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The Official Website of 1514 Silver Avenue SW, Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Month: November 2014

first storm of the fall season

new mexico weather – November 16, 2014

remnants of Pacific Ocean storm Nuri

Source:  National Weather Service, Web, and Press Reports

A storm passed through New Mexico on this date, bringing snow to much of the state.  Temperatures were in the single digits in some areas.

Highs in Albuquerque were in the upper-30s to mid-40s, they were in the upper teens and 20s at night.  7 inches of snow were reported in parts of Torrance County.    Moriarty received up to 7 inches, Clines Corners received 3 inches.

Torrence County

Torrence County

The New Mexico Department of Transportation reported a multi-vehicle wreck on snow-packed Interstate 40 near Clines Corners shortly before noon on Sunday.  I-40 traffic backed up for miles in both directions in eastern Torrance County until late Sunday afternoon, with semi-tractor trailers disabled on the roadsides.

Angel Fire, in Colfax County, received 15 inches of snow.

Record-low temperatures in the single digits were forecast for this morning in some areas of northern and eastern New Mexico, including Las Vegas, Moriarty, Tucumcari and Fort Sumner.

The storm ended late Sunday, no significant snowfall is expected through the remainder of the week.  The state will experience a warming trend by mid-week.  Albuquerque and areas west of the Rio Grande should see high temperatures in the mid-50s with lows in the mid-30s, a return to near-normal temperatures.

Note:  This is a weather summary.  Please consult actual weather records for relevant locations and dates for specific information.

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christmas de los caballos parade

corrales, New mexico

november 16, 2014


The 11th annual Christmas de los Caballos parade features as many as 200 horses and carriages each year.  The event is held in Corrales, New Mexico to benefit the United States Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” Christmas giving campaign.

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La placita restaurant dining rooms

It is probably less than 4,500 feet “door-to-door” from 1514 Silver SW to the La Placita.  There were other restaurants serving the Huning Castle neighborhood in 1930 when the neighborhood was getting started, but the La Placita Dining Rooms were probably the oldest and largest.   The old Armijo house (built in 1706), facing on the old Old Town Square, was converted from being an old house to an old restaurant, or more specifically, dining rooms.

In time, even Duncan Hines approved it.  It is a myth that Duncan Hines approved any restaurant that gave him free food, he didn’t.

La Placita kiva in fall and in winter

La Placita kiva in fall and in winter

Eating Mexican food, or more properly New Mexican food, in any place that doesn’t have two-foot thick ancient adobe walls, huge thick vigas, brick and/or saltillo tile floors, a kiva fireplace that is actually used, and a bit of art on the walls, is wrong, or probably wrong.  It is a worse offense than saying “neither”, when you are asked by the server “red or green?”  It’s like having sopapillas without honey.

A bit of history

A bit of history

“Atmosphere” is such a misnomer.  “La Placita” means “the square, the place where the community meets”, and like LOCATION, the place is everything.  Patio dining is everything too, and that’s why a restaurant without outdoor eating is just a dining room at best.  A good restaurant needs dining rooms, plural, hence the tree.  OK, the tree is obviously older than the dining room, so the “tree” dining room was obviously once a patio, an inner courtyard, a safe place offering quiet and serenity.  That’s what makes the La Placita timeless and famous, it’s removed from the hustle and bustle of Route 66 and the traffic and often the tourists.  It’s a neighborhood restaurant, no more than a friendly, fairly short walk away.

The famous dining room tree at La Placita in Albuquerque's Old Town

The famous dining room tree at La Placita in Albuquerque’s Old Town

Oh sure, there are lots of more modern, more plastic-fantastic, more novel places to eat New Mexican food.  Some other places have more color, more noise, even more artwork maybe.  But La Placita, for over 80 years, has set the tone and the style for stylish eating in Albuquerque; meaning “stylish” your way, not the New York way, Paris way, or London way.   Those other cities are so way out of town, and so far away from the casual dining opportunities in Albuquerque.  It’s not just a life style, it is more a tradition.

Another tradition at the La Placita restaurant site is the Indian jewelry vendor market.  Crafts men and crafts women sit under the Placita’s portico with their wares spread out on a blanket in front of them.  Each space is allotted by lottery.  It is the only space and place where the traditional “open and free” “Indian Market” method of marketing still exists on a daily basis.

A free market place in Albuquerque

A free market place in Albuquerque

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Green freeze

Not every community has seasons, at least not four seasons.  Albuquerque does.  New Mexico does.  The Huning Castle neighborhood does.

All the leaves are green, and the sky is grey.
– Apologies to California Dreamin’

So, autumn begins on September 23, in 2014.   You might think that this date might bring the first day of freezing weather.  If you live in Huning Castle, in Albuquerque, you would be wrong, not “wrong”, but wrong about the weather facts.

The fact is that the first freeze, the one that brings down the leaves, was on November 12th this year, in 2014.  1514 Silver SW has a mulberry tree out front, a fruitless mulberry, the mulberry without the mulberries.

When the cold comes, the leaves drop.  When the cold comes early and hard the leaves shower down like a storm, like a carpet, like green snow maybe; not like a green felt jungle.

A night's freeze leaves leaves

A night’s freeze leaves leaves

We do the “green thing”.  We recycle the leaves.  We mulch them and bag the mulch.  We used to bag the leaves and someone would take them away to feed their sheep.  In other years a neighborhood resident took our leaves to built up his backyard soil.  That’s life in the ‘hood here, sharing, helping, keeping things green.

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