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Recchia

Albuquerque (am i even spelling it right?)

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Okay everyone I need some help. Does anyone know anything about Albuquerque? I might have a job offer there, and I know nothing about it at all. I'm from Rhode Island and have never been west of Philadelphia, so anything you can tell me would be great (where to live, is it nice, transportation options, am I in for major culture shock, etc. etc.) Thanks alot in advance.

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Couple more things, hows the cost of living, etc. (is it feasible to get a condo/house for under 200,000) and is it a huge sprawled mess like Phoenix and Las Vegas are?

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Cost of living is pretty low is ABQ, you should have no problem finding a house or condo for under 200,000. In fact, I think you will find compared to RI you will be living very well if you move over with similar or better salary.

Transportation options are pretty limited. They have a bus system and are looking at implementing commuter rail. But it's definitely a car culture in the city.

You are in for a bit of a culture shock, though not as bad as other areas in New Mexico. Weather and climate are going to be completely different that what you get know. Certainly a lot different cultural makeup. It's not big enough to be a sprawled mess, but did do a lot of growing in the 80s and 90s when sprawl was king. Don't expect to find NE style city. It's density levels are probably more in line with LA or Phoenix.

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ABQ is a brown, drab city. It has some bright spots, but I don't think I could live there for a long time.

I just visited back in February. The city is basically laid out in four quadrants with Interstates 40 and 25? running through the middle.

Everything is brown, brown, brown. From my impression, there are a lot of low income and a decent mixture of upper-middle income areas. Downtown is nice and clean though not impressive. I am not sure what housing costs there.

There's a great Brazilian restaurant downtown as well as some authentic New Mexican style restaurants near one of the malls.

Additionally, I find it interesting that 1/3 of the state's population lives in Albuquerque. I believe there's just over 700,000 residents (with little to no suburbs).

Hope this helps a little.

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Excellent, thanks alot for the replies. I looked up some houses there on realtor.com, REALLY cheap compared to the northeast, I'm amazed. Is there much housing within walking distance of downtown? Anybody know how good the bus system, I really am a fan of transit and would love it if I could get around without much use of a car.

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Yeah searching around online I found some real affordable houses listed in the "downtown area." I kinda like the idea of the brown landscape, I've always wanted to see the desert and don't care too much for yardwork and landscaping anyway. Guess I gotta head out there and check it out for myself. Thanks alot for the posts, they've been a great help.

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I kind of liked my brief visit to Albuquerque (early 2005). There is a major university there (UNM) which helps attract culture, sports, and the like. Also there is some excellent Mexican/Southwest cuisine, so hopefully you are into that! The city is near the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, which seemed to have some good hiking options. I understand there are some awesome mountains up by Sante Fe and Taos, which aren't that far away.

The side of the city closest to the mountains seemed nicer than the lowland side which was more sprawled and kind of depressing. The summers might be toasty and I'm not sure what the water situation is like in central NM. But certainly you could do much worse than Albuquerque.....

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The side of the city closest to the mountains seemed nicer than the lowland side which was more sprawled and kind of depressing. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's funny, I could almost tell that from lookin at the aerial photos (nice 2002 ones on terraserver). The eastern side looked alot more urban, whereas the western end, especially to the northwest, was already gridded out in that windy suburban subdivision style, but no houses were built yet. I was shocked when I first saw this, then remembered that hey this is the southwest, and at its rate of outward growth they must build massive subdivisions all at once. Thanks for the info.

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It's not overly hot as in Phoenix or Tucson. People tend to forget it's as high up in elevation as Denver. There's a large hispanic population there, as should be expected. Also a number of Native Americans. There are numerous Pueblo Indian groups in the region. It's celebrating it's tricentenial this year I believe. I don't live there but have family that moved to New Mexico several years ago. Even if you're not a huge fan of Albuquerque there are many interesting things in the region. The Chihuahuan desert to the south. Santa Fe, Taos and the Rocky mountains to the north. Nineteen Pueblo Indian groups scattered throughout the area. The Navajo and Apache aren't too far away either. There have been a large influx of people into Albuquerque so the culture has changed some. But there are still places in New Mexico where you almost feel you're in Mexico not the US. It's a unique culture, where in many places the 'gringos' conform to the long standing culture not the other way around. It's not as common but you can still go to places in northern New Mexico and hear 15th century Spanish spoken. There's also a unique style of food, it's not Mexican and it's not Tex-Mex. The green chiles and carne adovado are great. All the brown is adobe (or mainly stucco in modern times). If you don't like it certainly don't go to Santa Fe. They have very strict building codes there. The Spanish settled Santa Fe around 1609. So there's a unique culture that's developed that's quite a bit different than anything else you may have experianced. There tends to be a very laid back culture, although this doesn't always apply to Albuquerque.

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It's funny, I could almost tell that from lookin at the aerial photos (nice 2002 ones on terraserver). The eastern side looked alot more urban, whereas the western end, especially to the northwest, was already gridded out in that windy suburban subdivision style, but no houses were built yet.  I was shocked when I first saw this, then remembered that hey this is the southwest, and at its rate of outward growth they must build massive subdivisions all at once.  Thanks for the info.

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This is mainly the suburb of Rio Rancho to the northwest. It really grew with the large influx of people in the 80's and 90's. You can also see a lot of this further to the south near Belen.

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Mith-

Thanks for all the helpful info. I've never been to the desert but Albuquerque sounds very enticing. I love the pictures of the houses there, and I also like how alot of the "lawns" are sand/dirt (they look like it I think from the aerials) ---atleast they're being realistic unlike in Phoenix where they waste tonnnns of water just maintaining a stupid front yard.

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Mith-

Thanks for all the helpful info.  I've never been to the desert but Albuquerque sounds very enticing.  I love the pictures of the houses there, and I also like how alot of the "lawns" are sand/dirt (they look like it I think from the aerials)  ---atleast they're being realistic unlike in Phoenix where they waste tonnnns of water just maintaining a stupid front yard.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Tucson has this sort of landscaping as well: dirt, rocks and native plants. It looks very nice. There are only a couple of neighborhoods in town with grass in the yards.

Albuquerque and Tucson have quite a bit in common actually (population, demographics, location, surroudings, climate, history, growth patterns, politics). Tucson also has heavy light pollution restrictions that have pros and cons.

Albuquerque is surrounded by some beautiful desert and mountains, and the entire state is definitely worth at least a week-long trip. I'm trying to get friends to come there for July 4th: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Enchanted Circle, Las Vegas. There's lots to see and do, plus Albuquerque is a very cool town.

Some pictures:

Central Avenue Downtown:

6.jpg

One of the many beautiful murals Downtown:

11.jpg

Rio Grande Nature Center:

23.jpg

Aquarium:

19.jpg

Sandia Peak Tram:

h6.jpg

UNM Campus:

2.jpg

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Colin-

thanks for the great pictures. I gotta head out there sometime and see the desert! Alb and Tucson sound interesting, with a lot of neat culture that is lacking hear in the northeast.

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Mith-

Thanks for all the helpful info.  I've never been to the desert but Albuquerque sounds very enticing.  I love the pictures of the houses there, and I also like how alot of the "lawns" are sand/dirt (they look like it I think from the aerials)  ---atleast they're being realistic unlike in Phoenix where they waste tonnnns of water just maintaining a stupid front yard.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes most lawns are without grass, but There are some older neighborhoods that do have grass lawns and houses that are more typical of the east. They do have water police that check to make sure people aren't wasting water during dry spells, as I imagine other places do also. Some of it depends on what part of the city you end up in. Some sections along the Rio Grande can obviously end up wetter than others. The eastern edge of the city is higher up in elevation. It's possible to have some grassy areas there. The city looks relatively flat, but slopes both to the east and the west. To the west is a mesa and the 'volcanos'. I believe there are seven of them, all of them rather tiny compared to what we usually think of as volcanos. They haven't been active for several thousand years, in case you're wondering. Then to the east are the Sandia mountains. To the southeast are the Manzano mountains. Both top out a little over 10,000 ft. Albuquerque having around 700,000 people in the area is prone to having some air pollution. Especially since most cities out west are built around roads and cars. But New Mexico is known for it's clear air. The desert air and high altitude makes everything look more distinct. You can see things from a lot further away than you could at other areas. It also makes for some incredible blue skies. New Mexico has attracted many artists because of those reasons. If you have any other questions about Albuquerque or the area feel free to ask.

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