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Albuquerque, New Mexico SperlingViews



"Thinking about moving to Seattle"


Thinking about moving to Seattle - 10/23/2008
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Sunraina
Albuquerque, NM

Myself and boyfriend who are a racially mixed couple, have been planning on moving to Seattle for quite some time...Here are our issues and concerns:
How are bi-racial couples looked at within the community and treated?
One of us would be going to Seattle with a BA degree while the other has only had some college, what are the chances of finding good jobs to be successful in the Seattle area.
Understood that the cost of living is high and am assuming the pay should compensate for high cost of living?!?!

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Dew
Houston, TX

Objective Views - 7/14/2014

The Pro's: Nice mountains, scenery, I personally thought there were a lot of friendly people there. A lot of nice weather. Winters aren't bad. Summers are hot, but not like Phoenix or Las Vegas. UNM is a nice university. There is a lot of entrepreneurial spirit (but see below). Intel is there as is the university and an F.A.A. air-traffic center. The Cons: It's a city that has seen better days and is behind the times. The neighborhoods are crumbling. Even the famous "Northeast Heights" have gone downhill. So many of the homes are crappy, unaesthetic little doll-houses built after WWII and are now in poor repair. It's a transient city like Vegas and Phoenix. The pay is awful. They think it's preposterous if you want more than $15/hr. Even people with degrees are poorly paid. There is an oversupply of unskilled labor so it keeps the pay down. Poverty is rampant. Lots of welfare and illegitimacy. The educational level is low. Some neighborhoods look positively third world. There is an old boys network here. They call it the "patrone system". You need connections with the old boys (and not just white boys)for a decent job. As it's been explained to me: There's a poverty mentality that prevails. There is a ton of crime. Drugs are RAMPANT!!! Vato/Cholo gangs are prevalent. That being said there is some unbelievable white trash, the likes of which I didn't even encounter in Phoenix. The crime is mostly property crime. There are murders and robberies but larceny, burglary and vandalism are the leaders. Lock your cars and homes! It's best to live in Rio Rancho or Taylor Ranch. There's actually some nice houses there. I would rather be here than Phoenix, but that ain't saying much.

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Bryan
Albuquerque, NM

An honest review - 6/18/2014

I will try to give the most honest, semi-educated review here - very much unlike the others. I live in the middle of Albuquerque near UNM and downtown. My car has been left unlocked for the past six months with no problems (not recommended of course). Albuquerque is one of the poorest major cities I can think of, and there is an average amount of crime though it is almost always non-violent. The city is old and not "beautiful" like you might be used to in newer, wealthier cities or suburbs. Bars on windows - absolutely. There are plenty of gangs and such like most cities, and these are most prevalent in the southeastern part of the city and southern farming communities. Being from the St. Louis area, I was surprised to see people calling this portion of the city a "ghetto," since bikers ride through it regularly with no problems. Racial and cultural diversity is phenomenal, some of the best of any US city. Racism is much less of a problem than any other major city I've been in other than Seattle. Socially, the city is extremely accepting, and I've not experienced any cliqu-yness whatsoever. This city is so laid back that it's hard to imagine such a thing. There are ~400 miles of bike roads/trails throughout the city, and within 45 minutes you can be at 10,678ft overlooking the road grid at a temperature 20 degrees below that in the city. If you get away from buildings, you can easily see 60 or more miles to distant mountains. A two-hour drive will get you to the most scenic-natural places of any other major city outside of perhaps the Northwest. But culturally, this will not be your type of city if you cannot accept that there is no majority. The climate index is similar of that in coastal California (check it out!), though I do miss rain! I have heard that many public schools are subpar, so certainly keep that in mind. Police are corrupt (major city for you). It is a bit smaller than most cities - perhaps less to do - and you can't come the suburbs of Whiteville, USA and expect the exact same culture. This isn't anything like Phoenix! I personally feel that this is a bit of a hidden gem, but that's for you to decide. I hope this gives a bit better perspective than the other reviews. Best of luck!

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Blah blah blah
Albuquerque, NM

It's called the Land of Entrapment for a reason... - 6/10/2014

The joke among the locals is that it's "the land of Entrapment" vs. the land of Enchantment which is the slogan that greets you as you enter New Mexico. I've been in Albuquerque for about eight years and I now understand what the locals meant. Virtually in the middle of nowhere for 6-7 hours in all directions, and there is nothing here. I would say okay to visit, but not to live if you're used to a faster pace unless you're retiring. Coming from the East Coast, initially it was a nice change of scenery to the hustle and bustle of the fast paced concrete jungle, but the newness has worn off. It's much slower here, but almost too slow. Most of the previous posts are very accurate descriptions. Pros-amazing weather, relatively low cost of living, low crime compared to most major cities, light traffic, great for retirees. Cons-zero entertainment-no real sports teams, no entertainment-aside from performers that haven't been relevant in decades, so if nostalgia is your thing then Albuquerque is perfect. I agree with a previous poster about the food here. It's terrible. You can only have so many burritos, tamales, and red and green chile EVERYthing before you begin to detest the cuisine here. Not to mention REAL cons. One of our suburbs is rumored to be home to a witness protection program. Lots of addicts here too. Meth, pills, and alcoholism is pretty bad here, but if I had lived here my entire life, I would probably resort to drug abuse to cope as well. Three movie theaters, two malls, a few bowling alleys, a few bars, a few casinos, a few parks, a dirty river, and a mountain range sums up what Albuquerque has to offer its residents.

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tammy
Albuquerque, NM

What a sewer of a city - 4/28/2014

The politicians will tell you what you want to hear then screw you over royal. This place is a den of thieves and swindlers and that's about the businesses and government. There are some nice people here but they are few and far between. Dugs and alcohol is everywhere no safe place to live in this looser cesspool.

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David
Albuquerque, NM

I'm home! - 4/3/2014

Glad to be back home where I belong! I moved away from Albuquerque, N.M. 21 years ago to Denver, CO where I lived for 18 years. I made a BIG mistake and quit my job that I loved and moved to Los Angeles, CA. I hated it there If you were a middle- class type person, and you moved to a place like Los Angeles, you suddenly became impoverished due to the extremely high cost of living. Yes, I ended up living in the most ghetto-est city. I'm not racist but I have to admit... I absolutely felt as if I were living in some foreign country- Mexico, to be exact! Blaahhhhh! The cost of living in Albuquerque is so much better! I feel richer having moved back here- I'm even able to freely spend and save money, finally! I love Albuquerque and I'm glad to be back.

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barbara
Albuquerque, NM

land of enchantment - 3/8/2014

great place to raise a family, there are so many fun places to take the kids. there is the bio park, aquarium with a shark in a tank , the kids love it.a train ride to the zoo just to add some more fun.the seasons are so beautiful.the spring and summers are filled with colorful trees and flowers and the winters are like a hallmark card.i enjoy the smell of lavender and pine in the air.the mountain that surrounds the city is ever changing in colors and weather its so magical.We lived in other states before we moved to Albuquerque and we have all that we need from a city and more right here in the land of enchantment.

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Brandon
Albuquerque, NM

NO NO NO, getting out asap - 1/30/2014

I'll try to keep my review from being too scathing ... I moved here from Boulder, CO a few months ago and was looking for work out of state after not finding what I needed there. I managed to find a good job in my field down here and had never been here before, so it was a shot in the dark I won't pretend to know everything about abq but after 4 months here's what i've learned..After having lived in 8 states and 3 countries and have at least visitedmost US states, I gotta say NM and ABQ has it's quirks, for better or worse. Pros- -Good Food, good number of restaurants -Beautiful sunsets -mild weather(winters been great) -diverse culture -now i'm stretching... Cons: Prevalent racism.. it's real, as a well dressed younger professional-type white male, I get dirty looks wherever I go. Abq seems very cliquey and overall of everywhere i've lived seems to be the least friendly. There are lots of people here who grew up here and this is all they know and they'd rather just stick to their circles and not let new people in. I'm a very social guy and even with going out on occasion I don't feel like this is a good place to be the new guy in town, most people are pretty set in their ways and have their own circles.. I "feel" like an outsider here more than anywhere else i've lived and i've moved many times. I've met very few people here who I can relate to. Everyone seems to be completely swept up in a massive party culture here and have no intention of getting out of here. Most people smoke, drink and rage out like most nights of the week. I think this is where "the land of entrapment" partly comes from.. people partying their lives away here instead of seeking out education, better opportunites etc. Being 26 I partied alot the past few yrs and am not judging anyone, I still go to some bars here and stuff but the amount of people who have nothing in their life but getting high and f***ed up is astounding, lots of people i've met here that could have been friends but getting too high or whatever to do anything but sleep. I've never seen so many tattoos, I have several myself but i'm talking about neck and face tattoos, i've never lived in a place where i've seen so many like on the regular basis, connected to the employment issues? well maybe at least partially.. there are an incredible amount of people living off uncle sam here ijs. Smoke shops, mother of god i've never seen so many.. again nothing against smoking but promoting the party culture is a problem here, it says alot about the kind of people the city will produce. The liquor stores are packed at most times of day..I honestly wasn't familiar with many states that sold liquor at gas stations, grocery stores etc and I don't think that helps that culture i'm talking about. Stupid people..I guess it's a stereotype for New Mexicans to be poorly educated and everything but lord have mercy. I meet tons of people(mostly hispanic) who have horrible vocabulary, close minded, ghetto don't know anything about the world beyond Abq. I've never heard the word "mines", ever, as in "that is mines" .. I die everytime lol. I'm in school right now and have seen a ton of local students who I don't know how they made it that far, kudos to them for getting education though. One of my teachers is honest to god the worst teacher i've ever had in terms of her knowledge and grammar usage. The best word I can use for this city is a word I hate.. "Ratchet". I actually met a pretty cool chick recently but she turned out to be ghetto AF.. all her friends thugs, swaggots, Cholos and people who generally want nothing out of life. She tried to get me to pay for every single thing in a few dates, turned out she had no direction in life and was a leech. never returned my calls or anything after passing out from smoking too much, typical Abq. If you are a single white guy who likes Latinas like me, good luck, most are not open minded.. most are ratchet, twerking hos nd only love the Cholo, gangbanger types..earrings, neck tattoos, shaved head, a typical look here, just being real about it.. there is a certain culture that exists here nowhere else i've seen. Also very few good looking women in general, i've heard that before about abq. Bad drivers, i've seen 2 intersection related accidents and several near misses.. every state says they have bad drivers but I see a ton of it here..people not paying attention and lots of swerving drivers too.. top DWI state I hear and it's not hard to see why. I don't think this is a place you want to be if you are white. I hope that doesn't offend anyone but I mean it. I've had many friends all over the world of diff cultures but there is something about Abq where the hispanics here act like they own the place and treat you like a true outsider, I feel very unwelcome. I'm trying to be open minded about this place, really am.. I grew up in NY and know all about unfriendly people but damn.. unless something really blows my mind here i'm gonna finish up some school and get out of here in a year or two. In summary, just feels like a trap here.. too many people doing nothing but pissing their lives away, poorly educated and lack of resources, discrimination is high if you are not hispanic and/or look/speak educated, professional etc. I like the sunsets, weather, some good food here and there, there are some opportunities for medical professionals here which I am and also research with Sandia Labs and some other high tech ventures.. but this is a place is clearly a place to visit not live imho. Other places i've lived that i'm kind of comparing against: Albuquerque, NM 4.5/10 Boulder, CO 8/10 Colorado Springs, CO 9/10 Ogden/Salt Lake City, UT 7/10 Syracuse, NY 7/10 Albany, NY 6/10 Lancaster/Lebanon, PA 7/10 Reading, PA 4/10

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scott
Albuquerque, NM

Not good !! - 1/7/2014

This city has no real economy much like the total state. There are far more takers than makers so many are on welfare. The workforce is very uneducated with only 50% graduating high school. People here are very white trash like. Totally no good looking women - totally. Worst drivers in the US. School system is terrible. NOT A GOOD PLACE TO BE !!!!

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Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque political environment - 12/25/2013

Albuquerque politics: Like the U.S. at large, the political divide is close to even. There are strong communitarian and individualistic views and impulses evident throughout, often in interesting combinations. The pioneer/rancher ethos is strong (which has both libertarian and communitarian streaks), along with Native American, intellectual, and humanist perspectives. There are noisy wing nuts on both sides, but more people seem relatively moderate politically. There's a large Air Force base and sizable active duty and National Guard populations. It's a generally pro gun area, though many anti-gun people are also present.

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Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque political environment - 12/25/2013

Albuquerque politics: Like the U.S. at large, the political divide is close to even. There are strong communitarian and individualistic views and impulses evident throughout, often in interesting combinations. The pioneer/rancher ethos is strong (which has both libertarian and communitarian streaks), along with Native American, intellectual, and humanist perspectives. There are noisy wing nuts on both sides, but more people seem relatively moderate politically. There's a large Air Force base and sizable active duty and National Guard populations. It's a generally pro gun area, though many anti-gun people are also present.

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Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Mediocre public education -- a few decent private - 12/25/2013

Albuquerque education: Public schools are so-so, and of inconsistent quality. We've not had children in the school system, but one of us volunteers with elementary reading tutoring and sees the damaging effects of several interacting factors: conservatives' relentless campaigns to vilify teachers and undercut real education, poorly managed schools at the system level, and a significant amount of parental incompetence (from an educational perspective). And yes, there are some (a minority of) unqualified teachers who need to be retrained or removed. There are a lot of poor, undereducated parents who don't know how to best help their children learn. It's a toxic mix of factors conspiring against effective public schools. Even so, there are pockets of excellence, though these tend not to be rewarded or reinforced and are difficult to maintain. There are a few good private schools in the area, but only a couple that are secular. Well educated parents who have the ability and time to oversee their kids' learning will be okay. Others' children may suffer inferior educations. University of New Mexico is here, with a reputation ranging from so-so to superior, depending on academic program. UNM has a reputation for bleeding off too much of its budget to a too-large cadre of overpaid, under-performing administrators. It also has a reputation for its maddening bureaucratic processes and unhelpful lower-and-mid level administrative personnel. I've heard many disturbing stories of staff being blatantly rude and dismissive of students seeking to sign up for classes, change schedules, or take other simple administrative actions. UNM does offer a robust continuing education program that gets much better reviews. CNM, the local community college, is typical of that kind of school. It's more affordable than UNM, but has fewer programs. Because there's a large military community, there are a lot of other national universities and colleges (U. of Phoenix, National U., etc.) with physical presence. If you want an education and can afford it, you can get it.

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Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Mediocre public education -- a few decent private - 12/25/2013

Albuquerque education: Public schools are so-so, and of inconsistent quality. We've not had children in the school system, but one of us volunteers with elementary reading tutoring and sees the damaging effects of several interacting factors: conservatives' relentless campaigns to vilify teachers and undercut real education, poorly managed schools at the system level, and a significant amount of parental incompetence (from an educational perspective). And yes, there are some (a minority of) unqualified teachers who need to be retrained or removed. There are a lot of poor, undereducated parents who don't know how to best help their children learn. It's a toxic mix of factors conspiring against effective public schools. Even so, there are pockets of excellence, though these tend not to be rewarded or reinforced and are difficult to maintain. There are a few good private schools in the area, but only a couple that are secular. Well educated parents who have the ability and time to oversee their kids' learning will be okay. Others' children may suffer inferior educations. University of New Mexico is here, with a reputation ranging from so-so to superior, depending on academic program. UNM has a reputation for bleeding off too much of its budget to a too-large cadre of overpaid, under-performing administrators. It also has a reputation for its maddening bureaucratic processes and unhelpful lower-and-mid level administrative personnel. I've heard many disturbing stories of staff being blatantly rude and dismissive of students seeking to sign up for classes, change schedules, or take other simple administrative actions. UNM does offer a robust continuing education program that gets much better reviews. CNM, the local community college, is typical of that kind of school. It's more affordable than UNM, but has fewer programs. Because there's a large military community, there are a lot of other national universities and colleges (U. of Phoenix, National U., etc.) with physical presence. If you want an education and can afford it, you can get it.

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Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Crime and enforcement - 12/25/2013

Albuquerque crime: There’s a good bit of property crime, mainly vehicle thefts and vandalism, but a lot of break ins. Violent crime is moderate-to-low in our vicinity. Crimes tend to be concentrated to particular areas. A bit of research before choosing a neighborhood will greatly improve your odds of a peaceful life here. The state and metro police seem to have been in relative disarray for a long time. Both have trouble attracting and retaining quality officers. There have been more than a few high-profile cases of police misbehavior that have cost taxpayers millions in lawsuits. In short, law enforcement appears be less professional and effective than needed. There's a sense that some officers are cavalier and abusive, leading to a lack of trust from the public. (One acquaintance recently showed me statistics indicating Albuquerque rates significantly higher for political corruption than does Mexico City!) On the other hand, it is often unclear what officers are supposed to do -- what is appropriate and legal -- in various situations. For example, when is it appropriate to use a firearm? When to engage in high-speed pursuit? These issues seem to lack legal and policy clarity and are made more difficult by ceaseless sensationalized media coverage. Better law enforcement will require both better (more qualified, more ethical) officers and clarity of laws and LE policies. And getting more and better cops means paying them more (as with teachers, etc.).

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Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Crime and enforcement - 12/25/2013

Albuquerque crime: There’s a good bit of property crime, mainly vehicle thefts and vandalism, but a lot of break ins. Violent crime is moderate-to-low in our vicinity. Crimes tend to be concentrated to particular areas. A bit of research before choosing a neighborhood will greatly improve your odds of a peaceful life here. The state and metro police seem to have been in relative disarray for a long time. Both have trouble attracting and retaining quality officers. There have been more than a few high-profile cases of police misbehavior that have cost taxpayers millions in lawsuits. In short, law enforcement appears be less professional and effective than needed. There's a sense that some officers are cavalier and abusive, leading to a lack of trust from the public. (One acquaintance recently showed me statistics indicating Albuquerque rates significantly higher for political corruption than does Mexico City!) On the other hand, it is often unclear what officers are supposed to do -- what is appropriate and legal -- in various situations. For example, when is it appropriate to use a firearm? When to engage in high-speed pursuit? These issues seem to lack legal and policy clarity and are made more difficult by ceaseless sensationalized media coverage. Better law enforcement will require both better (more qualified, more ethical) officers and clarity of laws and LE policies. And getting more and better cops means paying them more (as with teachers, etc.).

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Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Good location for climate and outdoor activities, - 12/25/2013

Albuquerque climate and recreation: Albuquerque has a moderate climate with lots of sunny days. It's a great place for year-round outdoor activities, assuming you are one of the few who does not have allergic reactions to the incredible volumns of pollen that swirl about 10 months of the year. I never had serious allergy problems until moving here--and I've lived all over, including Europe and Asia. I recommend renting for a full year before buying here. Make sure you aren't afflicted by allergies if you’re thinking to stay long term. The other negative, with respect to outdoor activities, is the bike, motorcycle, and pedestrian unfriendly roads. Many drivers are reckless, under the influence, impaired, or simply too selfish to share the roads with others. Drivers routinely and flagrantly run red lights and stop signs. Cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists are maimed and killed regularly. There's also a huge problem with drunk/doped drivers. There are a few nice paved paths, but few of any meaningful length that don't cross roads. There are lots of good unpaved trails in the mountains and foothills, for both bikes and hikers. There’s a snow ski area on the mountain at the east boundary of the city, and another near Santa Fe (1+ hour drive), and Red River and Taos farther north. There’s great hiking and camping, and a fair amount of fishing, across the state. Albuquerque culture: There's a good bit of cultural variety here to keep things interesting. It's not like in a major city, but many cultures have a presence. You can find most kinds of food. There are a variety of festivals. I would like to see more cultural and racial variety, but it's getting there slowly.

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Mark
Albuquerque, NM

Good location for climate and outdoor activities, - 12/25/2013

Albuquerque climate and recreation: Albuquerque has a moderate climate with lots of sunny days. It's a great place for year-round outdoor activities, assuming you are one of the few who does not have allergic reactions to the incredible volumns of pollen that swirl about 10 months of the year. I never had serious allergy problems until moving here--and I've lived all over, including Europe and Asia. I recommend renting for a full year before buying here. Make sure you aren't afflicted by allergies if you’re thinking to stay long term. The other negative, with respect to outdoor activities, is the bike, motorcycle, and pedestrian unfriendly roads. Many drivers are reckless, under the influence, impaired, or simply too selfish to share the roads with others. Drivers routinely and flagrantly run red lights and stop signs. Cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists are maimed and killed regularly. There's also a huge problem with drunk/doped drivers. There are a few nice paved paths, but few of any meaningful length that don't cross roads. There are lots of good unpaved trails in the mountains and foothills, for both bikes and hikers. There’s a snow ski area on the mountain at the east boundary of the city, and another near Santa Fe (1+ hour drive), and Red River and Taos farther north. There’s great hiking and camping, and a fair amount of fishing, across the state. Albuquerque culture: There's a good bit of cultural variety here to keep things interesting. It's not like in a major city, but many cultures have a presence. You can find most kinds of food. There are a variety of festivals. I would like to see more cultural and racial variety, but it's getting there slowly.

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D.
Baltimore, MD

Albuquerque - 12/21/2013

Hello, I am from Maryland too (Towson and Mt. Washington). We lived in Albuquerque for 8 years. We came back because of sick parents. We hate it here. In some ways Albuquerque fit us better. Don't reconsider Albuquerque. It does have a lot to offer. We were frustrated when living there. Now we see just what we gained by living there. We are planning to move back to Albuquerque or maybe San diego Ca. We love the West. Albuquerque is a great place to retire. Just educate yourself about the job market. It is not like the East Coast. Compared to Baltimore MD, it lacks economic infrastructure and education. It is a very different place. Make sure you have a savings or a steady income so you don't have to rely so much on a job there. If you have any questions you can e-mail me. We have learned a lot. D. Moss

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Kris
Kirkland, WA

i thought about moving there, but... - 12/8/2013

Few years ago, i went there for an interview and i spent a day driving all over the city. i felt the city was generally dirty and ugly, especially around downtown - even the river was brown and murky. The only part of the city that was half decent was in the NE. i went up the Tramway and went into housing blocks in the area, and it was nice and clean (a typical upper middle class suburb), but not too many shopping or eating places... The trails were not at all like the pictures posted - it was mostly dry brushes and steep hills - hard to climb with little ones. Finally i went up to North Acre area (just outside the city) which was nice and spacious dotted with mansion like houses, but there were no sidewalks for walking or biking, and cars were going very fast in those straight streets, making it dangerous to walk or bike around the street. They use ground water / septic, and i heard some are having problems with water quality. There were small pockets of well organized area with sidewalks in NE area of the city boundary. But, everywhere else was not very inviting. Overall, it was not enough for me to want to move there. i heard that UNM was not the best either. If you lived in the North Acres, you basically stay home, and have to drive long stretches to go anywhere. i also drove around east of the mountains where i found some trees, but you would miss out on the beautiful sunsets, because they are blocked by the mountains to the west.

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Kris
Kirkland, WA

i thought about moving there, but... - 12/8/2013

Few years ago, i went there for an interview and i spent a day driving all over the city. i felt the city was generally dirty and ugly, especially around downtown - even the river was brown and murky. The only part of the city that was half decent was in the NE. i went up the Tramway and went into housing blocks in the area, and it was nice and clean (a typical upper middle class suburb), but not too many shopping or eating places... The trails were not at all like the pictures posted - it was mostly dry brushes and steep hills - hard to climb with little ones. Finally i went up to North Acre area (just outside the city) which was nice and spacious dotted with mansion like houses, but there were no sidewalks for walking or biking, and cars were going very fast in those straight streets, making it dangerous to walk or bike around the street. They use ground water / septic, and i heard some are having problems with water quality. There were small pockets of well organized area with sidewalks in NE area of the city boundary. But, everywhere else was not very inviting. Overall, it was not enough for me to want to move there. i heard that UNM was not the best either. If you lived in the North Acres, you basically stay home, and have to drive long stretches to go anywhere. i also drove around east of the mountain where i found some trees, but you would miss out on the beautiful sunsets, because they are blocked by the mountains to the west.

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D.
Albuquerque, NM

It could be Better - 10/1/2013

Crime rate is fairly high due to the availability of drugs and the demand is high due to the populations frustration with un-employment. This whole mess can be be summed up in two words... " No Work"... my suggestion is don't come to Albuquerque if you re looking for a good paying job they are just to few opportunities.

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