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Old 11-18-2016, 07:01 PM
 
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I've looked at New Mexico as a place to move to and so here are my thoughts on Albuquerque. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. It may help for you to know that I'm a professional in my upper 30s.


A big pro is that it's a very populated city but still maintains a small town feel. People are relatively friendly and courteous. It seems that a large part (but not all) of the city is safe, even late at night or early in the morning. On the other hand, it seems to live a little in a bubble. I get the sense that most people don't really pay attention to or care about anything outside of Albuquerque and if I talk about having been to anywhere outside of maybe Denver or Dallas people react as if it's amazing. That's not the end of the world, but it's a little odd.


It feels extremely crowded and cramped. I think this was because the population has been exploding and the city, as people love to tell me, is hedged in on all sides by either nature or the AFB. So the city is small -- I think you can drive from one side to the other in literally 20-30 minutes -- and homes are crammed right next to each other on block after block. There's not a lot of open spaces, like parks, although, yes, I know the Bosque is supposed to be extremely amazing (I haven't been there yet).


Similarly, the roads are overcrowded during rush hours. For about 90% of the day and night, the roads are great. There are few people on them, they're fairly well maintained and clean, and it's no problem. But during the rush hours or any time there's an accident, it's bumper to bumper. I got stuck in traffic once and it took me over 2 hours to go 10 miles. I don't know if that was an anomaly because I made it a point to never drive that way at that time ever again.


The nature of Albuquerque is remarkable. To have the Sandia Crest right next to the city is amazing (although, again, I get the sense that people generally ignore it). Every time I see it in the distance, I just stare at it for a while. I still take pictures of it, which I think greatly amuses the locals. I also used to think the desert was ugly, but I have a newfound appreciation for it, as long as I have water, ha ha. I'm probably a little irritating to people because when I see grass, I question how much water people are wasting to maintain it, but that's just me. I love having a grass lawn, but not in a desert. That's silly.


The drivers are terrible. I'm not going to elaborate.


This will probably upset people, but the biggest downside for me is that it feels very difficult to be single here. People get married young, have kids young, and it seems like a lot of them get divorced young. There's certainly a robust middle and upper class, but it seems like large swaths of the city are pretty poor, particularly people who were born in Albuquerque. Like, it seems like most of the more affluent people are those who moved here from other places. It's a weird dynamic. Most of the single women I meet are divorced with at least two kids and that's a little depressing.


There is a lot of really neat art and architecture that is native to the southwest in Albuquerque. Adobe buildings are very charming and functional.


This probably sounds stupid, but I have a tough time with the unrelenting sun in a cloudless sky. I realize it's the desert, but that's a big negative for me personally. I'm pretty shocked everyone in Albuquerque doesn't have skin cancer, ha ha.


Anyways, for me, Albuquerque definitely has its charms, but I think me being a single guy the dealbreaker is the singles scene for people who are older than 18. But feel free to correct anything you felt was wrong.
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Old 11-18-2016, 07:58 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
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I won't attempt to answer everything-- there are many other threads that will cover most of it. The climate is almost a perfect four season climate but the relentless high desert sun will get you so wear a hat. But that hat might blow away on our windy days.

The family orientation and focus here in Albuquerque is one the strongest characteristics. That has a bearing on the local focus for not leaving or exploring other places. It is hard to break through the family "shell" to make close friendships or maybe even for dating. Once you do you have a friend for life. Civic involvement seems a little passive compared to other places but that seems to be changing a little.

Traffic problems are accentuated by the bridge bottlenecks. We could use another bridge or two. Commercial development on the west side is clustered by the bridges so that adds to the traffic problems. That's true of residential development as well. Not all drivers are terrible but a few can screw things up.
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Old 11-18-2016, 08:08 PM
 
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I think I know what cramped and overcrowded feels like. Use to live in Hong Kong, NYC and Seattle ( which is a freaking nightmare now with crowding). I not once thought ABQ was crowded and cramped.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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As to the traffic - repeat after me: I will not live and work on different sides of the river. I will not live and work on different sides of the river. I will not live and work on different sides of the river. Unless you like traffic, that is.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkymonkey View Post
As to the traffic - repeat after me: I will not live and work on different sides of the river. I will not live and work on different sides of the river. I will not live and work on different sides of the river. Unless you like traffic, that is.
I get the feeling that this is because the housing on the west side of the river is less expensive (more bang for your buck), as it is further away and in previously undeveloped land.
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Originally Posted by isnm4me View Post
I get the feeling that this is because the housing on the west side of the river is less expensive (more bang for your buck), as it is further away and in previously undeveloped land.
Absolutely. It's a trade off. Maybe in 20 years when there are more jobs on the west side it won't be as much of an issue.
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Old 11-19-2016, 07:15 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque
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Why did the population grow so quickly?? Are there that many jobs or was it your basic migration to the South and Southwest?
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:20 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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Originally Posted by isnm4me View Post
This probably sounds stupid, but I have a tough time with the unrelenting sun in a cloudless sky. I realize it's the desert, but that's a big negative for me personally. I'm pretty shocked everyone in Albuquerque doesn't have skin cancer
We get clouds... Gotta learn when to go outside and look up











"New Mexico has one of the highest rates of skin cancer per capita in the nation, according to dermatologists."
Cutting edge New Mexico research helps detect skin cancer | KRQE News 13


However, it is not as high as Georgia or Delaware...

"The number of people who get skin cancer is called skin cancer incidence. In the United States, the rate of getting skin cancer varies from state to state. Melanoma of the Skin"

CDC - Skin Cancer Rates by State
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Old 11-19-2016, 10:46 AM
 
Location: .N6 A4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isnm4me View Post
On the other hand, it seems to live a little in a bubble. I get the sense that most people don't really pay attention to or care about anything outside of Albuquerque and if I talk about having been to anywhere outside of maybe Denver or Dallas people react as if it's amazing. That's not the end of the world, but it's a little odd.
I've commented that I find that a lot of the people I associate with (mostly at work) seem to live in a bubble w/r/t world events. On the other hand, I'm surprised to hear people reacting with surprise about your travelling outside the region. I know people who were born and raised here who are constantly travelling around the country, as well as outside of it (certainly more than I ever have).

I think there are fairly distinct cultural differences, along class lines, so the response you'd get to mentioning travel will depend on who you are associating with.

Quote:
It feels extremely crowded and cramped. I think this was because the population has been exploding and the city, as people love to tell me, is hedged in on all sides by either nature or the AFB. So the city is small -- I think you can drive from one side to the other in literally 20-30 minutes -- and homes are crammed right next to each other on block after block. There's not a lot of open spaces, like parks, although, yes, I know the Bosque is supposed to be extremely amazing (I haven't been there yet).
There's no question that the city is bound by some well-defined limits, but it doesn't feel particularly crowded and cramped to me at all. To me, it feels spacious. But I moved here from Philadelphia and had previously spent almost my whole life near that city. I'm often stuck at how frequently businesses I go to are just sitting in small buildings somewhere or other, without much around them. It makes me think of those whimsical maps produced for all sorts of towns and cities, which will have pictures of highlighted sites of interest, surrounded by blank space. That's the way Albuquerque feels to me much of the time.

Quote:
This will probably upset people, but the biggest downside for me is that it feels very difficult to be single here. People get married young, have kids young, and it seems like a lot of them get divorced young. There's certainly a robust middle and upper class, but it seems like large swaths of the city are pretty poor, particularly people who were born in Albuquerque. Like, it seems like most of the more affluent people are those who moved here from other places. It's a weird dynamic. Most of the single women I meet are divorced with at least two kids and that's a little depressing.
I can see how this would be an issue. Unfortunately, I'm not even sure I will ever make it back to dating at this point (due to unresolved health issues). I am old enough that if I ever resume dating, I will probably be with women whose children are now adults, so it could be a bit less of an issue. People do marry and have children quite young here, compared to what I'm used to.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:10 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 5,253,036 times
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Originally Posted by funkymonkey View Post
As to the traffic - repeat after me: I will not live and work on different sides of the river. I will not live and work on different sides of the river. I will not live and work on different sides of the river. Unless you like traffic, that is.
LOL -- exactly. I think a big reason I have such a positive view of traffic here is that I always lived within biking or walking distance to work, for 25 years here. Never experienced the traffic woes that people complain about. I would arrive at work and home feeling great. So that would be my advice to the OP. As soon as you can, move to a place where you don't have to deal with car commuting. It makes life so much easier. When you look to get "more bang for your buck" by living far away, you also get more headaches for your buck.

About grass: there are drought tolerant grasses that don't require much water at all. And grass helps lower temperatures and reverse the "heat island" effect. I have grass in my front and back yards that makes the air much cooler and enjoyable to be outside even on hot days. When people tear up their lawns and put in gravel, it raises temperatures city-wide.
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