Wayne's Weekly Reader

by Wayne Klick

October 21, 1998

There are very few fish in the high desert.  If you want to see this one, you have to walk to the Avalon Bar & Grill in downtown Albuquerque and find the aquarium embedded in the far back wall.  They have fish on the menu there too.  I'm frankly amazed at the number of seafood restaurants in Albuquerque.  Think about it.  We're 1,000 miles from the Gulf Coast, 800 miles from L.A., forget the east coast.  How can you get fresh fish that is anywhere near fresh?

Of course, I don't worry about it because I don't like fish anyway.  However, I do like walking downtown for dinner.  Where we live enables this.  But then you need a downtown restaurant to be open after 6.  We manage to keep a few around, but downtown Albuquerque always seems to be on the verge of deserted except on Friday and Saturday nights when many of the UNM students come out, looking for beer and sex at the night clubs.  There aren't many night clubs either -- The Zone predominates while Anodyne provides bourgeois pool hall atmosphere and the Launch Pad gives local bands a stage.  We've still got the El Rey Theater too, which can give venue for slightly larger touring acts.  We hated to see the Dingo close, even though it was a terrible place to see a show.  We liked the Dingo for its soul, not its environment, and for Warren Zevon, Apricot Jam, Alien Lovestock, and The Mermen.

The local powers-that-be have yet another "plan" to rejuvenate downtown Albuquerque, even though there have been 31 failed past initiatives.  Yet I know that downtown Albuquerque will always be there, with at least a few doors open among the barren storefronts on the one-way wind tunnel streets -- the old Route 66 (there known as Central Ave.) barreling though its middle.  Yes there will always be life there, even if it resembles the life of a sleepy old man who only gets up to eat and shit.  I'm always rooting for downtown to flourish, but then a lot more people would be there.  At its level I can still feel that it's mine.  If it grows a bunch of condos and cabanas, I might not want to claim it anymore.

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