Jan- it's two hours from the airport, if you factor in getting-lost-as-a-tourist time and return-the-rental-car time
Originally Posted by Jan Pietrzak
You have never driven with my wife have you. In SoCal we lived in the foothills above Glendale not far from the 2 and 210. I would leave the house before 6:am to teach a 9:am class at Santa Monica College most of the time I made it. Oh, and that was only 37 miles away. Like I say NM/Abq/SF its a whole lot slower. I may have to go into town, first time this week.
The only down side is the 18 to 20 inches of snow and ice on the north side of the house. We had a nice winter. The last shot was last fri/sat with 8 to 10 inches, it was gone by Sunday.
Since you are going to be on campus anyway - you should probably stop by the Museum of Fine Art in Popejoy hall. They often have photography from the permanent collection up. If you call ahead, I believe you can still make arrangements to have them pull prints from their collection. This is pretty interesting if you are interested in photo history because the bulk of the collection was donated by Beaumont Newhall or Van Deren Coke. If it's important and from the 19th century, the UNM art museum had a copy.
As a grad of the UNM photo program, I am biased - but it's worth a walk through of the art department. Ask at the front desk where the art department is. If the photo lab is open, it's a nice facility, and sometimes there is student work on the halls nearby. You might also check the John Summers gallery in that building, sometimes there is an MFA show up there worth catching.
If you've never done so, walk out of Popejoy, across Central, and stop at the Frontier. It is a real dive, but kind of an Albuquerque tradition. Ask for a Frontier roll. If you get lunch, eat the Frontier roll before your food comes, otherwise it sort of congeals and isn't nearly as awe-inspiring. The Frontier attracts a wild and wooly crowd - from local news anchors to street kids and a lot of university students. If you are moving to albuquerque soon, it will be part of your life, go on in and get to know it. Also, it has one of the best collection of John Wayne paintings known to mankind. If you want good food, not strange ambiance, eat your frontier roll and go south a block and west a block and look for the El Patio - I think it is still in operation. Good, traditional new mexico food. Get lots of green chile.
Downtown has exploded since I lived there - it is worth getting out of your car and walking, or a late night trip to the bars if you do that. there is a good gallery downtown - Ralph Green Gallery? - that sometimes has photography.
Nob Hill and Ridgecrest are great neighborhoods if you work at UNM - it's almost walkable. The area around the Harwood Gallery and Studios (also worth a visit, but not a lot of photography) has become really gentrified in the last few years - it is beautiful, but it used to be a good neighborhood to have all of your possessions stolen in. The North and South Valleys are amazing and historic, and sometimes a little dicey. If you live in the Northeast Heights, and you choose the location carefully - you can be hiking in the sandias in 10 minutes from your door.
The real action for photography is in Santa Fe. Definitely stop at Bostick and Sullivan, if you have any interest in Non-Silver processes. they are friendly and generous with information. The College of Santa Fe has recently changed names, but they had an amazing photography building with a very contemporary gallery. In my experience, if you go when school isn't in session, it will be absolutely dead and you will be the only one there. However, I have seen simply phenomenal work and I always stop. I would call ahead and get the building hours if you are going up. Also not to miss is Photoeye books - look them up on line and get directions or use a GPS - people in santa fe mostly drive by intuition and if you have never been, you will never find the place. Photoeye is the largest collection of photography books in the known universe. There is also a gallery in another building - in the 90's it showed Jock Sturges *a lot* - but seems more diverse lately. There is a good coffee shop between the bookstore and the gallery, and it is usually my first stop because there aren't a lot of publicly accessible bathrooms off canyon road. Canyon road is right near photoeye and is the main gallery district in Santa Fe - not a lot of photography, but it is worth losing an afternoon if you can afford it. Also in Santa Fe is Site Santa Fe - not a lot of photographs, but it tends to draw international art stars - think venice biennale - and never disappoints. Also on the plaza is the Andrew Smith Gallery and in recent years there is a gallery specializing in photojournalism a few blocks south of Andrew Smith.