a referendum passed in 1998 providing mill levy funding (similar to bond funding but with different spending parameters) for these undeveloped lands to remain so for the benefit and enjoyment of Bernalillo County residents and visitors. The properties have been proudly preserved as Bernalillo County’s environmental, historical and cultural treasures. One such jewel is the Gutierrez Hubbell House History and Cultural Center in the heart of the South Valley of Albuquerque.

Hubbell House

Photo by Joy Godfrey

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Cerrillos Hills State Park: Equinox Hike

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compliments of New Mexico State Parks


 

The vernal equinox is here. On March 20, 2015, the sun will cross directly over the earth’s equator, marking the beginning of our beautiful desert spring. Equinox, which is derived from the latin aequus and nox, translates literally as “equal night”— it is a special day of balance between nighttime and daylight, winter and spring. We believe it’s also the perfect time to practice the balance of mind and body; Continue reading

Learning the Ropes

Photo by Kitty Leaken

Photo by Kitty Leaken

The state of being fit is as different for each of us as the way we live, and to the extent that we live and work in our minds, our mental fitness is as important as physical. Heap on to our brainy lives a seemingly limitless barrage of stimulus vying for our attention, and well, if you happen to have a length of webbing and two trees to suspend it from, it’s time to walk a slackline.

Speaking with slackers David Moench and Jamie Spencer-Zavos, it becomes clear right away that, for them, slacklining is very much about focusing their minds. Yes, it’s physical but mostly it’s a meditative thing. David, who grew up in Placitas, New Mexico, told me, “It was invented by people rock climbing in Yosemite Valley, who wanted to take rest days. They’d play around, bouncing on webbing, in the campgrounds on their off days.” This makes perfect sense. If ever there was a sport and a group of people all about focus, it’s rock climbing and climbers. Continue reading

Congratulations, James Beard Semi-Finalists!

A huge congratulations to all of the amazing local chefs who were announced as James Beard semi-finalists for Best Chef Southwest! Click on the chef’s name below to view stories we’ve written about them in the past.
 
Best Chef: Southwest
 
Andrew Cooper of Terra at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe
Photo by Gabriella Marks

Photo by Gabriella Marks

Jennifer James of Jennifer James 101 in Albuquerque
Photo by Gaelen Casey

Photo by Gaelen Casey

 
Jonathan Perno of La Merienda at Los Poblanos in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque
Young Chef Perno with his brothers

Young Chef Perno with his brothers

Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe
Photo by Gabriella Marks

Photo by Gabriella Marks

Curious Pleasures

There’s an old poem about a wallflower growing in a crevice of stone. Unheeded by men of wealth, by vagabonds, shopkeepers and swiftly passing lovers, “its perfumes reach into the heart of each.” Is it not one of the more compelling notions to glance at the shy figure alone at the punch bowl, see a unique beauty that no one has beheld and become awakened to an enduring passion? Herein lies a lesson of opening minds and proclivities to the allure of overlooked wines. We want to pull focus from entitled, faddish varieties found on every by-the-glass list and hijacking store shelves. Not denying your Malbec, your tired, your poor, your masses of Cabernet Sauvignon—our intention is to liberate your huddled palates yearning to breathe free.

Merlot

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 11.55.28 AMThe movie “Sideways” is a freshly charming comedy featuring a sexy, desirable and memorable character. While the same could be said of Virginia Madsen as Maya, the scene stealer in this instance was Pinot Noir, one of the world’s noble grapes, typecast as the mysterious femme fatale. Pinot Noir producers saw their bottles fly off shelves and get 86’d on wine lists, while consumers saw prices increase. The spotlight is deserved (the prices, ehh, in some cases). Pinot Noir is hardly an overnight success. But did the filmmakers have to cast Merlot as the villain? “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving,” says Miles, the film’s quixotic wine aficionado. Merlot was sidelined and sales went in the tank. Plenty of folks still drank Merlot, some for the reasons Miles didn’t want to: it can be a crowdpleaser, soft, fruity, lacking in structure and complexity. However, we threw the baby out with the bathtub plonk. Delve into quality Merlots like Star Lane Vineyard Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara ($28), complexly structured with dark fruit and long finish; Swanson from Napa Valley, rich, ripe and concentrated, touched with mocha ($36); or Northstar, Columbia Valley, Washington ($30), elegantly finessed with red currant and black fruits. Continue reading

Barkin’ Ball 2014

photo courtesy of: Santa Fe Animal Shelter

photo courtesy of: Santa Fe Animal Shelter

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter (SFAS). Northern New Mexico’s largest animal shelter, SFAS is also one of the country’s most effective. In 2013, it had a live release percentage rate of 97; that number measures success in placing animals via adoption, return to owners or transfer to a partner organization. (To put it into perspective, the national average live release rate is around 40 percent.) Continue reading