Albuquerque Journals

Duke City Diversions - Part I

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A travel journal to Albuquerque by Peregrine

Rio Grande Botanic Gardens Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico More Photos
Quote: It’s been years since I played tourist in Albuquerque, so I thought it time to reacquaint myself with where I live. Part I of the Duke City Diversions concentrates on the Albuquerque Biological Park. As for the nickname "Duke City" – read on…..

Duke City Diversions - Part I

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Rio Grande Botanic Gardens Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
The Albuquerque Biological Park is made up of three major sections: the relatively new Botanical Gardens and Aquarium, which are co-located a few blocks from Old Town, and the venerable Zoo, a few miles away. The Botanic Gardens offer quite a diversity of gardens from the formal rose garden to the Mediterranean gardens inside the glass pavilion to the xeriscape gardens. If you are here on a Thursday evening in summer, come for the music by the pond. For such a small space, the Aquarium has a surprising variety of things to see, from the rays in their shallow pool to the shark tank at the far end of the building. Along the way y...Read More

Shark Reef Cafe

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Restaurant

Quote:
When it first opened, this restaurant was touted as the latest in elegant dining. White table clothes, a fancy name – Sebastian’s – and a great menu. However, dining in a room, one wall of which was part of a shark tank, evidently didn’t catch on in this land locked city. Dinners are no longer served here, there are no white cloths on the table, and the menu is more sandwiches, salads, and hamburgers. But the setting is still fantastic. You can sit and munch on your sandwich while sharks, barracuda, tuna (which was conspicuously missing from the menu), sea turtles, and a myriad of brightly colored fish swim past your table. There are downsides to this restaurant. Since it’s a bi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2002

Shark Reef Cafe
2601 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104
(505) 848-7182

Charlie's Back Door

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Restaurant | "Cottonwood Cafe"

Charlie's Back Door Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
Of all the spots to eat in the Zoo, this is probably the nicest. It’s a beautiful pink adobe building set at the edge of a wide grassy park a shaded with ancient cottonwoods and a duck pond – with ducks, geese, swans and koi. All the food is served cafeteria style, which is probably just as well when the zoo is busy. The inside eating area, where you can dine in air conditioned comfort, is quite small and noisy, so we decided on the patio and were rewarded by a visit from a local peacock wandering through the zoo. The food is good, if limited – the menu is mostly hamburgers, burritos, chips from a bag, pre-made salads and assorted soft drinks etc. It’s also rather expensive. We bought two...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 11, 2002

Charlie's Back Door
8224 Menaul Blvd Northeast
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
(505) 294-3130

Rio Grande Botanic Garden

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Attraction | "Rio Grande Botanic Gardens"

Rio Grande Botanic Garden Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
My husband and I came to the Botanic Gardens to get ideas for our xeriscape projects in the back yard and kept getting side-tracked by all the other gardens and such around the Festival Green. For instance the dragon! He guards the entrance to the Children’s Fantasy Garden. If you are traveling with kids, or like me, never quite grew up, this is a must. Walk through the underground tunnel, bristling with roots and earthworms the size of pythons and exit into a world where pinecones are six feet long, bumble bees are the size of eagles and watering cans are big enough to live in. Though the Children’s Garden has been open nearly a year, they were still working on it when we were there, layi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2002

Rio Grande Botanic Garden
2601 Central Ave Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104
+1 505 764 6200

Albuquerque Aquarium

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Attraction

Albuquerque Aquarium Photo, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Quote:
The Aquarium is entrancing. The shallows greet you, with the rays "flying" beneath the waves that wash up on a sandy beach where the shore birds walk. Then, into eel caves where the toothy grins of Moray eels menace from the depths. In one darkened room, lighted windows open onto the world of sea horses and umbrella jelly fish no bigger than a dime. In the center of the room is a column of water filled with larger, ethereal jelly fish. There are more educational bits as well, the reefs, natural and man-made, with brightly colored fish swimming among the coral, and an exhibit on the junk that has been dumped into the ocean and the damage it has done to the fish population. Outside, beside the old...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2002

Albuquerque Aquarium
2601 Central Ave Northwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87104
+1 505 764 6200

Rio Grande Zoological Park

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Attraction | "Rio Grande Zoo"

Quote:
I’m told this zoo is only one of two zoos in the States (the other being San Diego) with Koalas! And, in the feline department, the zoo can boast two white Bengal tigers. Most of the animals are in a "natural" environment and there is quite a bit of renovation going at the moment: a new home for the Mexican Gray Wolves is under construction, as is a large area called Adventure Africa. We arrived early to beat the summer heat and the crowds, something I heartily recommend. Being without a map (see introduction), we wandered a bit before the 10:30 feeding at the Seal Pond. Past the flamingos, standing so still in their shaded pool, looking like their plastic lawn counterparts, we found our w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2002

Rio Grande Zoological Park
903 Tenth St Southwest
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
+1 505 764 6200

Why the Duke City?

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Story/Tip

Quote:
It’s simple, really. The city was named for the Don Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva Enrique, Duke of Alburquerque (Alburquerque (spelled with an extra “r”) is a small town in the Badajoz region of Spain, and in 1706, the year the New Mexican town was founded (a mere century after neighboring Santa Fe), the 10th Duke was also the Viceroy of New Spain. I suspect there was some political currying of favor involved when founding father and governor of New Mexico, Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdes, named the new Villa after the Duke, but then, the governor was not shy either, since he also requested a donation of “bells, ornaments, chalices, missals, images and jewels” for the new church (though whether the ...Read More