Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Historic Nob Hill

With the re-routing of Route 66 in 1937, travelers now headed through the Highland and Nob Hill neighborhoods before heading to downtown Albuquerque.

By the early 1940s, Nob Hill had grown into Albuquerque’s first suburb, and by the end of the decade, the Nob Hill Business Center had become the first modern shopping center west of the Mississippi.

With the building of I-40, much of the traffic that had slowly made its way along Central Avenue and past its unique shops and motels now raced through downtown.

One of these unique shops is hey jhonny. The store received this name as a tribute to the father of co-owner Tom Ford. Throughout his life as a New York policeman, fireman and truck driver, “Hey Jhonny” was his greeting to everyone.

The store carries unusual items from around the globe, but I could not find any explanation for the spelling of "jhonny."

A couple of blocks to the west is Masks y Mas. This shop is a monument to the principle of thinking "outside the box." The colorful, funky art pieces from other cultures help visitors to the store break out of the cultural creativity box.

Masks y mas is doing its part to fuel the creative class in Albuquerque with the rich, mostly Hispanic objects of art that surround you when you step into the store.

Along with Hispanic and African art are several Day of the Dead offerings.

Just around the corner is this new construction. These condominiums in the Nob Hill section are within a few blocks of the University of New Mexico.

They are also half a block from the Astro-Zombies Comics shop. The mural on the side of the building seemed to feature most of the older super heroes I could recognize.

Once beyond these figures, I was completely lost. Comic books about Dark Avenger, Dark Tower, and Dark Wolverine were completely unknown to me. I wondered if the store had any comic books featuring Scrooge McDuck, the Beagle Boys, and Gyro Gearloose, but I didn't ask.

Kate had not joined me on this exploratory visit to Nob Hill. I found a few restaurants before heading home that might warrant a return trip.


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