Over the past three years I have lived in Albuquerque, my mailman has been held up at gunpoint in front of my house in the middle of the day and our mail taken, my car was stolen twice- never to be seen again (and yes the doors were locked and there was a club on the steering wheel), I have learned that 98.6% of the population run red lights- every time, have had people recklessly cut me off in traffic and then give me the finger, heard/saw fireworks being thrown at cars by teenagers and legitimately thought they were gunshots, heard outside of my front door gunshots- then racing cars- then sirens, seen drunk people passed out in the middle of the road at 8am and have witnesses hard drug use in broad daylight, heard people walking up and down the street in the middle of the night checking car doors, seen cars on cinder blocks that have been striped to the wire, read in the news about the new "trend" of trucks stopping traffic in the middle of the highway to do donuts, I forgot how to say "hello" to people I pass on the street and have learned not to go to Big Lots on Zuni after dark, or anywhere on Zuni after dark for that matter. That includes the Central Bus line, at any time of the day. 5th most dangerous city in America folks.
But the culture is raw and full of diversity; the rough and dry quality of the lands give the people a harsh and earthly appeal, and when those hot air balloons are in the air, a sense of calm rest over the city. Same goes for the smell of roasting green chilies. Alternative medicine is accepted, supported, and respected. You can see the earth stretch for miles and the colors of the desert shows many shades of one color you never could believe possible. The desert is Beautiful. There is clarity in the vastness and solidity of the Sandia Mountains. Some say the crystals in the mountain are sacred. And the wind is a force that can shake the thoughts right outtaya. Drive for two hours in any direction and there will surely be something awesome to explore. I have called Albuquerque home over the past few years, and am grateful for the intensity of the area to help shape me and toughen' me up.
Oh the wild, wild west it is.