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Old 06-04-2007, 07:17 AM
Location: California, again...
232 posts, read 845,959 times
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As far as quality of community, life, working etc. I have heard some widely differing stories on Gallup. Anyone care to set me straight? I will be moving inside the next month and need to get things nailed down.
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:51 PM
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Poverty- Gallup is one of the poorest if not THE poorest towns in the state. Its population is actually dropping, very strange for a New Mexican town.

Politics- Gallup is a very liberal town, if you are a conservative like me that is a bad thing.

Crime- Very high I am afraid.

Weather- Quite mild most of the year, very windy in the spring, occasionally very low temps in the winter.
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:34 PM
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I really like Gallup, but I'll try to be objective. Just keep an open mind. There are some not-so-nice things about the town that I found I got used to and didn't really mind. Every town has its problems. Gallup isn't any worse than most small towns.

Poverty- It is rather high. The town looks run down and depressing. You may encounter panhandlers.

Politics- Like sisco55, I am very conservative. Unlike sisco55, I found Gallup fairly welcoming. Politics may lean a bit liberal, but I never found it to be an overly political town. Most people there are just apathetic towards politics and so the subject rarely comes up in a conversation.
New Mexico as a whole is a good state for conservatives: Some of the most lax gun control in the country; no annoying smog emissions/ safety inspection for your car (except in Bernalillo County); few regulations for homeschoolers.

Crime- I lived in Gallup for 3 years and found it quite pleasant. Just a quiet small town. The official crime stats are intimidating, but I found that they amount to nothing if you are in a nicer part of town. Make sure you live on the south side of I-40 in the middle/ east to east end of town. If you want an apartment, call Combined Investments and ask if they have any vacancies at Park Apartments. It's in a great area and inexpensive. The worst thing I ever personally encountered in Gallup was a few panhandlers (while visiting a so-so part of town). There are quite a few panhandlers in Gallup on the weekends. They flood in from the reservations. In New Mexico you can carry a handgun openly w/ no permit or concealed w/ a permit. I carry openly and find it to be a reliable scum repellent. The police are supportive and well-informed concerning the legality of this practice.
When I first lived there, I asked many old Gallup residents about the crime stats and if I should worry about them. No one could give me any specific examples of crime, whether through personal experience or even hearsay. When sisco55 says crime is "very high", I'd like some examples (seriously, I have an open mind). Normally I would just rely on the stats, but considering I lived there and found it more than tolerable, I am unconvinced by the stats.
Bottom line: If I were going by the crime stats, I would steer clear. If I am relying on personal experience, I highly recommend it.

Weather- Great! Remember, the altitude is 6,515. The summer heat is dry and mild. The average high is about 85. Summer nights are like southern California. It can get down to around 50. The winters are also mild. You'll get a beautiful snow a few times per winter. It usually melts by 10 AM.

Culture- Very diverse, but everyone pretty much gets along. There is a Navajo reservation nearby, and their culture is dominant as far as local events and gatherings are concerned.

I did the best I could providing info while in a rush. PLEASE feel free to ask further questions or request clarifications.

Last edited by Rothbard; 06-04-2007 at 02:36 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-04-2007, 08:57 PM
Location: California, again...
232 posts, read 845,959 times
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Thank you Sisco55 and Rothbard for replying to my post.

Maybe a bit of background will help, Hubby and I used to work as long haul truck drivers and we are looking for quiet and just a bit of mischief...err something to do . Navajo being the main part of the culture in this area is new and attractive to us. We are both avid shooters and being able to purchase/keep/carry guns we are interested in is a great plus. I am also very happy to hear from someone that has lived there that the town "climate" is pretty much like small towns everywhere. (We once lived in a tiny Michigan town.....population of 400 and an ATTITUDE )

We were originally looking at Gallup for for a few reasons.
1) the weather looks very appealing to us.
2) just enough purported culture, rockclimbing, hiking to keep us from being bored but not enough to attract a huge crowd (Vale, Bullhead etc)
3) Gallup has it's own water supply (So. Cal. is down to ONE pipeline for WAY to many people at this time)
4) We have been looking at an area we can rent a small house with a bit of land to raise chickens, goats etc that is not prohibatively expensive. (We will have a small nest egg but our main income will be from whatever local part time kind of jobs we find)

We are very laid back and really desire a live and let live kind of attitude. By the way, what is up with the Park apartments you mentioned? Why those specifically? If we find something the locals (natives) are doing that we think is cool, will be be welcomed or are outsiders not desired?

I would really love to learn anything that you can possibly tell me about the town, so please feel free to chat away, we are looking forward to hearing much more.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:02 AM
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Glad to hear you are avid shooters. Check out Bill's Reloading gun shop on Rt. 66. Good ol' boy central. It's small, but they can order anything. It's usually quiet, but sometimes a lot of cool people hang out there. The cops will usually let you go shooting at their range behind the dump if no one is using it.
Given the additional info you stated about your interests it sounds like Gallup is also right up your alley as far as weather and hiking/ rock climbing. I knew lots of people who were into mountain biking, etc... I don't know anything about it, but they always said it was world class in the Gallup area.
If you want to rent a house, there are plenty of choices. People w/ lots of land and space usually live on the far east or far west side of town. At first, I did not know whether you wanted a house or an apartment. I mentioned Park Apartments because I lived there and really liked it. If you want an apartment, unfortunately it is the only acceptable choice in town as far as I am concerned. It is the only complex w/ washer & dryer inside each unit . The complex is also in a great, quiet part of town and right across the street from Ford Canyon Park. For a 2 bedroom, it is very reasonably priced. When I moved out, I was paying $525 per month. They are old, but well-maintained buildings. The kitchens are also more spacious than most apartments nowadays. Being so old, the toilets and shower heads have great water pressure. They don't follow the federal wacko environmental water conservation regulations that essentially render all toilets and shower heads defective.
If you want a part time job, there are plenty of service industry jobs, but that's about it unless you know people or have special skills (Can you do automotive work?). Gallup is pretty lazy overall, so if you just give your employer just a little bit more dedication than he expects, you will be a valued employee forever.
Another reason Gallup is right up your alley is that "laid back" and "live and let live" pretty much sum up the essence of the town.
Although race relations are fine, you may find some anti-white racists; more likely within the Hispanic community rather than the Navajo. I taught at Gallup Mid School and I will say that I would not place my white child in a public school in that town. The non-white youngsters are the the most racist towards their peers. I am kind of a homebody who spent more time with my family than anything else, so I was never out and about much. What I've heard is that some of the bars are racially segregated, so you may want to be careful. You can definitely find trouble in Gallup if you look for it, but if you don't want trouble, it isn't likely to find you. Local cultural events usually center around native celebrations. They tend to attract everyone from the natives to the whites to the hispanics. If you want to feel more welcomed, get to know someone first... maybe from work. They can be your guide to all things culturally exotic the town has to offer.
I am also sympathetic to your desire to avoid places that attract too many people. Again, Gallup fits the bill perfectly. The run-down, rustic veneer scares all the yuppies away, thereby keeping the town the perfect size. Contrast that w/ where I live now live in Las Vegas, NV where it's just a bunch of yankees (sorry about the profanity) and Los Angelenos w/ no sense of community whatsoever. Gallup is looking pretty good right about now.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:37 PM
Location: California, again...
232 posts, read 845,959 times
Reputation: 164

Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate hearing about the town. Everything you have said sounds absolutely perfect........except for the part about the middle school .
We have a 6 yr old boy who is mildly autistic and while we are not looking to get a "perfect" school, we were sad to hear about the children discriminating against each other. Our son is not capable of understanding that. While he is high functioning, he is very sweet and innocent and does not seem capable of understanding why people do the things they do. He will be certain that he is doing something wrong and try to "fix" it.
I have started looking into home schooling for him, but the costs of some of these schools is excessive. I hope to hear more from you on the subject as I have been working on getting a job with Giant in Gallup. Maybe I should stick with Los Lunas? That was my second choice. I wish I had a load of time on my hands so I could check this all out myself .
Here in So.Cal. we have had to fight to get services for our son, but it is close to impossible to get permission to homeschool in California ( one of the parents needs to have a Master's degree to be considered eligible ).
We finally got the school to place him in their special needs program which gives him a class size of 9 with a teacher and a teachers assistant. It has been working pretty well as the smaller amount of distractions have assisted in keeping him calm and semi-focused in class. He is starting to read a little now, but getting him to where he could function even in this environment has been a tremendous victory. It is one of the reasons we are looking for a small laid back town. He was picked on quite a bit when the school initially tried to mainstream him and still thinks much of how he was treated was his fault.....grrrr.
Please do keep writing, you are helping me to get develope a more rounded view of Gallup and I have enjoyed reading your comments.
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:35 AM
25 posts, read 200,741 times
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I prefer delivering good news but having worked in the Gallup-McKinley County School District, I can tell you that if it's bad for white kids, it's a little worse for students w/ special needs. I didn't find that they were picked on so much as ill-served by the district. However if you feel you are capable of homeschooling, NM is a decent state in which to homeschool; much easier than totalitarian CA.
HSLDA | Home School Laws
Knowing what I do about the school district, doesn't change my desire to move back to Gallup. I think I would homeschool rather than send my child to any public school. Gallup also has a private school called Rehoboth Christian School that has a good reputation, but I don't know about their special needs services.
I don't know anything about Los Lunas, but it sounds like a good option if you want a small town. It's close to Albuquerque! Folks who live in Gallup, frequently make the 2 hour commute to Albuquerque to use the airport or to see medical/ dental specialists. I always enjoyed the drive, but some find it a little irritating. At least Los Lunas is closer!
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:54 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,479 posts, read 59,761,940 times
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Looks like we will have to include Gallup on our research trip this summer. We already like Socorro but are looking around. I am an environmental scientist (air & water quality) with a knack for metal working (been at it more or less since I was 10 years old) so I guess some part time jobs might be available. I am retiring after all.

My wife is currently helping to produce a cable TV show. Is there a local cable studio in the area?

The weather sounds fantastic but so does the weather all over NM except for the very furthest north. The ageing bones are sick of the cold and wet.
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:15 PM
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As far as I know, there are no TV stations in Gallup. Sorry!
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:59 PM
Location: California, again...
232 posts, read 845,959 times
Reputation: 164
Hey Rothbard,

How long ago were you a teacher in the Gallup system? If more than a couple years, do you think anything has changed? Just curious.
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