Albuquerque, New Mexico Comments

"Land of Entrapment? Maybe..."

Land of Entrapment? Maybe... - 2/18/2012
26 4

Albuquerque is aka as "the land of enchantment, land of entrapment, the 505, burque and ABQ. all of which I hate and refuse to use but thought some people might be interested to know.

I feel compelled to write this review because I have been using this site for a few years and haven't posted yet. After reading the posts about Abq, both good and bad, I'd like to offer my two cents. I am a transplant to Albuquerque. I moved here when I was 14 from a greener and more pleasant land, England. It was total culture shock for me and I have yet to get over it. I graduated high school and went to college here, in fact I have just returned to college here as an adult to continue my education. I am now 40 years old and have three children. I have always known that I wanted to leave Abq from the moment I got here but I made choices as a young adult that prevented me from doing so. That said, I will offer my opinion as logically as possible based on the criteria that most people use to judge what makes a good vs. bad place to live.

1. Culture- We have little diversity outside of what is Hispanic, Native American or European descent. African Americans, Chinese, Eastern European or anything else is a rarity but you do still see some on occasion. Our restaurants are mainly American, Mexican, New Mexican or Fast Food. We have about 75% of the major fast food and casual dining chains found in the US. It is amusing that when we get a new chain, such as PF Changs or Pei Wei, people flock to it for months to get a feel for what a "real" city has to offer. We have an aquarium that takes all of 10 minutes to walk through. A zoo which is quite large and has some nice features but some disturbing issues as well. Twice I have come across bothersome situations at our zoo and reported it to security. I walked around the corner in an isolated area to find a girl standing topless agains an animal exhibit while some guy takes pics of her. Granted I go to the zoo in the middle of the week and in the off season when it is less crowded but come on! My kids saw the first incident but thankfully they were probably too young to remember. Fortunately they didn't see the second. We have a few museums and a bit of art but nothing compared to bigger cities. We don't get many good exhibits, shows or concerts but it is getting better over the years.

2. Climate-Our climate is ideal for some. Lots of sunny days. Many people, especially older people or those with asthma, arthritis or health concerns love the climate here. It is very arid and usually lends itself to being outdoors. We get a few snow storms that come through and leave a small amount of snow. It is usually gone by the afternoon or next day because the intensity of the sun is so great. The summers are too hot for me but some feel they're great. The sun is very intense and we have a high rate of skin cancer so expect to wear sunscreen. Most homes have swamp coolers not air conditioners so when the humidity is high in the monsoon season (July/August) the combination of increased humidity and heat (90+ degrees) is unbearable to me. Generally, I do not like the extremes we have here. Very hot in the summer with temperatures frequently above 90, very cold in the winter with temperatures freezing or below at night and in the 40's in the day. But as I mentioned, many people find it quite tolerable and there are always people outside enjoying out door activities.

3. Education-Extremely low educational standards. Consistently ranking in the bottom 10th of the US. APS (Alb. Public Schools) is poorly run, makes a great effort to cover the low rankings by continually LOWERING the standards so that it appears more students are passing. There is a strong blue collar work force here and an "old school" mentality that almost shuns higher education. Last I checked, the required GPA for entrance to the University of New Mexico was a 2.0. Really? I am in the medical field, my husband is a scientist. Almost everyone we know with school age children send their kids to one of the 3 main private schools we have here.
I encourage anyone thinking of moving here to do your own research and compare our education system to that of the rest of the US and beware. It is in bad condition here. English is spoken here as if it is a second language. Probably because for a lot of families it is. The problem is that the slang reflects that. Here's an example of a few sayings. "get down from the truck, turn your cigarette off, out of battery"

4. Cost of Living- No doubt about it, it is much lower here than most places in the US especially other cities this size. No tolls, parking is plentiful and cheap on the odd occasion that you have to pay for it. Houses are inexpensive, property taxes are fairly low, food and gas is very inexpensive. Even day care and preschool is very affordable comparatively. This is one of the pluses to living here. But dare I say, you get what you pay for?

5. Work Force/Jobs-There is an odd income distribution here. As mentioned earlier, we have a lot of blue collar jobs. What we also have a bit of, that throws the income distribution off, is Sandia National Labs which I believe employs about 2000 people. Most of those are high earners in the 100K+/year range. There is some technology based around the labs and defense contracts from Kirtland AFB. Intel (in Rio Rancho) employees quite a few people but those stats would likely fall under Rio Rancho which is the next town NW of Abq. There have been lots of businesses closing and laying people off. Jobs are becoming more difficult to find even for professionals. To be fair, I think it is mostly a reflection of the current economic state of the entire country.

6. Recreation-Moutains, high desert, remarkable views, amazing sunsets, interesting geographic oddities (carlsbad caverns, ice caves, tent rocks) You can ski, hike, rock climb, cycle, camp, snowshoe just about all year. I don't because I don't like the extremes in temperatures but lots of people can handle it better than I can. I do ski, camp and cycle when the temps are suitable for me. I have learned over the years, with much patience and education, to grow an amazing garden but it is quite an art here. I am one of the few people who can successfully grow potatoes but I use raised beds and make my own compost. Tomatoes, squash and corn do well here with little effort. The soil is either sand, clay or granite and requires lots of amending to support growth but with determination and patience it can be done. There are certain tree, shrub and plant varieties that do well here and it is worth knowing what those are to avoid frustration. Visiting one of the local garden centers will help you determine what you can and can't do. But beware, do not move here from a green and moist environment thinking you can get things to grow that you grew some where else. You will be disappointed.

7. Crime-As I mentioned, I work in the medical field. I see a disturbing amount of polysubstance abuse. Granted I generally see people at their worst, not their best. Espanola and norther New Mexico (Santa Fe and surrounding communities) have incredibly high rates of heroin use. Our police officers carry an heroin antidote drug called Narcan so that if they find someone down and unresponsive they can assume it is a heroin OD and administer Narcan! Wow! Meth is another big problem here. I see people using meth that you would never in a million years peg for a meth uses. Intel employees, lawyers, real estate agents and school teachers. Think Breaking Bad... and don't forget all the ugly behaviors that go along with crime. Violence, oh by the way, we have one of the highest rates of murder per capita in the US. Yes, Albuquerque, really. Theft, child abuse rates are so bad, as is domestic violence. We just had a case where a ONE MONTH old infant was RAPED and subsequently died from internal bleeding because mom's boyfriend (she managed to get a new BF a month after giving birth... priorities I guess!) who was not the father of the baby... was coming down off of meth and was irritated that the baby was crying. So I guess this guy thought the answer was to rape the infant. Okay, I hope they take care of him in jail. Mom was at Walmart while this was happening. Need I say more? well, I will...

Gangs, gangs and more gangs. They are disgusting and scary. Poor socioeconomic factors seem to make the gang life more appealing to youths. Those that aren't a part of them are still influence by them and it creeps into the schools and general pop culture. Lots of people walking around with their surname tattoo on their neck (incase they forget, or maybe so if they're found dead they can be identified? I dunno) Boyfriends name on the breasts, kids names categorized by which father they came from. It's tacky and gross. I've worked in Labor and Delivery and Mother-Baby as a nurse. The families and situations that kids in Abq are born into are distressing. We would all be so happy when a normal, semi-functioning nuclear family came in to have a baby. It was like a breath of fresh air.

I have also worked in ICU where of course we had trauma and a bunch of death. Depressing and scary and a lot of it was gang related OR someone caught in the cross fire. My sister was a burn and wound care nurse. She left because she couldn't handle all the kids she had to treat. Kids under the age of 10 who are burned, dipped in vats of hot oil, dads who stick garden hoses up their children's bottoms because they're angry they soiled their pants. Cigarette burns, one infant was stuck in a sink full of hot water and suffered 3rd degree burns. Many of these crimes take time to act on. You have to FILL THE SINK full of water. That takes thought and time to prepare. People here are just disturbing but the fact is, it is what they grew up seeing and it is a vicious cycle that continues with each generation. I know these are horrible, graphic details but this is the reality of what happens here. I've seen it for the past 15 or more years working in the medical field and it isn't getting better, it is getting worse.

So in closing, we are now trying to relocate. We have given this place every chance we can. It is time to leave. Enough is enough. I do not want my kids to be any more influenced than they already have been. They are even starting to speak as if english is their second language. I can't have that. We are so influenced by the New Mexican culture that we are loosing our own identity and it makes me sad. That isn't fair to us or them. They deserve a better place with more opportunity and higher standards. Another writer posted something about how because the education system is tough here it will prepare them for real life. That is not true at all. All it does is handicap them for anything outside of theses 4 walls. How can you possibly be competitive elsewhere when standards are higher everywhere else. So bottom line, if you are moving here to retire, this may be the place for you. If you are moving with kids or as a single person hopping to start a family, look else where. Since we announced to friends and family that we are thinking of moving, not a single person has said we should stay. Everyone has said that it is probably the best thing we can do for our family. That in itself speaks volumes.

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re: Land of Entrapment? Maybe... - 2/18/2012 - 5/29/2012
Listen to Heidi please and most all posters!! She right on the money. Just avoid the state. It's beautiful but not worth living here. It's very cliquish(I has always has been this way) and with the economy not being great here you'll have a hard time finding a job with or without education. If you were offered a job before you get here that's a different story. This is not a place you want to raise you child. Keep a close eye on them. Just because it's laid back and not a large city do not be fooled. We have a lot gangs/criminals coming from California(we have enough of our own!) trying to avoid their third strike and the politicians continue to block laws that would stop the high crime; it will be California number two soon. We have no death penalty anymore. They won't even deal with drunk driving.However, this would make sense. Judges, politicians etc have been caught numerous times. If you come you'll be coming to a place that finally decided to do something with a drunk driver on his 27th DUI!!!. Cost of living is cheap but for the most part the schools are bad. Some one in previous comments said people seem unhappy and angry. This is true. And if they see you're happy they'll try to bring you down. Positive people stick with positive people(there are good people here as with any place)here and there's lots of mental illness here. And lots of abuse (spousal or child). People seem to love the animals more than humans. On a positive note, if you like the outdoors you'll find many things to do like camping and riding off road bikes. We're abundant in sunshine most days out of the year. There are a lot of talented artist and musician here. You'll see art in the local paper and in Santa Fe and around. If politics is your concern, we have a Republican governor but is constantly blocked in some way by the Democratic controllers. They have been in control for years. You you don't know what a place is like until you live in it and this state does not get near as much exposure for the corruption (on all levels) as other states do; it's as if people for get it exist. People for the most part do not fight it much or at all either. Nowhere is a utopia but please think twice before moving here if you have many of the concern listed in the comments of this post and other. And if you notice almost all of the comments almost have the same theme. Unfortunately on another forum(one major one I can think of) they do not tell the negative and if posters see a negative poster they're called a troll etc. I think it's important give both sides to give people a fair opinion of what's going on. But hey it's just my view.

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re: Land of Entrapment? Maybe... - 2/18/2012 - 4/20/2012
Holy crap Heidi! Thanks for the amazing descriptive need to know review. We are from the Chicago suburbs, so maybe this is no big change for us, but we were thinking of moving there for the weather and mountains. We are basically retired, in our middle 50's, but drive school buses here and were thinking ofmoving there and driving a school bus. But, maybe after reading the terrible conditions alot of these children are under, maybe not! What about scorpions??? I'm a little scared of moving there with the bugs and snakes. Any more information? Thanks, Rhonda

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More Albuquerque, New Mexico Comments

Albuquerque, NM

Safe-ish - 11/12/2016

Albuquerque voted for Hilary in the presidential 2016 election so it's not all bad. The majority of people are either Hispanic or non-white so we're pretty safe. The downside is that there are active klan members in the state of New Mexico. Hopefully, a majority of them live in the southern most racist parts of New Mexico. Albuquerque is one of the most progressive cities in New Mexico and we welcome you to help fight against bigotry in the U.S.

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Albuquerque, NM

So much wasted beauty - 9/2/2016

My wife and I came to Albuquerque to retire 3 years ago. We explored the city first to see if it seemed like a good fit. It is a very deceptive city because it's beautiful, with mountains and forest nearby, and frankly probably the best year around weather in the U.S. if you like a little variety, with no extremes. We are moving back to the frozen northern U.S. because this place is pathetic. The incompetence and corruption here will drive you nuts and is literally life threatening. If you deal with any kind of business including medical institutions, they will not do what they say they will do, and you have to follow up about 15 times before you get an appointment. This of course is unacceptable in medical settings. People die here because of incompetence and neglect. This ALONE is a reason nobody should retire here. As everyone mentions, the crime is through the roof. We live in one of the better neighborhoods in the far N.E. Heights. In the three years we've been here there has been about 8 attempted break-ins on our block. A few months ago, a retired gentleman was reading the newspaper in his garage during the afternoon, and two guys came up to him with guns drawn and robbed him. This is a neighborhood where almost everyone owns their home, and there is few rental properties! I would say this street is comparable in crime to the very worst street in Minneapolis where we came from, and like I said, we live in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Albuquerque. The Police department is literally the most corrupt in the country. They even have the District Attorney intimidated, and are known for hard core tactics when anybody challenges them. It's really beyond words. But it isn't just the police, the entire apparatus of city government is corrupt and on the take. Consequently, this is a crimminals paradise. The economy stinks. We have the most child abuse of any city in the country. The most child poverty e.t.c. The public school system is a joke, and the heads are all on the take too. They recently hired a sex offender to a high position in the school system. And of course, how could I forget? Meth and heroine and who knows what else-Opioids? everywhere. The crimes here will blow your mind, and a significant portion of the population is bad as, in really really really bad. Do not move here for any reason.

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Albuquerque, NM

Crap Hole - 8/16/2016

This place has bad violent crime and gangs. I can hardly wait to leave this crap hole. The US should give this state back to Mexico.

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San Antonio, TX

Cool and beautiful little city except for......... - 7/31/2016

Ahh...........quirky, cute, landscape glorious and just downright abstract little ABQ. I lived there for a month shy of 4 years and wouldn't take back that time for anything. There's something cosmic about central to northern NM and if you're asingle man with nothing chained to your feet then this place is a must. However, you have to be in government work or have a medical degree or you will NOT make a decent living. New Mexico is 2nd to dead last in job growth and the fiscally liberal policies keep welfare #1 there. However, if you have money or a good job there then holy moly can you live a great life. That is unless your idea of living involves sports bars and video games. If you want to get or feel inspired then from anywhere in real albuquerque, most anything east of I-25, you're only within 12 minutes of world class hiking, cross country skiing, rock and mountain climbing and wilderness that is vast and potentially life threatening (always fun when risk is involved) wilderness. There is virtually no commute and a car is not absolutely a must have in the duke. You can drive from the east most section to the west most section in under 20 minutes. Roadbike trails are endless there as are trails in the foothills for mountain biking. The year round climate is the best in america..yes it's not my opinion but fact. Well, 2nd to Santa Fe less than an hour away. Culture within the city: Abq has a brew pub on every corner and sells their local beers across the country. The food is amazing as are the local markets. The people: thaaat's where the city falls a little short, but not by much. There are some craaaazy people in the duke city. Some of the luniest people i've ever come across are in the high desert town and even though most are harmless, it wears on you after awhile. There are some laid back cool libertarian types that make up for the PC weirdo communists that ruin ABQ so it almost balances out. Alot of the population is very unintelligent and bigoted too. The Economy: Well, if you want to know why i'm not there anymore. That's the only reason. There isn't one and the New Mexican way of doing business is why there isn't one. Albuquerque is a terrible place to do business and most if not all business owners there have bad attitudes and are incompetent. The uber-liberal legislature there deliberately drives away business so they can keep justifying their hand-out from uncle Sam. Other than not being able to make any money, I don't have really many negatives about Abq and would move back if they ever had an about face on job creation. Oh well, that's why there's Colorado.

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Longmont, CO

Pig hole - 7/23/2016

Use to be a nice city in the early 1990s. Crime is off the is an illegal immigrant haven. Few respect the police here. Government is corrupt. I would not even visit here unless I had o.

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Albuquerque, NM

From a native New Mexican who has lived elsewhere - 6/8/2016

I have lived in Albuquerque for the past 13 years (originally from Santa Fe), and I love it here! I have traveled extensively and lived out of state, so I have seen many other places, and Albuquerque has so much to offer! Pros: - Amazing climate! Not too hot, not too cold. Four distinct seasons. - Natural beauty you will be hard pressed to find in any other state. So many day trips to national parks, monuments, and forests. And our parks aren't overcrowded! You can actually get some solitude outdoors here. - Incredible outdoor recreation opportunities in your backyard: hiking, mountain biking, fishing, camping, climbing, hunting, skydiving, paragliding off the Sandia Mountains! World-class skiing is only 1-2 hours away! You don't have to make a three day schlep to Colorado and shell out a ton of money in order to get in some good skiing. And our slopes are not crowded. - Affordability! Home ownership is within reach. Many charming historic homes. - No traffic, compared to cities of similar size. You can get anywhere in 15 minutes. - Strong local restaurant scene. If you can't stand chain restaurants, this is a great city! And an incredible diversity of ethnic foods, too. - Green chile! Need I say more? - Strong local small business scene in general. An abundance of farmer's markets, small businesses, boutique shops. And many within the realm of affordability - not just a bunch of cutesy chi-chi high end boutiques. Lots of organic food available. Lots of local food available. The urban chicken (backyard chicken) movement started early on here. Strong support for local business start ups. - If you love gardening, the growing season here is long and wonderful. - Rebounding economy and strong tech start up scene. Strong entrepreneurial scene and a great place to get in on the ground floor for young people and entrepreneurs. Many networking events and groups have popped up in the past couple of years, Innovate ABQ and the innovation district is starting up soon - check it out! - Lots of bike paths and outdoor recreation opportunities in the middle of the city, not just in the adjacent Sandia Mountains. - A variety of small towns all in one city! You can live urban, suburban, in a small-town-feeling charming neighborhood, in the country with livestock - all in city limits. We live by the university, in a charming neighborhood with front porches on all the homes. - Lots of diversity, very little segregation. Neighborhoods are pretty mixed up, socioeconomically, races are pretty mixed up. I think this is a pro (as I am mixed race myself), but if it makes you nervous, then this is probably not the place for you. - Local sports! We have a great AAA baseball team, and an awesome development league soccer team. No pro sports, but families can actually afford the tickets to minor league games. - We're getting a major rapid transit bus system, starting this year. That should help with more urban-like development. The cons: - Crime. It's high, but I will say that the only thing that has ever happened to me (or most people I know) is cars getting broken into. And 99% of the time, it's because someone did something very stupid, like leave their laptop on the front seat of their car overnight. I do know a couple of people who have been robbed in their homes - one left the front door unlocked all the time, the other one it was a random robbery. It happens. We have an alarm system and two big dogs, and so far we have been fine. If you have a very nice car (Escalade, Tesla), buy a house with a garage. The most common crime seems to be property crime. I have a neighbor with two nice Porsches out in a carport though, and no one has ever messed with his cars. - The public schools mostly suck. Like many places, you need to live in a good school neighborhood if you have kids. There are many private schools here, though, and also an incredibly strong homeschooling network with their own sports leagues, etc. And the charter school system, which is paid for with public money, is really strong and many people I know have their kids in charter schools, and the kids are thriving. If you want to live in a place where everyone is exactly the same, or the majority is white, or exotic cuisine means extra salt on your food at Applebees, this is not the place for you. There is a great diversity here: of thought, of art, of lifestyle, of cuisine, of people. Something for everyone. People are friendly, inviting, open. If you want to live somewhere super-urban, this isn't the place for you either. You can get around here with a bicycle on the bike paths, but it isn't an urban city. It's more of a base camp for us outdoorsy types, and you generally do need a car to get to shopping, etc., outside of downtown (if you choose to live downtown to try to get an urban feel). It's dry here. Some people love it, some hate it. Very low humidity. The dryness means that lawns don't just grow on their own, and you have to make an effort to landscape your property. Which means there are a lot of yards that are just dirt, as not everyone is into gardening. For everyone on this site that has complained that people here aren't friendly- you get back what you put out in the world! If you aren't friendly, you can expect people to reciprocate that. And that can happen anywhere. The grass is greener right where you water it.

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Louisburg, KS

39 year Native from ABQ NM - The Good, the bad, an - 5/23/2016

I was born and raised in Albuquerque NM and lived there for nearly 39 years (minus 4 years in the military). I will never dispute the fact that Albuquerque is my hometown and there are many things I absolutely love about the high desert Southwest, but there are probably more things that I've grown to dislike as I've gotten older. In the past year, my family decided to move away from my hometown in search of a better quality of life. Here are some of the reasons that play a part in our decisions to leave Albuquerque. THE ECONOMY AND JOB MARKET I am formally educated, having a BBA and MBA degrees, and have been a working IT professional for nearly 19 years. In a nutshell, Albuquerque's job market is pretty miserable when compared with other similarly sized cities. I remember in college at UNM, I learned that New Mexico has the highest number of government jobs (per capita) and the lowest number of private sector jobs (per capita) in the entire country. What that means is that New Mexico is highly dependent on the government (aka handouts, subsidized everything). It's no secret that New Mexico is always one of the poorest (if not the poorest) state in the country which is a constant back and forth competition with Mississippi to be the bottom of every good ranking. The University of New Mexico, Sandia Labs, and Kirtland AFB, make up a significant part of the entire Albuquerque job market which is not a good thing. There are very few career enhancement opportunities outside the safety net of Kirtland AFB. The state itself isn't known to be "business friendly" and the vast majority of corporate expansions into New Mexico are in the form of call centers, which corporations purposely locate in "low skilled" workforce areas. Unfortunately it doesn't take very long to figure out that a major portion of the population is uneducated and downright complacent with their dress, appearance, and the overall way they carry themselves and human beings. CRIME I don't recall Albuquerque being known as a violent and dangerous city back when I was growing up but that changed as I grew older. As often is the case, people tend not to notice how significant something is when they live it every single day. The reality of Albuquerque (and New Mexico in general) being a violent and dangerous place started to set in with me after I got married nearly 15 years ago and had family visitors from out of state see things in person and on the news and ask my wife and I about it. We lived in a middle-upper class neighborhood and many of the homes still had bars on the windows which was shocking for our out of state visitors. Our house was burglarized and just about anyone in Albuquerque knows someone who has been as well. Auto thefts, personal property crimes, and vandalism are rampant. In the newest of new restaurants or entertainment venues, it's literally a matter of days, if not hours, before the stalls, walls, or somewhere else has graffiti on it. As far as violent crime goes, it's off the charts for a mid-sized city. The population as a whole have no respect for the police. Albuquerque has had a lot of officer involved shootings, which in my opinion the majority were justified. In most cases, the subject pointed a gun at officers and they took action, but then after the fact, it comes out that the person was mentally ill and there is so much public outcry at the police, but never at the individual(s) who drew a gun on the officers in the first place. Without the support of its own citizens, Albuquerque is the Wild West and there is some crazy things that go on that justify “Breaking Bad” being based in Albuquerque. The violence is out of control to say the least but you’ll always hear people from there say “crime happens everywhere”……yes it does, but the statistics for Albuquerque’s crime rates do not match the size of the city itself. FOOD, CULTURE, and WEATHER Albuquerque (and New Mexico) has some of the best food anyone could ever ask for assuming they like spicy food. Red or Green Chile goes on everything and the food is something that I absolutely miss the most. Albuquerque’s climate is pretty amazing with something like 330+ days of sunshine per year, mountains right in your backyard. It is an outdoor person’s playground without a doubt and you won’t hear any argument from me when it comes to saying Albuquerque is probably the best training environment for athletes. As far as the culture goes, Hispanics are the majority and everything else is a minority. I never experienced any “racial” issues while living there but I will say that you do not often see Hispanic girls marry non-Hispanic guys. I heard this on another write up for Albuquerque and it has stuck with me because it is so true. New Mexican Hispanic families are probably the closest tight-knit group of people you’ll ever meet, which is by no means a bad thing, but there are a lot of Hispanic cliques that if you’re not in the clique, you’re a second class citizen. In living in the Midwest now, I see more neighbor and community oriented relationships but not remotely the amount of territorial cliques I saw and experienced in New Mexico (to include my own family). EDUCATION AND GOVERNMENT There’s not much to say about the public education system in New Mexico. It literally has to be in the lowest 5% in the entire country if not the lowest. I don’t know what the issue or solution is (although the teacher’s union comes to mind as the root cause of the problem), but the education system in New Mexico has always been horrific since I attended back in the 80s. The school system is run by corrupt and inept individuals who have ties to government officials which brings up the state of government. New Mexico’s lawmakers would make the mafia look like saints. One of the reasons why New Mexico is a complete disaster, and in my opinion a failed stated, is because of the massive amount of corrupt politicians. There are no laws that send dangerous criminals to prison for any long term periods. It is not remotely surprising to hear of murderers who have been convicted of murder in the past but got off because of a mistrial, the DAs office missed something, or something else that is hard to believe, but it happens all the time. Not to make light of the topic, but I know if I were a criminal, I’d go out of my way to commit my crimes in New Mexico because the likelihood of getting off or having a light sentence is in the criminal’s favor. CLOSING In summary, New Mexico is a beautiful state with lots of culture, and amazing food. That’s about it. The government, school systems, crime rates, and level of complacency in the culture was enough for my family to move to the Midwest where within 10 months find all members of my family thriving and doing things that were not possible in Albuquerque. It won’t take much Google searching to find other articles on the terrible education system, high amounts of random crime, or government corruption the plagues Albuquerque and New Mexico. It is certainly not a good place to raise kids and unless you have approximately $16-$24K per year for private school, your kids will be part of the broken education system that hasn’t been fixed nor improved in decades.

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Albuquerque, NM

Abq is just ok - 3/15/2016

I agree that doing business here you will deal with a lot of unprofessional types and much depends on your standards and what you will tolerate. I cannot say more how this unprofessional business standard is accepted here. I have personally'fired' an insurance agent, a realtor, a dentist, tried to swap my kid's elementary teacher (she wanted a second chance), dealt with unmindful service writers at a dealership, a snotty gym, home developers. I think the swindle like business manner exists. I have noticed this character more while living in similar apocolyptic desert conditions like California and Arizona desert areas. On the other hand, UNM medical/dental facility has been pretty satisfying for family medical/dental care. Also, as secondary level medical/dental provider I have been reluctant to obtain my licensing in this state due to many reasons but NM asks for a lot of fees other states do not ask for. Local People: can behave friendly except when they are driving. The green chile is good, but the green chile pride can be comical. I think there must be something the locals are good at offering the outside world, but it always comes back to green chiles. (ex technology, entertainment, agriculture, the military - oops that would be California- manufacturing) The infrastructure is ok- the roads are mostly well paved, but poorly engineered with safety, efficiency, and pollution in mind. The lack of east/west, north/south expressways, lack of right turn lanes is definitely contributing to the morning haze consistently visible while driving down the Paseo 423 in. Albuquerque has 3 active superfund sites, many leaking chemical tanks, and is considered a Zone 3 radon level. Soon to be home to a nuclear waste storage site in the Hobbs area. Albuquerque is not the worst city government I have lived under, but it is lacking and not completely non-existent like New Orleans and not completely extortionist like NJ and it's roadways. The city could invest more into the Parks & Rec dept, public works, munincipal/community development, and pd just to start + break up the monstrous APS educational district. The weather is fair for a desert with few natural disasters except fire season and the pending active volcanoes below. This place is nice to stop for a while if you are driving thru, but it is not home for me.

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Albuquerque, NM

Home Invasions/Property crime - 2/6/2016

Property crime is at an all time high. No one is talking about what measures need to be taken for prevention. People need to be aware, don't leave your garage opener in your vehicle parked outside of your house. Lock your car. Don't leave anything in your car of value, especially if you are going walking near the nature center, don't let anyone see you locking items in your trunk. You will see the warning signs in just about every parking lot for a reason. Install cameras at your residence, if you are lucky you can catch an image of the offender. Sometimes PD will look at the footage, most of the time they don't care. If you will notice, many neighborhoods use bars on windows, this should be a red flag if you are looking to purchase in that area. Many residents are now fighting back and arming themselves to protect their property and life.

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Albuquerque, NM

DWI in NM - 2/6/2016

The culture of drunk driving in NM is rampant, even the politicians get busted, if anything is to change it needs to come from the 80 years of legislature. The changes will not happen because the politicians don't want change or any real reform.

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Albuquerque, NM

Hard place to make it! - 1/28/2016

Many of you out there in the Midwest, Northeast, and West Coast may be considering moving to the Southwest. My advice to you is to avoid Albuquerque. New Mexico is the second poorest state in the union, and number one for childhood poverty. The Land of Enchantment is in the top three for; violent crime, teenage pregnancy, alcohol/ drug related deaths, and illiteracy. Over half of the drivers are uninsured. Since 2012, the surrounding states have been in positive job growth. During these past four years, New Mexico has been in negative job growth rate. I have lived in Albuquerque for 16 years. Having taught school for six years, I can say the schools are dismal at best in New Mexico. While 23rd in cost of living, New Mexico ranks third from the bottom in wages. Huge discrepancy, folks! Do not move here unless you are independently wealthy, and can afford a lot of land without having to work. Or, if you just want to hike and bike, and earn a living waiting tables, Albuquerque or Santa Fe might be OK for you. Everyone else, I would strongly recommend not moving here.

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Albuquerque, NM

Armpit Of The United States - 1/3/2016

After reading all of the comments slamming this city/state, they are all are absolutly true. A couple points from pervious comments stood out to me the most. First is the culture. Yes, Albuquerque, and NM in general is a VERY Hispanic oriented state. That being said, if you are white you will not fit in here. Second is housing. There are some nice areas in the city, but most of the apartments and houses here appear very run down and slum like. Parts of the North East and Four Hills areas are probably the nicest areas housing wise. Third is the drivers. Albuquerque drivers are the absolute worst. Red light runners are everywhere, drunk driving is a HUGE problem and yet the punishments are laughable and these drivers are back on the road a short time later. There are not a lot of speeders however. People here seem to drive 5 to 10 mph under the speed limit and yet they still drive atrociously. Oh and very few people have car insurance so if you get hit be prepared for them to take off. Road rage is also a huge problem here and often result in shootings. Back in October, a 4 year old girl was killed as a result of road rage. This leads right into crime. Crime is rampant here. There are really no "good" areas here, it's more of how much crime are you willing to tolerate. The South East and the South Valley are probably the worst though. These areas are where most of the murders are which are basically a daily occurrence. Yes really, daily. I live in what could be considered a "nice" neighborhood in the NE Heights and there have been 5 burglaries on my street in the past year. Education is pathetic, the majority of the population is uneducated and the school district is very corrupt. The former Superintendent Luis Valintino hired his friend, a child molester from Colorado as his Deputy Superintendent. As someone else said, NM is the second worst in the country in terms of education. Last is the job market. Most of the jobs here state "bilingual preferred" meaning if you don't speak Spanish we won't consider you. There are parts of the city that are all in Spanish. Businesses, restaurants, shops, you'd swear you were in Mexico. There are no high paying jobs here. There is no true industry here unless you count meth and other drugs. All in all, Albuquerque is a low income, uneducated, dangerous, run down, slummy city that I would not recommend to anyone. I was born and raised here, been here 23 years and as soon as I graduate college I am getting out of here.

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Rio Rancho, NM

Pretty disgusting( except you don't perspire as mu - 12/20/2015

I left WI in Nov. 2014 for this awful state. I think NM is the most disgusting place I've ever been to. Great for a visit, but living here is a totally different story. I live in Rio Rancho (which compared with ABQ IMO is like heaven) although I really don't like it. It's a city completely devoid of character with its unsightly strip malls and characterless subdivisions and awful, stressed- out drivers that use the left lane as their main travel lane. Wisconsin has a MUCH better quality of life than New Mexico. The poverty here is truly third world. This is the worst run state in the US. It's truly hard to believe you're in the US in a lot a places in NM with their abject poverty. The only nice part is in the far north. Simply gorgeous in some places. The rest of it truly third world, especially Albuquerque, which is so revolting I refuse to comment. Truly sorry I left WI for this place.

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Chicago, IL

I have been an ex-pat for to long - 12/12/2015

Hi .. I grew-up in the nicer part of Chicago. After graduating Uni { MSc ] I moved to the UK, have also seen a lot of W.Europe and Africa .... now I plan a long trip to the Great American South-West, to see, feel and imbibe it all in. Ur postings are helping me to a better understanding of its Realities and less of its Illusions. Thankyou .. John

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Albuquerque, NM

What it's really like to live in Albuquerque - 8/28/2015

As a life-long (50 something) resident (left a few of times for college and adventure), an educated, law-abiding, non-drug using female, (oh and being caucasian), this is the most unfriendly, oppressive, expensive, uneducated, filthy, hostile, low-life friendly place I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing. I grew up here in the 70's and 80's and it was OK - just OK. We moved here from Ohio and my older siblings, who had experienced living elsewhere, begged my parents to go back. They stayed for the climate. Coming from Ohio, this must have seemed like a lovely climate. Living here is a whole different story. If you are an avid hiker and biker, then this is a good place for that because the number of days all year, where one can have outdoor activities, is great. If you want to do other things such as walk around and experience a real downtown, experience a culture other than low-rider hispanic trash, shop and dine at local Mom-and-Pop stores (everything is huge box stores and huge chains), attend festivals, art shows, museums, art galleries, etc., etc., then this is NOT the place for you. There is one culture here and that is the hispanic culture. If you are white - you are treated with hostility. That was even the case growing up here. The dream job doesn't exist here, and the low-paying crap you will have to settle for will be given to a hispanic relative of the business owner. That's the reality. Housing is ridiculously expensive. Yes, it may seem cheap if you are moving here from NYC, Los Angeles, Seattle, or some other metropolitan place, but housing is NOT commensurate with the low wages. You can get a trashed-out fixer for about $200k that will need another $50k just to make it habitable. Schools are second to last in the nation. So, that said, if you are moving here with a family and education is important, choose anywhere else but Mississippi! I am about to graduate with my degree this coming spring, and we can't leave fast enough. I came back here and stayed because my family is here, but now not even that is enough. I want my son to have something to do to keep him away from the rampant drug and gang culture. My son is intelligent and the kids at his school pick on him relentlessly because he is smart and loves to read and travel. There are a couple of private schools here that have ok ratings, but the tuition is around $26k per year. If you are a physician or independently wealthy, that might be a good option, but for the other 99.9% - well, you guess. Don't move here! Don't retire here! Don't raise kids here! Don't come here thinking you can change things because the hispanics don't want change and you will get chased out. Don't come here thinking you will love the sunshine because you will curse it after a short time. It is not just HOT but you are at 5200 feet in elevation so it is the most intense heat you can ever feel. The winters are dry and cold. It rarely snows here (don't believe the 26" of snowfall) - it hasn't snowed that much in Albuquerque that much since I have lived here. Perhaps in the mountains East of the city, but not in Albuquerque. It is violent and filthy and people have no respect for property or each other. New beautification projects that have been placed around the city get covered with graffiti within 24 hours or destroyed. You cannot walk downtown unless you are a gun or knife-wielding gang member (or a drunk that doesn't know any better). So there it is, from someone who knows. I have been here over 50 years. Just sayin........... Ok, now in all fairness, let me tell a few things that I love about Albuquerque and New Mexico. I DO love the fall. It is gorgeous here with the fall colors and the smell of roasting chile. Jemez, Santa Fe, Taos, Ruidoso, and a select few other places, are absolutely lovely to visit just about any time of year. The sunsets are the most spectacular I have ever seen. The turquoise jewelry is to die for. I'm really struggling to find anything else worth mentioning.

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Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque not what it used to be - 7/29/2015

I have lived in Albuquerque for the past 16 years plus a few years back in the early 90's. It has changed a lot - for the worse. It's a shame because you don't get any better climate than here but the culture is terrible. The crime rate has increased dramatically. We do not feel safe going even to the grocery store - you never know when you might get carjacked or worse around here and we are in the NE Heights which used to be considered the "good" area. The BioPark is really nice, good museums, some really amazing restaurants and quite a bit to do with kids - jump park, lots of dance studios, indoor play places, museums, pools. The public schools are overcrowded, understaffed and education/graduation rates are low. The city just seems dirty - the people just don't seem to take pride in their town, their properties, nor their businesses anymore. There's a culture that celebrates violence as a rite of passage. There are panhandlers on nearly every single street corner - not homeless mind you - just people looking for drug money/handouts. The city can't seem to draw in big business. Really - who would want to open a business here and hire some of the laziest workforce around? The number of illegals here grows daily - they utilize all the low income resources without giving much if any back to the community. The teen pregnancy rate is alive, high and well here. This city is rife with low income/poverty level, kids needing free lunch programs, clothing programs. SNAP and welfare rates are high. The same culture that promotes violence has taken to torpedoing our police force. We are at an all time low in police officers. Basically the cops can hand out stickers and lollipops now so they won't get sued and/or lose their jobs. It's very sad because this town has/had such great potential. But with the influx of illegals and crime, it's best to not move here. Or to leave if you are already here. I wish I could give a better review but I would be lying if I did.

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Albuquerque, NM

Don't believe the biased generalizations people gi - 7/20/2015

I have lived here 25+ years. I have been in ONE auto accident (minor). I have been robbed ZERO times. I have been assaulted ZERO times. My home has NEVER been broken into. My car has been broken into ONCE (at a storage facility that I no longer use). I have NEVER experienced bad police interactions (I've only been pulled over twice in my life). The list goes on. Now let me be straight: This city isn't perfect. We do have a high drunk driving rate. Our education is pretty low. We do have a bad job market. Violent crime and drug use, while high compared to many cities, from what I have personally experienced, is mainly concentrated in certain parts of town. I would stray away from moving to anywhere south of I-40 pretty much, and most places in the river valley. Stay out of those places after dark. It's that easy. Try the E, NE, N, NW, W parts of town if you're looking for a nice place to live. The weather here, aside from the windy spring season, is some of the best you could ask for. In winter, it gets no colder than 25 on average. Summer, no hotter than 100, and NO HUMIDITY! Fall is absolutely gorgeous and my favorite time of year. Spring, while the temperature is moderate, can get windy, sometimes really windy, and stay that way for a day or two. Otherwise, we've been getting a fair share of rain as of late. Thunderstorms, the occasional flash flood, and forest fires (at least the smoke) are about the worst natural disasters we have to deal with out here. Hate earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, catastrophic floods? They pretty much don't exist here. Like sunny days? We get more than Florida. Like snow? We get a decent amount every year. And then there's the scenery. Whether you're on the east side or west, chances are you've got a killer view of the vistas in and around our city. The Sandia's majesty are there to greet you every sunrise, while our humble volcano on the west side gives a serene backdrop to our epic sunsets. Like hiking, bicycling, and/or running? Albuquerque has been highly ranked on multiple lists for those recreational activities. Like the outdoors in general? There are mountains in every direction, most are a 1/2 to one hour drive from your front door. Hate traffic? We have one of the best commutes in the country. Like history? We have some of the oldest archaeological and historic sites of any place in the USA. Our culture here is wide and varied, with mostly ethnic Hispanic, Native American, and Southern U.S. influences. Like Mexican food? Try native New Mexican food, it's some of the best food in the world as far as I'm concerned. These are just some of my favorite things about this place. Personally, I wouldn't move here on a whim. This city isn't for everyone. Try it out on vacation at least once, though. Come during the International Balloon Fiesta. Come during the Gathering of Nations Pow-Wow. Or just come visit whenever you can and ride the worlds longest tram, take a Breaking Bad tour around the city, try the local foods, fares, or some of our famous micro-breweries, or take a train ride to Santa Fe on the Rail Runner. You might be more impressed by this place than you think. And if you don't like it while on vacation, you'll know it's not the place for you. I know some will agree, but many others will fall in love with this city and this state, and hopefully come to stay. It has sure made an impression on me, and I hope I never have to leave.

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Albuquerque, NM

Dangerous Place - 7/20/2015

I've lived in 18 different places due to numerous military transfers during my career, and ABQ has been my current location for the past several years. The longer I live here the less comfortable I feel about the area due to rampant crime and dangerous, aggressive drivers that habitually run red lights. I don't know where I'll be going next but there's no way I'm staying here when I retire. It seems a lot of people have this feeling since more are moving out of rather than moving in. Another deterrent to living here is the incredible number of drunk drivers, especially ones that have been arrested for it multiple times but still drive drunk. There seems to be little regard for others around this town and the habitual criminal offenders have the police on their heels. One of the people posting said "if you don't like it, move." That's what I'll be doing along with an ongoing caravan of people who have been living in fear for their safety. Congratulations ABQ, you get your wish, the criminals are staying and the law abiding people are moving on to safer places around the country.

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Albuquerque, NM

ABQ = A great place to visit - 6/21/2015

My employment with the military is what brought my family to Albuquerque almost 3 years ago. Both my husband and I are educated have lived in many different places, inside and out of the US. Yes, the NM climate is arid and much more pleasant than many other parts of the country. There are some beautiful places to hike, cycle and camp. Albuquerque NM is the most "modern" metropolis you will find in all of NM: more than 2 theaters, 2 "larger" shopping malls and a fraction of the modern conveniences that you expect to find in Denver, Phoenix, and Dallas...just a few decades behind. In a nutshell, Albuquerque is the ideal place to visit but being a resident of Albuquerque is not recommended unless your are independently wealthy. If you: must rely on employment to survive, have a family and cannot afford private schooling, find it difficult to live among illiterate and rather apathetic welfare masses...then you will probably struggle finding happiness here. Per Capita: Crime is higher than average and locals strive to avoid criminals and the police as well. (Google DOJ and Albuquerque Police) Very large and growing homeless population. Traffic: Few places are accessible on foot, most places take about 30 mins drive time, expressways have not been well planned and most NM drivers don't understand the concept of "merge". Extremely high number of illegal (unlicensed and undocumented) drivers. NM has the worst record for repeat drunk drivers in all of the country...they get something like 13 chances before the state permanently takes their license. (no kidding...Google it). Health: Poor in the general population. Many doctors fled NM decades ago and NM continues to lose good practitioners yearly. My family gets a different PCP every 6 months. Although we have the identical level of (excellent) health care coverage, my husband and I don't have the same level of confidence in our healthcare that we had in other states. Education: Our children went to public school for less than 1 month before we saw how lacking the NM public education system is. We opted to downsize our home to pay for private schooling, because we want them to stand a chance as functional adults. Public schools here are akin to the inner city schools I remember from Los Angeles and Chicago. Unacceptable. Cost of Living: Higher than the national average. You get more than you would get in Bay Area of California or New York City, but significantly less than the MidWest and most of the SouthEast. Albuquerque is beautiful and a wonderful place to visit.

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Albuquerque, NM

ABQ Sucks!! - 4/18/2015

If you've never "lived" too many other places outside of the state of New Mexico like most people in ABQ, or inside of the United States then this is the place for you. Outside of the military transplants and retirees, it doesn't seem like too many people in ABQ have lived anywhere besides Mexico. Of course ABQ is a great place to live if you're coming from Juarez or Chihuahua, but if you've lived in any other THRIVING city in the USA then you would realize just how uninteresting, uninviting, and unbearable life in ABQ REALLY is.

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States with the Best Air Quality

West Virginia
South Dakota
Rhode Island