Econo Lodge Old Town
2321 Central Ave NW
Albuquerque, NM 87104
Phone: (505) 243-8475
Fax: (505) 243-4205
De Colores Galeria on the western edge of Old Town specializes in religious artwork of 18th century New Mexico. Owner Robert Gonzales has gathered in one space many colorful examples of the traditional folk art that have inspired and sustained the faith of New Mexicans for four centuries. Those unfamiliar with the terms bultos, santos and retablos will discover their meaning in this religious goods emporium. Roberto also carries drinks and snacks for those who hunger and thirst in a more corporeal way.
This Old Town gallery, which has occupied this site since the mid-1970s, represents forty local artists, including watercolorists Noami Romero Strater and Jack Dietrich. Alex Gomez draws on his Hispanic-Native American heritage to create wood and adobe models of Southwestern edifices, such as houses and stores, as well as Navajo hogans. Brothers Jacob and Ernesto Salazar produce delicate carvings of the heavenly host. The shop may appear a bit cluttered, but the payoff is in the wide selection of art creations that have never come close to a cookie cutter.
What will probably impress you most about Warpath Traders is the sheer volume of its inventory. Dozens of display cases contain literally thousand of items to choose from. The style of the necklaces, bracelets and rings is unquestionably Southwestern and Native American. The materials are mostly silver and turquoise, although polished stone is the material of choice for the carvers of Indian fetishes. There is a large selection of kachinas, ranging in size from six to twelve inches in height. The cordial staff will answer any question thoroughly and enthusiastically.
Peruvian Perfection is more affordable than its rival, Peruvian Connection, but the clothing is still 100% alpaca and handmade (not to mention still far from cheap!). Sweaters, cardigans, scarves, gloves, hats, shawls, coats, vests and jackets are available for both men and women, mostly in bright colors and unique patterns. The Peruvian-New Mexican couple who own and operate this family-run store design the clothing and travel to the Andes to forge personal relationships with knitters there. They assert ethical trade principles and have started a fund which directs a percentage of their online sales to the families in the communities where they operate. - Pip Lustgarten
If you have ever wished to be a part of the Wild West or appear on a wanted poster, here is your chance. Let the staff at this Old Town photo studio, and their trunk load of costumes, transform you into a gunslinger or a bar floozy from the days of the Wild West. They will photograph this new you and print the results in sepia as a poster or as an old-fashioned portrait to place on the mantle back home. Group portraits are a specialty.
Tucked away in the shade of an Old Town placita, this diminutive and charming shop offers you high-quality prints and posters. Georgia O'Keefe and Diego Rivera are represented here, as are many less stellar, but exceedingly gifted, artists such as Tony Abeyta and Carol Grigg. The gallery has literally thousands of items that has rightly earned it a solid reputation and popularity.
Long before the word acquired its kinky connotation, a fetish was a carved stone talisman, usually of an animal and about the size of a golf ball. Many Native Americans continue to hold such objects as sacred and as possessing magical powers. This Old Town shop has hundreds of these on display and for sale. It represents a number of Native fetish artists, chief among them Brian Yatsattie of Zuni Pueblo. The store also offers the largest selection of craft beads you would expect to find anywhere.
Situated behind the ancient church in Old Town, the Christmas Shop lays claim to being the Southwest's largest and best Christmas store. A whitewashed adobe gallery provides an elegant setting for a display of colorful and imaginative Nativity sets. There are numerous varieties of collector's glass; nutcrackers dressed up in modern attire, and Southwestern-themed ornaments. A life-sized desert Santa, looking a bit like Gabby Hayes, greets visitors at the door. It is open all year.
Treasure House Books & Gifts is a charming shop known for its impressive selection of books about New Mexico or by local writers. From regional cookbooks to mystery novels set in Albuquerque to local history books, this bookstore has it all. The collection also contains general books, such as dramas and children's books. There is also an impressive collection of CDs, music, and local souvenirs. Treasure House Books & Gifts even holds events, such as author readings.
Do not let the misspelling of the name fool you (chile, the plant and its products, is spelled with an "e"), there is authentic Chile merchandise inside Chili Patch USA. Salsas run the gamut from mild to hot, hot, hot. You can purchase ristras, and Chile ristra lights, as well as, aprons, T-shirts caps, neckties and bibs. Special New Mexican gifts like Pinon coffee, Chile pistachios and popcorn can be purchased then shipped anywhere in the world.
The swing hanging from the vigas in front of this store will certainly look comfortable after a day strolling through Old Town, but it is what is inside that will really grab you. Classic and contemporary Southwestern art by respected names fills the shelves and hangs from the walls. If you are looking for authentic traditional Native American art, look elsewhere; but if Southwestern folk art and jewelry is what you seek, you have come to the right place.
Betty Panos operates what is reportedly Old Town's oldest bead store. As its name implies, it is a place where handcrafted goods are bought and sold. Its low ceiling and dark interior are in keeping with the traditional image of a trading post. And you can almost hear the echo of history on the hardwood floors. For sale are genuine pieces of Native craft including jewelry, kachinas, fetishes, and bead work, all at exceptionally reasonable prices.