We found a new (to us) pocket of coolness in Albuquerque, a city we have chosen to ride out February in, living in a half-finished yet lovely adobe-style house next door to dirck’s sister and brother-in-law (who own the house we are bunking in.) The Sawmill District is dominated by the huge and super trendy Sawmill Market, a well-designed and lively food hall in a former, you guessed it, sawmill. I had excellent Vietnamese food and dirck had designer tacos, sitting outdoors in an industrial chic courtyard.
Across the street are trendized warehouse-looking buildings now housing an enormous mineral shop and another made-by-locals place. But we were blown away by the Hotel Chaco, dramatically designed to look like and pay tribute to area pueblos and Chaco Canyon, with a round high-ceilinged entryway, rugged materials and cutting-edge contemporary art by “Native American New Mexico artists.” The top floor restaurant we’re told has spectacular views of the mountains, buttes and plateau.
Today we had fast and tasty middle eastern food at Chello and then walked along the muddy Rio Grande on the dirt paths of the Bosque Trail (Bosque means forest in Spanish) stopping at a pond to bird watch.