Albuquerque (April 17, 2021)

Albuquerque was a place for chores! Your humble narrator had laundry! The Econolodge had no machines (nor hot breakfast, which was understandable/expected for COVID, but in the year+ of COVID restrictions surely they could have changed their marquee?!)!

So I found myself a laundromat, with only quarter machines, and I only had a $20 that I didn’t want to convert entirely to quarters in their machine, so I had to find a breakfast burrito at Java Joe’s first to break my bill, and there was a girl rolling around in a greenman suit on a hoverboard, and it was like… wow I’m having a wild morning.

But ultimately the clothes were washed and it was time for Ollie and me to take a lengthy photo stroll first through Old Town, then along Mountain Road to the Downtown area, and then homeward bound on Central Ave/Route 66. This site was useful for identifying some of the murals along the way (mural names in filenames).

That evening I took care of two projects that were goals of mine on the trip! In fact, one inspired the trip, in a way. As the vague notion of taking a post-vaccination/yet-unemployed trip rattled around my brain I came across this 1969 Ernst Haas photo of Route 66 in Albuquerque:

From the caption on the National Gallery of Australia page: “Haas associated black-and-white photography with the horrors of the Second World War and he began to work with colour soon after moving to America in 1951. During the early 1950s, Haas hitchhiked across America, a journey which took him to the country’s Southwest – an area he regularly photographed over the next decades, noting changes taking place through modernisation at highly mythologised sites such as Route 66. Photographing the roadscape after rain, Haas depicts the modern Route 66 as a world of shimmering energy.

Thus, Route 66 was on my radar once again, and I had an abstract idea to try to recreate the photo. He gave me some help by including the “Carlisle” cross street in the frame, so before dinner I headed out (by car) through the University area to find the shot. I should have brought a longer lens, but some cropping got me pretty close:

And… my confession is that the universe didn’t bless me with an East-moving thunderstorm like it seemed to have Meneer Haas so I darkened the sky in Photoshop to match his. Here’s the original:

Oh, and the other project: a neon sign time lapse at El Vado, a motel/taproom/food popup venue where I had one of the best meals of my trip at Buen Provecho, the Costa Rican popup. After nearly a week of eating various forms of fried cheesy vittles (and their congealed leftovers), the fresh, vegan rice and bean bowl was just what the doctor almost literally ordered.

One thought on “Albuquerque (April 17, 2021)

  1. Richard Bennett says:

    Wow !
    Very nice historic scenery from Rt 66, amazing to see that very little has change in fifty years. Good job on matching the historic picture. Kinda sad to think, that even though millions of Americans travel by car every year, they will never see any of our countries’ historical sites. We live in the era of, the fast life. people are so in a hurry to reach their destination that they never think of stopping to take in any of the scenery. If a destination is about a twelve hour drive, you better believe that the average American will try to make it in ten, only stopping for food and fuel.
    I hope that one day I get the opportunity to travel the entire length of RT66, from Chicago to LA regardless of how many day it may take. I will take the time to make it one of life’s most historical trips.

    Like

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