To this day we still don’t understand why Bugs Bunny always made the wrong turn at Albuquerque, or "Alba-koykee", as he would say it. Click here to relive a childhood classic.
Albu-Quirky — The Odd and Unexpected
We hung around Albuquerque for a couple of months … just long enough for a little of the city’s quirkiness to be revealed. The Duke City, it seems, has a long history of providing the ideal hideout for creative and imaginative artists, intellectuals and “serious eccentrics". What attracts these folks to this area can be debated, but we can categorically say “There’re here.” As we wondered about town we saw museums, traditions, homes, signs and art work that can only be described as “Albu-Quirky.”
(Note: You can click on some of the photos on this page for a larger view.)
Known as the Spaceship House, this is the home and studio of Albuquerque’s most celebrated contemporary architects … Bart Prince.
Internationally-known architect Bart Prince is a native of Albuquerque. We were blown away when we came face to face with his otherworldly designs … he is now one of our favorite architects. He designed and built his studio and living space on a small lot in the Nob Hill area. Click here and here to learn more about his incredible architect.
Located on the university campus is a mysterious building that is veiled in secrecy and where only fraternity members are allowed inside. Known as La Estufa , this small, unassuming circular structure was built between 1906 and 1908 as a meeting room for a local fraternity. It has 14 inch thick adobe walls and was modeled loosely after a kiva located at one of the nearby Pueblos … the interior is thought to be a pit with seating around the edge.
Albuquerque was home to travel writer and distinguished war correspondent Ernie Pyle. The city acquired his modest home from the Pyle estate and in 1948 converted it to a branch library. Today it is the smallest and, according to the librarian, one of the busiest branches. Click here and here to learn more.
The original interior room configuration of this modest house has been maintained. It is a sight to behold to see how every square inch of space is used … the garage is the children’s room, the kitchen is an office, and closets are lined with books … even the functional bathroom is used as the periodical room. OK ... now that's quirky!
Among the regular library collection, the branch has Pyle’s collected works and a few personal items on display.
The librarian told us that Pyle’s dog Cheetah outlived both Pyle and his wife. In the side yard we found Cheetah’s grave marker. Click here to view.
Danny snapped this Black-tailed Prairie Dog’s portrait at the colony housed at the Rio Grande zoo. Since the “dogs” were busy digging, sleeping and mating, we had to wait an inordinate amount of time to capture this critter in such an alert pose.
Albuquerque is the only city we know that permits prairie dog colonies to exist right in the middle of town. While we were here there was a big news story regarding the public outcry of a planned bulldozing of a colony to build a playground. Prairie Dog Pals is a local group established to provide food to the colonies when conditions warrant and work with contractors to relocate the colonies when infill building occurs. Click here to learn more about ABQ’s prairie dogs.
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