Friday, April 21, 2006

A Couple More Albuquerque Development Thoughts

I realized last night that options for both eating and drinking in downtown Albuquerque are almost nil. There is NYPD Pizza, which makes me wonder if the NYPD gets some kind of cut from the name. Anyway, so if you want pizza or calzones with a beer you can do that. Then there's the high-end billards parlor which from all accounts is way pricey. And that's it. C'mon people--can we open some places where you can both have a good dinner and drinks downtown. God I knows I love pizza and I'm glad NYPD is there, but we need a little more. There has to be some serious money-making opportunities in this.

Speaking of food, I loved Eric Griego's idea from the latest Alibi for an international food district between UNM and Old Town. This is the best idea I've heard in a long time. Albuquerque has great New Mexican food--and for those of you who aren't from here and don't know what this is, I'll only say that you're really missing out. Unfortunately, this city has very few choices for good non-New Mexican food. It's out there, but you have to drive miles to get to the worthwhile restaurants. What if the city supported an idea like this? Wouldn't be a worthwhile use of city money and energy to get this off the ground? It would support small business, make me want to stay in this city for longer, and we could all eat tasty food. God knows this town could use more good restaurants. Would people come? I'd have to think they would. As more and more people are moving downtown, they are going to want some real eating options. Certainly they would rather support a good little Italian or Afghani place than some chain. I mean, if this was in the NE Heights, it would be one thing, but downtown? I have to think this is a good idea.

Finally, kudos to the city for passing a minimum wage raise. It's too low ($7.50 by 2009 is not going to change the world) but it's something. We are only the 4th city in the country to pass a city-wide rise in the minimum wage (Santa Fe, San Francisco, and Washington).