Shipping Container Square Dance Back in Albuquerque

    I-40 runs through Albuquerque’s midsection like a Mexican leather belt with a big rodeo buckle. At I-40 and Carlisle in Albuquerque is a new ” Green Jeans” shopping center built using shipping containers, Albuquerque’s new building material craze. While the old woman who lives in a shoe is a theme of yesteryear, the Santa Fe Brewing Company, along with a local builder, Roy Solomon,have created a new urban retail center combining shipping containers and  more traditional materials. People are on the move in our 21st century and you can easily be asleep in Albuquerque tonight and wake up tomorrow in Singapore. Shipping containers are generic, sexless, and have no personality. They are big Lego’s; easy to move, stack, transform. They fit our generic drug, unisex bathrooms,one size fits all world. Doing investigative research on shipping container building with Alex, the architect, we visit, see, and leave the new shopping and dining complex feeling the place is well done but not that exciting or cost effective. Where I want is to live is in my own container mounted on the deck of a huge oil tanker sailing to the world’s ports, having scrambled eggs and bacon with green chili for breakfast, as we round the Cape of Good Hope. Till that happens, Green Jeans, with its craft beer,  home made tacos and stacked containers, will have to do.  

Soaking Hot baths on the Rio Grande

    Things get new names. Route 66 becomes Interstate-40. Bruce Jenner becomes Caitlyn Jenner. British Honduras becomes Belize. Climate warming becomes a Religion. Kentucky Fried Chicken becomes KFC. Before Truth or Consequences adopted its new name in the 1950’s, to promote a popular television show,this sleepy New Mexico burg was called Hot Springs. For hundreds of years, Indians, cowboys and locals partook of mineral baths by the Rio Grande river. They put differences aside, slipped into above 100 degree waters, and looked out across the river towards the mountains where they hunted. In old times, before Elephant Butte Dam, the Rio Grande ran deeper and swifter. There are times of the year now when the river runs dry as southern New Mexico chili farmers scramble to pull allotted water and flood their fields. While you soak you can watch ducks bob in the Rio Grande or follow the trend line of Turtle Back mountain from its tail to the tip of its nose. For fifteen dollars an hour you have your own personal retreat, cool the upper half of your body as your lower half cooks like a chicken in a crock pot. Names change. Conservative and liberal are not what their parents named them. Going to war to make peace is an old song. Spending your way to prosperity is preached from pulpit and podium. Voting for the least of two evils is how we participate in our Constitutional Republic. When things get rough, soaking in hot mineral springs on a cool  morning is a perfect tonic- no matter what they are named.. T or C is a place that sounds a whole lot more interesting than it will ever be and hot mineral baths take a little chill out of this winter that seems to drag on and on and on.  
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