Albuquerque Buzz: June 2010

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, June 2010

If you haven’t yet made the voyage to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History to see Turner to Cézanne, please do. Featuring Renoirs, Monets, Manets and even a van Gogh, it’s the kind of exhibit New Mexico rarely hosts; so unless you hate all that is art, don’t miss this one. The show is up until Aug. 8, and during that time the museum is offering a bevy of events relating to the exhibit. On Saturday, June 5, from 1 to 4 p.m., the museum will host a Family Day on its back lawn, with a large picnic, a vaudeville-styled show and educational activities. And every Thursday night at 6 p.m. you’ll find concerts inside. This month, it’s Romanticism to Impressionism on June 3, String Quartets of the 18th and 19th Century on June 10, French Romanticism on June 17, and Impressionism and Beyond on June 24. Plus, catch a lecture on Sunday, June 13, at 1 p.m. on The Artists Model in Late 19th Century France with Ruth Butler. Basically, it’s time to get your art on. Ticket prices are complicated, so visit the museum’s website for details. 2000 Mountain NW, 505.243.7255,

The Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque has suffered during the recession. Last year, the festival, put on by the National Institute of Flamenco, was postponed due to a lack of state resources. And a $50,000 contract the festival had with the City of Albuquerque since 2006 was dissolved. But despite financial obstacles, the festival—one of the most highly regarded in the Western hemisphere—is returning this year. Wednesday through Sunday, June 9 to 13, catch performances, take workshops and watch films. For a lineup of events and to buy tickets, visit

You don’t have to go to Las Vegas to see acrobats, contortionists and fire-knife dancers. They’re all coming to you. Cirque du Soleil returns to the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho June 9 to 13. Alegría combines 55 performers from 15 countries with more than 400 costume pieces for two and a half hours of high-performance physicality. Synchronized trapeze, Cyr wheel, aerial high bars and a fire-knife dance are just a sampling of the acts in the internationally touring show. Tickets range from $35.50 to $93.50. 3001 Civic Center, Rio Rancho, 505.891.7300.

Beer just got charitable. Mountain Rescue Brew Fest hits Marble Brewery on Saturday, June 12, from 3 to 11 p.m. The purpose of the event is to raise funds for the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council, an all-volunteer rescue group for people who get lost or need help while hiking in the Sandias. Brew Fest will feature local products and performers and will raffle off items like hot-air balloon rides and personal training sessions. Perhaps most exciting, though, is the special new beer Marble brewmaster Ted Rice will unveil at the event: High Angle Ale. All funds raised at Brew Fest will go toward equipment and supplies for AMRC. 111 Marble NW, 505.243.2739.

I’ve long loved Fremont’s Fine Foods. It has a dazzling assortment of European candies and snacks (even Twiglets!). It carries gourmet delights like orange flower water and pumpkin seed oil. And its box lunches (which come with cookies, chocolate mousse or a fruit tart) are generous, well-crafted and all-around divine. Plus, you can fax in your lunch order. And it delivers. Don’t you love it, too? Now there’s reason to love it even more. Head cook Jacob Rasmussen has just whipped up a couple new dishes to add to the menu: his own interpretation of a Philly cheesesteak—with rib-eye and Monterey Jack, sautéed onions and Danish cucumber salad on the side—and the Pod Pie, a pot-pie-meets-Cornish-pasty concoction that can be filled with a variety of meats or, for the vegetarians in the crowd, chickpeas in an Indian curry. Get them hot for lunch or pick up the Pod Pies from Fremont’s freezer. 1100 San Mateo NE, 505.792.3463,

Speaking of delightful things, here’s a big congratulations to Southwest Wines for taking home a Double Gold award from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition this year for its DH Lescombes 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaker Phillipe Littot’s recipe for perfection includes seven different French oak toasts and a new technique that introduces oxygen and oak chips during an 18-month aging process. Cheers!

Do you love theater? Do you love theater so much that you’d like to be a part of it? The Albuquerque Theatre Guild is holding general auditions Saturday and Sunday, June 12 and 13. The auditions aren’t for immediate casting. Rather, they’re a good way to introduce yourself to lots of local theater companies and directors who are looking to cast their upcoming seasons. Come to the VSA North Fourth Art Center between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on either day, and come prepared with both a classical and contemporary monologue that total three minutes combined. Oh, and don’t come without scheduling a time slot first. To do that, e-mail 4904 Fourth Street NW.

Did you know that May 12 was Mary & Tito’s Café Day? After receiving a James Beard award in New York City on May 3, Gov. Bill Richardson declared the statewide day in the restaurant’s honor. The American Classic award is given to “restaurants with timeless appeal, beloved for quality food that reflects the character of their community and that have carved out a special place in the American culinary landscape.” In the two decades that the James Beard awards have been handed out, Mary & Tito’s is the third New Mexico restaurant to receive the honor. (The other two restaurants, The Shed and Café Pasqual’s, are both in Santa Fe.) Mary & Tito’s, which serves traditional and tasty New Mexican fare, has been a north Downtown staple since 1963. If you haven’t been, or haven’t been for a while, stop in to give Mary and her daughter Antoinette a high-five. 2711 Fourth Street NW, 505.344.6266.

I’m always eager to see any theatrical productions Tricklock Company puts out. Its newest, Lullabies for My Father, looks like a good one. The name alone instills in me a sense of nostalgia and vulnerability. The show is “a collection of interviews and experiments on the subject of fathers.” The interviews, gathered from a diverse sampling of people in Albuquerque, are performed verbatim, accompanied by improv, original text and online comments. This is one of Tricklock’s Excavations New Work Series, which means it’s still in development and is being presented to the community as a way to generate feedback and engage in discussion. Catch it Thursday through Sunday, June 17 to 20, at The Box Performance Space. Shows are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets cost $10. 114 Gold SW, 505.254.8393, 505.404.1578,

We put a bug in your ear about it last month, but now the time has finally come for the Center for Ageless Living’s third annual Field to Food event. On Saturday, June 19, at 7 p.m., get yourself to Los Lunas for a dinner made with foods grown within a 100-mile radius. Lettuce wraps with local beef from Anna Miller’s farm, lamb with mint jelly, freshly made pasta from Pasta Divina tossed with peas and more can be in your belly by nightfall. Plus, eat some Belgian waffles made by the daughter of the man who introduced Americans to the fluffy breakfast treats. She’s using her dad’s recipes and one of his vintage waffle makers. Tickets are $50. 3216 Hwy. 47 S, Los Lunas, 505.865.8813,

The Lavender in the Village Festival returns two weeks early this year. What’s not to love about more than 50 artisan and lavender vendors, a growers’ market, wine tasting and tours with Casa Rondeña Winery, live music, events for kids, and special offers with  a selection of Fourth Street businesses? On Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., make sure in you’re in Los Ranchos for one of summer’s most summery events. To kick off the weekend, pop in for a barn dance on Friday, June 25, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for kids, and kids under 10 are free. For specific locations and more info, visit

I have a soft spot for sweet things. Last Sunday, at my friend’s “LOST” finale party, I managed to eat five of her number-themed cupcakes. (It’s not my fault; I wouldn’t have eaten so many of them if they weren’t so delicious.) I go through honey faster than I go through milk. I’m just that kind of girl. So I appreciate a good dessert. I also appreciate a good brunch spot, because anyone who’s ever had brunch know’s it’s the best meal of the week. Combine the two, desserts and brunch, and suddenly you have the ultimate midday treat. My favorite place for midday treats? The Daily Grind. Best scones in town (dusted ever-so-delicately with crystalized sugar). A killer key lime pie. A dessert case filled with delicacies that change daily. Solid New Mexican and American breakfast fare. A damn fine cup of coffee. And the best Waldorf salad I’ve ever had (a vegetarian version). Plus, the inside of the café is decorated so thoughtfully and brightly, I feel happy just sitting in there. It makes me feel like I’m on a wraparound porch of a New England beach house. And if the weather is nice (as it always is this time of year), there’s a breezeway that leads to a back patio, replete with garden and umbrellas. Actually, I think I’m going to go there right now. 414 Central SE, 505.883.8310.