“Fielding Dreams…” ABQ and the growth it is enduring


Fielding Dreams

If you’re from Albuquerque, born and raised, raise your hand. If you are from somewhere else, and have lived in Albuquerque, and or New Mexico for more than five years, raise your hand. If you are a recent transplant from somewhere else, and are adjusting to the oddity of a city that Albuquerque can prove to be, put your hand in the air. If this matters not – what so ever – raise both hands…

I just had to stop typing for a second.

Hi, my name is Carlos and a I am a “home-grown” New Mexican. I was born and raised in the North Valley of Albuquerque, for the first 18 years of my life, and have held residence on  Albuquerque’s “West Side,” for nearly 10 years now. This morning, I had the pleasure of sitting on a couch with three other “movers and shakers,” and was asked questions about the current state of things here in Albuquerque. The conversation was a familiar one, in regards to its framing: Millennials, and their impact; how do we find them, and how do we keep them here – in Albuquerque?

The answers by the diverse panel of individuals from: commercial real estate, to education, to professional sports as a form of economic development, and wrapped all the way around to the creation of community in an alternative space such as a brewery, created a great deal of room for dialogue. Were there any answers? I would venture to say “no.” If we think we have found the answer to Albuquerque’s growth and the direction it needs to be headed in, it is likely that we wouldn’t be gathering in Convention Center ballrooms at forty bucks a head, to continue to talk about the subject. Let’s not call it an issue; it is more a subject and topic of growth, rather than a problem and issue.

As we talked through the provided and spontaneous questions that the morning provided, I thought about exactly that: the framing of Albuquerque’s growth, as something that needs to be treated as a “problem,” or “issue.” Don’t we want more jobs? More development? More schools? More “things to do?” With all these desires, the growth that accompanies many of the needed expansions and accommodations can leave the people that asked for them, re-considering their “re-invention” of the dear old Albuquerque, we all once knew…

Furthermore, what is “more?” Do we just want more “stuff?” More “things?” What is it that we want? I personally feel like the somewhat cliche and age-old belief of “just build it and they will come,” has kept Albuquerque spinning its “re-invention” wheels for quite some time.

Where are the genuine experiences to be had? That is my question – my request – desire, and my aim, as an Albuquerque citizen, and member of a workforce that is willing to create those experiences.

When we enjoy what we are doing, with who we are doing it with, it doesn’t always matter WHERE we are doing that something; and… or, it sometimes absolutely matters WHERE we are doing that something, and in either case, doesn’t the community benefit?

If the place matters, then we are building community in a specific space that will then benefit from that patronage on a long-term timeline. If the space is less important, and the experience is most important, then that experience can be transported all over this incredible city of ours, so that a much larger cross-section of our community population can enjoy that experience, as well.

This blog doesn’t have much to offer in the ways of advice, or know how, it does however beg you, the Albuquerque citizens who love this city of our so much, whether you just moved here, or have lived here your entire lives, it begs you to care.

That’s right, just care; think intentionally, and when you are thinking about what to do for your next night out on the town, go somewhere local, hang with people you love and care about, and give your business to a place that takes that business, and uses the fruits of it, to feed his or her own family, as we all exist in this place.

Live genuinely; support local, and don’t just go because it’s “brand new,” go because you care, and go back because that will never change. When you do this, I truly believe you lend to Burque in a way that allows for this community and business economy to “play ball” most effectively.

Carlos Contreras
Tractor Brewing Company’s Good Times Liaison