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Thread: Aztec, NM

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Aztec, NM

    Aztec is just a few miles from Farmington but much smaller. It has a well-preserved historic downtown, and it used to have something of a reputation as the cute, quaint alternative to Farmington, but lately it's basically turned itself into an oil town like its neighbors. The historic downtown is still there, but it doesn't get nearly as much attention as it might. There's a lot of potential in Aztec, but right now it really isn't being realized.











































  2. #2
    Thanks for sharing these photos -- it looks like a neat town.

    Off-topic:
    Does anyone, anywhere have an image of a VFW that doesn't look like a bomb shelter?

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  3. #3
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Thanks for sharing these photos -- it looks like a neat town.
    It does look like a neat little town that could be ANYWHERE in the USA, especially the upper midwest.



    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Off-topic:
    Does anyone, anywhere have an image of a VFW that doesn't look like a bomb shelter?

    VFW Post #2778 (Appleton, WI):
    http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...6409&encType=1

    It's the left half of that complex. The part on the right side is a very large and popular community credit union.

    Another view:
    http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=...6427&encType=1

    Also, a view from the street:
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...43.25,,0,-4.32

    (That's their worn-out flag disposal box by the sign.)

    LOTS of locals go there for their Friday fish fries (perch, especially) - it's a part of life here in WI.)

    Enjoy!


    Mike

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    It does look like a neat little town that could be ANYWHERE in the USA, especially the upper midwest.

    Heh. Yeah, there's not much about Aztec that's distinctively southwestern. The same goes for Farmington.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Aztec looks a lot "greener" than I expected it to look. Are these pictures from a recent (spring) trip or is it just the mountain location that makes it look more like Anywhere, USA? Chimayo looks more like my mental vision of "New Mexico".

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    These pictures were taken in early September, which is the rainy season, so things were probably a bit greener than usual. One of the main reasons for all the green, however, is all the landscaping that the Euro-American settlers who founded Aztec did to make it look more like the small towns in the Midwest where most of them came from. You can see that in the architectural style of most of the buildings, too.

    In addition, Aztec is in a very fertile river valley (not in the mountains), so there tends to be more native greenery there than in many other places in the state as well. You can see that perhaps best in this picture:



    The line of trees in the distance, just past the bridge, is the valley of the Animas River. Beyond it you can see the bluffs that line the valley, and they are noticeably less green.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I've always said that New Mexico small towns seem to come in two flavors: really quite nice, and gawd-awful bad, with almost nothing in the middle. Aztec seems like the former.

    Nice:
    Mesilla
    Silver City
    Roswell
    Carlsbad
    Portales
    Taos
    Aztec
    Los Alamos

    Naughty:
    Alamogordo
    Socorro (nice plaza, gawd-awful everything else)
    Deming
    Lordsburg
    Anthony
    Las Vegas
    Gallup
    Grants
    Espanola
    Belen
    Clovis

    Never been there:
    Hobbs
    Tucumcari
    Artesia
    Lovington
    Clayton

    Even then, it seems like New Mexico cities and towns have a certain feel about them, no matter where in the state they are located. I really can't pin my finger on it, but you see it even in towns close to state lines, like Clovis and Belen (two that fall into the gawd-awful bad category). It's more than just "Look, an Allsup's and a Blake's".
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I've always said that New Mexico small towns seem to come in two flavors: really quite nice, and gawd-awful bad, with almost nothing in the middle. Aztec seems like the former.
    I can see this, although, interestingly, I've only been to a handful of the towns you list, and I'm not sure I would categorize them the same way.

    even in towns close to state lines, like Clovis and Belen (two that fall into the gawd-awful bad category)
    Belen certainly isn't a very pleasant place, but neither is it at all close to a state line. It's just about dead center within the state.

  9. #9
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by teofilo View post
    Belen certainly isn't a very pleasant place, but neither is it at all close to a state line. It's just about dead center within the state.
    'Doh! I was thinking Raton. Actually, Belen is one of those communities I don't think falls into a category of "ick" or "nice". It's just "meh". Ruidoso would also score a "meh".
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    One thing I find really interesting about Dan's list of New Mexico towns is how few of them I've been to despite having lived in NM most of my life. Here's a similar list of towns I have been to, classified into "awful" and "okay" categories. There aren't any small towns in New Mexico that I would really describe as "nice" or "pleasant." I've only been to a couple of the towns Dan describes that way.

    Okay:
    Aztec
    Cuba
    Jemez Springs
    Bernalillo
    Chimayo
    Taos
    Las Vegas
    Madrid
    Tijeras
    San Antonio
    Magdalena
    Pie Town
    Lincoln
    Truth or Consequences

    Awful:
    Farmington
    Bloomfield
    Espanola
    Edgewood
    Grants
    Gallup
    Los Lunas
    Belen
    Socorro

    Perhaps the most interesting way this differs from Dan's list is that while his is heavily oriented toward the southern part of the state, mine is just as heavily oriented toward the northern part, and there's remarkably little overlap. What surprised me in putting it together just now is how short the "awful" section is. I guess I actually like small NM towns more than I thought I did.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Dan & Teofilo,

    What are you basing your "good", "bad", "okay" ratings on? architecture? "atmosphere"/"feel"? prosperity (or lack of same)? downtowns?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Dan & Teofilo,

    What are you basing your "good", "bad", "okay" ratings on? architecture? "atmosphere"/"feel"? prosperity (or lack of same)? downtowns?
    Lordsburg, I think, sums it up. There really is no distinctive architecture, design standards do not eaven appear to be a thought, there is a proliferation of vacant buildings, and the businesses there mostly appear to be marginal.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Dan & Teofilo,

    What are you basing your "good", "bad", "okay" ratings on? architecture? "atmosphere"/"feel"? prosperity (or lack of same)? downtowns?
    I'm basing mine mostly on the presence or absence of a coherent community core, which may or may not be a "downtown" in the usual sense, and the relationship between that part of the town and the amorphous sprawl that is a feature of almost every town in NM. "Feel" enters into it a bit as well. Prosperity, not so much.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Great pictures and thread! I'm about two hours north of there in SW Colorado. I wonder about how NM will fare after the oil boom. Driving around the state, every other car on the road is a white work truck with an orange flag (these seem to be haliburton work trucks, but i'm not positive)

    Oil revenues have a tendency to strangle out all other economic development. The money is so good that it just isn't worth it to do anything else. I worry about the future of these NM towns, not to mention much of western colorado.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally posted by progmac View post
    Great pictures and thread! I'm about two hours north of there in SW Colorado. I wonder about how NM will fare after the oil boom. Driving around the state, every other car on the road is a white work truck with an orange flag (these seem to be haliburton work trucks, but i'm not positive)
    I just came back from a round trip from Albuquerque to Durango on 550 and Durango to Santa Fe on 84/64. We saw these trucks too and were wondering what the deal was with them.

    These images are very representative of Aztec. You'll notice almost nobody on the street: we experienced the same thing and indeed, we were gawked at while we walked around.

    I was really rather amazed at how much sprawl there is from Española to Santa Fe. Yikes.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    The comment about Aztec looking like any other midwestern town is pretty spot on. I was thinking how similar it looked in character (especially the old "Main Street" buildings) to my own town and smaller towns here in Illinois. In fact, Aztec uses the exact same streetlights, benches (minues the "City of Aztec") and sidewalk patterns as Urbana, Illinois does. The only real difference is the occasional stucco building thrown in and the mesa's in the background. I guess if I ever wanted to move someplace warmer without losing the midwestern feel, I'd know where to go.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I just came back from a round trip from Albuquerque to Durango on 550 and Durango to Santa Fe on 84/64. We saw these trucks too and were wondering what the deal was with them.
    They're oilfield work trucks; Halliburton uses them, but so do all the other companies. I don't know what the orange flags mean exactly, but I think they have to do with some safety regulation.

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