August 13, 2019

Monroe's will close Lomas location when 4th & Mountain opens

ALSO: Summer hours extension at BioPark is no more, B of A selling abandoned Lomas & 6th branch, the Facebook of 1865 at AM, what's the deal with the Polish section at Silver Street Market, and more.
Little Theater, big renovation
Albuquerque Little Theater is constructing a two-story addition on their historic building in the Huning Castle neighborhood. On the lower level, workers are increasing the size of the bathrooms and adding a family bathroom, ALT's executive and artistic director Henry Avery said. That should cut down on lines and thus delays resuming shows after intermission. On the upper level, there will be more bathrooms, an office, and a storage room for the theater's extensive archive covering its 90-year history.

Avery said the renovation, which faced some construction setbacks including the unplanned moving of a gas line and fire hydrant, should be finished in time for the opening of the season's second show, Mama Mia, on October 11. The cost of the project was originally estimated at $400,000, but he said would likely end up at $450,000.
Monroe's Lomas location to close once 4th & Mountain opens
The grand opening of the new Monroe's location on 4th and Mountain this fall will mean the closure of the Lomas location, the New Mexican restaurant's general manager Matthew Diaz told DAN Monday. The reasoning is a common theme in the real estate world: Monroe's rents their present location, but will own the new one. Diaz says they expect to open the new restaurant at 4th and Mountain around late October or early November. The transfer, however, should mean no more than a one-day gap when Downtown will be without a Monroe's, he said. The new location will increase seating capacity from 98 to 160, and will also include a patio area. 
Crews were hard at work Monday paving 200 new parking spots into existence at the Rail Yards. The work also includes improvements to storm drain systems. Gabriel Rivera, a project manager with the city's Planning Department, told the Barelas Neighborhood Association board that the goal is to alleviate spillover of both parking and wastewater into the surrounding neighborhood. Rivera said the work was scheduled for completion in September. 
Summer hours extension at BioPark no longer happening
The BioPark’s summer custom of staying open an extra hour on weekends and some holidays is no more. BioPark Marketing Coordinator Greg Jackson told DAN it was just a lack of numbers: “When we looked at the amount of guests who took advantage of this extra hour, it was decided that the extra hour was not justified. Attendance was simply too low,” he said.
Based on some crack insect ID research, we've concluded that this is one of the cicadas that have been making such an racket Downtown at night, especially in the bosque-adjacent neighborhoods. We found this one in Tingley Park, which seems to have become something of a daytime hangout spot for them. 
The band Sol de la Noche entertained the crowd on Old Town Plaza Saturday night, featuring a cover of Shakira and Maluma's 2018 hit Clandestino.
B of A to sell former Lomas branch
Bank of America is planning to sell its property on Lomas and 6th, but they're not sure when, according to spokeswoman Colleen Haggerty: "This financial center closed in 2017, but we still maintain a drive through ATM onsite for the time being," she said. "There will be plans to fully decommission the property and put it on the market for sale at a later date, but I cannot confirm when just yet." 
This B of A branch closed a couple of years ago, but earlier this year someone apparently drove a tall truck into this overhang. This photo was taken early last week when a repair crew was assessing the damage. As of yesterday, the work looked to be nearly complete. 
Double take at Albuquerque Museum: Washington, Lincoln, and the Facebook of the 19th century
Maybe it's our inherent interest in all forms of popular media, but DAN was quite taken by a little corner of the Albuquerque Museum's latest marquee exhibition showing off several "cartes de visite" (visiting cards), which turned out to be the social media of the mid 1800s. Around the time of the Civil War, photography had gotten so cheap and readily available that average people would take pocket-sized portraits of themselves and pass them around to friends and family. It apparently turned into a huge fad and resulted in images like these winding up at the Palace of the Governors, from which the exhibit gets its material: 
That would have been plenty interesting by itself, but then we took a closer look and noticed this: 
That's certainly not the sort of presidential imagery our modern eyes are used to. So what exactly is going on? Josie Lopez, AM's curator of art, had the answer:

"After Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, S. J. Ferris painted the image of George Washington welcoming Lincoln into heaven. The wreath and clouds suggest heaven. Some of these apotheosis [definition: the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax] images included angels as well. This type of visual language was common when martyrs or important fallen (mostly) men were depicted in the 19th century. In the case of the Carte de Visite, it is a memorial card produced and sold pretty broadly thus making the imagery in the painting more widely available."

The exhibit, which covers all manner of interesting items that ended up in the Palace of the Governors collection, runs through October 20. More information here.
What's up with the Polish corner at Silver Street Market?
It all seems like a normal grocery store experience at first: There's the bread, there's the cheese, but on the way over to the dairy products, shoppers find...Polish stuff. Sauerkraut, chocolate, Kosciusko-brand mustard, the works. It turns out to be the work of Devon Day, the owner of Eurozone Food Distributors, a store on Osuna just west of Jefferson that serves a variety of ethnic communities with foods imported from the old country (or countries). Besides her store, she has a few such displays at other grocery stores around town.

Day isn't aware of any significant Downtown Polish community. "People just like the food," she says, especially the candy and chocolate, which was actually sold out on our our recent visit. Silver Street Market owner Rob Ortman, meanwhile, knows it's a bit unusual, but points out that cornering the market on anything - even snacks from a random European country - is good for business.  "We just brought it in and it sells. I don't know what else to tell you," he said.
Silver Street Market w centrum miasta jest, jak się zdarza, doskonałym źródłem polskich przekąsek. (I tak, użyliśmy do tego Google Translate. Przepraszamy.)
ART training runs continue. We spotted this bus on Copper and 8th. 
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