Are you actually staying here?
If you're new to Albuquerque, you've been asked the same thing a thousand times. I've lived here 4 years now and people are still asking me "So how long will you stick around?"
Admittedly, I've flirted with other cities. Last year we flew to Portland on reconnaissance and still I order Polish pickles and chocolate from Chicago. A couple months ago however, my partner and I took a hard look at our lives here and decided to commit.
We're staying in Albuquerque.
I'm letting down my guard, baby, and giving it all to the Duke City like a newlywed signing on for life. I'm switching to a 30 year mortgage and planting that apricot tree I never thought I'd be around to harvest. It's a relief, it's a deep breath, it's a line in the alluvial sand.
This morning I went for a hike in the foothills, high above the city where the wind howled like a hideous coyote. A couple hours later, I sat in an old church downtown listening to a sold-out and stellar performance of Handel's Messiah. As the sun set even later, I had mango tea with some people I ran into at the concert and we mused about our fine city's future. The promise of things like infill development, Predock architecture, philanthropists and leaders with long-range vision.
My tea-drinking compadres have lived here far longer than I, but we're asking the same question: What would happen if Albuquerque started to believe itself worthy of long-term investment? What would our city look like?