Monday, March 31, 2014

Silver City - Land of Books, Gelato (Ice Cream) & Shoe Repair

UPDATE 3/2015
It was at Caballo Lake that I discovered my boot was coming apart. The nearest cobbler was Las Cruces, a metropolis notable for being the home of the Southwest Environmental Center, but I was westheaded. In Silver City I found Silver Shoe Repair at 806 N. door to The Curiosity Shop (see below). David Wait tried to charge me $5.00 for a $20.00 job, but I was too sharp for him. He bought the business a year and a half ago and is, I think, still thinking of dark ages wages. Hopefully, if he tries to price his work at 1940s prices, you too will insist on proper compensation. And an excellent job it was!

I owe it all to Karen in the Visitor Center who, on 3/31/14  *thought* there was a bookstore on Bullard Street, but cautioned that, "It may have closed."
It hadn't and as of 3/12/15 still hadn't. 

By the time I neared (I walked!!) the end of N. Bullard (back in 2014) I was about ready to accept her surmisal, but something pulled me on. And there, almost exactly, get that, ALMOST exactly fifty feet from the corner of College Avenue is The Curiosity Shop (808 N Bullard). Karen hadn't given a name but being a direct descendant of Rudyard's elephant, I right away expected great things.

She wore a hyacinth-purple sweatshirt and a smile to brighten even a day in Cleveland (Ohio). And though the store is advertised as a gift shop, the collection of used books (and other stuff) is phenomenal. Prices are consistent...between $2.00 and $3.00. 

While I browsed, a goateed strolled in and mentioned how difficult his partner was to get along with. The proprietress suggested maybe it was *he* who was difficult. He acknowledged that could be, but that her anger was often an indication of the pain she was in. I returned to my perusaling, but their conversation was more intimate than I've encountered elsewhere. It reminded me of a line attributed to Maya Angelou: I like to foster intimacy, not familiarity.

Even at the low prices I stopped myself at seven. As I stood paying, another man came in, handed her a bag of freshly-cleaned trout, and without a word, went back out. She said he throws most of them back, but brings her some every week. 

Obviously, a Hub of the Universe.

Eggbert, micro RV extraordinaire

That's it behind the lampost. Silver Shoe Repair is the blue door on the right.
The shadows were lengthening so I 'cided I'd best be movin' on.  

But luck had other ideas. As I was walking back to the car a child descending some steps with an orangefully bright plop in a cup directed me to notice the overwhelmingly mega window text: Alotta Gelato

I asked for spumoni and was told that most cities had a maker who supplied the vendors. He'd seen one recipe that included 28 ingredients and decided one had to draw lines somewhere. With that color still Clamoring In My Mind (John Denver?), I splurged for a medium-sized mango. The quantity was MORE than adequate and carried me into the evening. 

When I asked where it came from he replied, "Any idiot can sell it! We make it."

Here's his blog....

Here's the store's website....

They're both worth the trip. And STILL the myriad galleries! 

10 miles South of town there's dispersed camping at The Continental Divide Trail on highway 90 a few miles past Tyrone. Local yokels like to come through and pop off a few shots and there's cow shit and flies all over the place but it's free.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Yak Olimpics

In the Yak Olimpiks it's every Yak for themselves. 

The pole-vaulting is particularly fierce with no tho't except for winning.

The sport originated in the Days of Trebuchet....

BWCD (Before World Cat Domination), additional honor was garnered via being the Launchee. The mightiest warriors would fly over the bulwarks howling their terrifying cries!

First there's

The Approach

Followed by

The Launch

The Release is quite dramatic and...

the spectators' voices drown the commentary as all join in her emblematic cry...

The Descent

See my twidget?!! Hah, hah, hah!!

The Landing (on her feet, of course)


Below is a photo of a miniature yak. She's shown in the company of Roscoe-the-cat.

Drawings & Photos by Michelle D. Cook

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Albert Einstein Laughs Out Loud

A friend recently moved to a rural community about 50 miles east of St. George, Utah. She was anticipating a period of acclimatization, but they welcomed her with open arms and she's been on the go ever since. Here's her latest....

So, I was forewarned that the time zone differences between Utah and Arizona could be quite confusing when it came to business affairs and such.  Always have to make sure if what you're doing is in Utah time or Arizona time.  Little did I know that it was more confusing than just that!

I had plans this morning of going to Joanne's to help her with her gardening at 10:00 a.m.  I also wanted to do some of my own gardening chores before going over there.  When I walked out my apartment door I checked the time on my cell phone, it read 9:03 a.m. That gave me about 1 hour to get the work done that I had planned for my garden.

About an hour later I checked the time on my cell and it said 9:08 a.m.!  Now I know that my apartment  is in Utah and my garden is in Arizona! So I got ready to go to Joanne's and left at 9:11 a.m. and got to Joanne's place down the road at 10:20!

Just had to share this!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Redeeming Qualities - Albuquerque

When we had a national show of feminist art several of the artists flew to Albuquerque for the reception. One is now Associate Director of an art museum, another was then (still is) a V.P. at Paramount Pictures. As we discussed  places to dine, I asked if they wanted ambiance or good food. Good food was the easy winner.

That was years ago, but then as now  The Frontier, on Central Avenue (2400 Central SE 87106) across from the University of New Mexico serves some of the finest and, subsequently, is, as it has been over the decades, still the hub of the universe for artists of all types, politicians, and, of course, students. Their roasted green chili is the best in town (available for take-home in 8 and 16 oz containers) and their fresh-squeezed orange and/or grapefruit juices are non-pareil. The steak dinner competes with any you'll find elsewhere and their enchilada plate and huevos rancheros set the standard for the rest of the nation.

Another restaurant that helps redeem the town is The Kasbah. Tucked a few feet back from Central Ave on the East side of Monroe, it's easy to miss. Dad cooks and at least one of the daughters waitresses. They're from Tunisia so you're getting the real thing. Awesome doesn't begin to describe the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness.

Two others are: Los Cuates -- we frequent the Lomas or Menaul Blvd locations -- and a new vegetarian place that is, like the above,  outstanding...An Hy Quan Vegetarian at 1404 Juan Tabo NE. Hy Quan is the proprietor's mother's maiden name. She is the chef.

Once you're taken the tram to the top of the Sandias and seen The River, you'd do well to mosey on. The place is rife with criminals and other than the Guild Cinema, there's so little culture it's not worth the risks.

So why, you may ask, do I go there at all? I return to paint the pickets in the fence of an LTR; I leave as soon as possible.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Susie's Shooz

Well, I'll keep you in mind, but it's a little early.

Life in Albuquerque is pretty dismal. The steppe (supposedly covered with pinyons, junipers, oaks and wildlife galore before the Spaniards) has been overlaid by a vast, urban wasteland. It's claim to fame: the highest number of Walmarts per capita.

Ah, there's nothing better than shopping. 
To liven things up we decided to have a garage sale.  Among the items consigned were the fertilizer spreader (retired years ago when xeriscaping became de rigueur); a 1970s GE phonograph/radio left over from the days of fringe-topped suede boots; and the high point...Mom's collection of dancing shoes. 

She'd traveled Europe in her youth. Together with their original boxes, they hailed from exotic locales where handsome men (had) waited in line for her favors.

"Yes, I always wear white lace underpants with these." she replied with a disingenuous smile.

At 84 she's still quick with a risque rejoinder, but allowed as how it was time to let 'em go.

Bubbly? Of course!!

There's something about a man who drives a TC.

Her size, 4 1/2 - 5, turned out to be unpopular; we sold one pair. 

Perhaps these seductive shooz will help brighten your day.

I'm hungry, let's get some breakfast!