Quirky Albuquerque

Albuquerque is a big sprawling high desert city that runs right up the side of Sandia Mountain.  Central Avenue,  the main east/west thoroughfare, has seen the city’s good times and the bad. Currently it is experiencing a bit of a renewal as an arts and entertainment district that began with the restoration of the KiMo Theater, a unique example of Art Deco-Pueblo Revival Style Architecture.  It was quite eye-catching in the late afternoon sun.

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Just down the street was the Library Bar and Grill. 

Driving by at 30 miles per hour doesn’t give you enough time to enjoy the titles..

Driving by at 30 miles per hour doesn’t give you enough time to enjoy the titles..

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Sometimes you are just lucky when you pick a seat at the counter in a diner. Right next to the milkshake machine at Lindy's Diner is this faucet from nowhere sculpture - just sitting on the counter next to mixing bowls.

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The waitress told  us with a laugh that when the drunks come in they are truly flummoxed.  There is real water running from the faucet, courtesy of a small aquarium pump and a clear plastic tube in the middle.  Quirky…..

While all these quirky eye-candy images were fun, the stunner of visit to Central Avenue was an exhibit at the Robert Levy Gallery.  On display were images from Gordon Park’s journey through the South to document segregation for LIFE magazine.  These photos were recently found and were not part of the original 1956 LIFE photo essay entitled Restraints: Open and Hidden. These are not the black and white images of brutal conflict that many of us associate with the fifties and sixties, but rather color images of everyday life in segregated Alabama and Mississippi.

Department Store 1956 by Gordon Parks from the Segregation Series Portfolio

Department Store 1956 by Gordon Parks from the Segregation Series Portfolio