11th Annual Cinco de Mayo Folk Art Fest


It’s that time of year for my favorite art show of the season, the Cinco de Mayo Folk Art Fest! In its eleventh year, this show never disappoints. Kenny Chavez and his partner, David Fisher, opened up their backyard for the first show to local folk artists and the seed was planted for this yearly event. The original thought was to host the fest in someone’s backyard and then move it around to different neighborhoods. Cherie Montoya offered to host the event in the beautiful North Valley setting of  Farm and Table/La Parada Mercantile and the rest is history.

The Cinco de Mayo show has grown to feature over forty folk artists. This year guest artists include, Tami Sioux (Seattle) re-purposed antique silverware jewelry, Jerry Montoya (Grants) tin repujado, and Bottle Cap Queen Goldie Garcia (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM.) and of course the premier folk artist himself, Kenny Chavez!

Kenny and David have nurtured the folk art and recycle art scene in Albuquerque, always supporting up-and-coming artists, while never leaving out the artists who are the heart and soul of the folk art scene. I am eternally grateful to both of them for including me in this show!

What makes this particular show so special? Well, there’s not only folk art, but recycled art, hands-on arts and crafts, the Sol Harvest Farm stand, door prizes at La Parada, festival food from Farm & Table (10 am – 2 pm), the creative serape contest (1 pm), live music – Alpha Blue (12 – 2:30 pm), Mariachi Alma (11 am-12 pm), AAA Quality DJ Services. It’s a perfect way to spend a Saturday supporting local artists. And don’t forget that it’s a great place to shop for Mother’s Day gifts!

Holiday Shopping in the Duke City: Keeping it Local


Black Friday should be a day for everyone to spend time hanging out with family and friends, or hanging out at home in your pajamas! I never shop the big box stores or malls Black Friday. The Friday after Thanksgiving is now dedicated to going to my friend’s house for a fun tradition called “Craft Friday.” We all take a craft to share and we chat, eat, laugh, and make great crafts!

If you must shop on Friday, why not keep it local? Better yet, wait until the Saturday after Thanksgiving which is Small Business Saturday.  These are a few of my favorite local places where I always find great gifts!

Spur Line Supply Co.

What a cool surprise to walk into Spurline and find such a wonderful, eclectic, super cool and groovy mix of merchandise! From their website, “A destination for vintage and artisan goods with a focus on the unique – so your home reflects your unique style and your gifts reflect your thoughtfulness.”

Sarabande Home

I wandered into this shop at the Flying Star Plaza on Rio Grande and was so impressed. What a gorgeous selection of home goods, gifts, and accessories. If you live in the North Valley, and even if you don’t, this is the place for beautiful, contemporary gifts.

Found on 4th

How do I describe this place? Their Facebook place says it best: A destination for vintage and artisan goods with a focus on the unique – so your home reflects your unique style and your gifts reflect your thoughtfulness. I could easily spend all my money there!

La Parada Mercantile

Believed to have once been a stagecoach stop, La Parada is a North Valley treasure! Items from around the world include home and garden decor, jewelry, vintage, gifts and more!

Duran Central Pharmacy

I feel like every store on this list is my favorite place to shop. I can say without a doubt that Duran’s is def at the top of the list! From their Facebook page, “Duran’s offers a wide variety of products from all over the world – from medicinal herbs to imported chocolates and fancy soaps to trendy gadgets. In addition, there is no better place for a genuine New Mexican enchilada or green chile cheeseburger!

Kei and Molly

Everybody that has at least one Kei and Molly dishtowel, raise your hand! That’s pretty much everyone in Albuquerque! Their textiles have such wonderfully playful designs and colors! Now they have their own store and they are carrying a carefully curated mix of great local products. Make sure to check out their store events!

Donovan Discovers

If you haven’t heard of Donovan, or know his story, you need to do so now.  He is a social entrepreneur and creates artisan bath & home products. He donates 14% of sales to help the homeless. He now has a store downtown and everyone should support this inspiring young man!

Clear Light The Cedar Company

I’ve been curious about Clear Light • the Cedar Company and have it on good authority that their products are amazing. Clear Light • the Cedar Company brings you the pleasures and benefits of fragrant New Mexico green cedar in unique and aromatic skin-care, hair-care, and home fragrance products.

Vintage Market and Design

Are you a Francophile? If you are, you need to go to Vintage Market and Design. Imagine 7500 square feet of home & garden decor to inspire your own creativity! A great place for home goods, art supplies, soaps and sundries, clothing, cards, paper and posters. I can’t say enough about how much I love this place!

Don’t forget about all the great strolls happening as well!

Nob Hill Shop and Stroll

Let’s face it, Nob Hill has some of the best local shopping in town. Stranger Factory, IMECGuitar Vista, Andy and Edie, The Fragrant Leaf, The Chocolate Dude, are just the tip of the iceberg for great shopping!

Old Town Holiday Stroll

Not only great shopping in Old Town, but also great entertainment and the lighting of the Christmas Tree. The giant tree is made up of over 130 different trees will glow at 6:15 p.m. in Plaza Don Luis with a special countdown.

Pueblo Shop and Stroll: A Fireside Tradition

Shop a bazaar featuring Native artists selling handcrafted clay ornaments, nativity sets, jewelry, art, and gifts. Meanwhile, kids will have fun with holiday arts and crafts. At day’s end, enjoy a special nighttime Native dance while sipping hot cocoa beside the bonfire or strolling among hundreds of luminarias.

Where are your favorite places to shop locally in Albuquerque? Let me know!



Holiday Shopping in the Duke City: Handmade

It’s that time of year when I get itchy to start doing my holiday shopping. I love finding unique gifts for friends and family. There’s certainly no shortage of great places to shop in Albuquerque to find that perfect something! Not only do we have great locally owned shops, but there are great arts and crafts shows and markets to buy those wonderful one-of-a-kind handmade treasures.

This is part one of a two part series about great holiday shopping in the Duke City. Part one concentrates on make-your-own workshops, craft fairs and markets.

If you are interested in making your own gifts this year, why not get inspired by taking a workshop and learning how to make a beautiful keepsake?! Check out these wonderful workshops, markets and craft fairs!

Pinecone Garland Workshop – Spur Line Supply Co.

Live Love ABQ hosts a festive class teaching you how to make and arrange pinecone garland to decorate your halls with!

Adobe Gingerbread House – Moonlight Makes

These workshops include everything needed to create a uniquely New Mexican Gingerbread House. Each house is complete with chile ristras, holiday wreath’s, luminarias, and vigas.

Holiday Ornament Tinsmithing Workshop – Los Poblanos

Start a new holiday tradition by creating your own keepsake ornaments! In this tinsmithing class you will make festive holiday ornaments perfect to adorn your tree and trim packages this holiday season.

Creative Arts Fair 2017 – Tortuga Gallery

FOFT Creative Arts Fair-2017 FINAL

Rail Yards Holiday Market

The Holiday Market will be TWO Days this year: Saturday-Sunday! Keep it local for the Holidays, enjoy a historic experience, and discover the best of Burque’s local small businesses. Over 100 vendors of made-from-scratch delicious food and quality handmade crafts will convene for Albuquerque’s locavorian spirit this year for the 4th annual Holiday Market on December 9th &10th, 2017.

Spanish Winter Market – National Hispanic Cultural Center

The 2017 Winter Spanish markets, presented by the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, will be held on the NHCC campus Dec. 2-3. You will find authentic 400 year old traditions and innovative Spanish Colonial style artwork, made by New Mexico artists and enjoy the Hispanic festival.

Don’t forget about all the great craft fairs at your local public school!

Bandelier Elementary – Holiday Bazaar

Mitchell Elementary – 7th Annual Craft Fair

Monte Vista Elementary – Mercado

Lew Wallace Elementary – Craft Fair

Cibola High School – 10th Annual Best Buddies Holiday Craft Show




Found on 4th Helping Houston

The time has come! The end of one era, the beginning of another. This will be my last official post for Duke City Fix as I transition to a new format for my blogs. Saturday we will shut down the blog forever.  What better way to make this transition than by showing how a community comes together!

As all of you know, the natural disasters in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico, etc., have been devastating and heartbreaking to watch from the sidelines. I was horrified by a photo I saw of senior citizens in a nursing home sitting waist-high in water in complete distress.  I knew I had to do something. I simply posted on Facebook asking if anyone wanted to organize a fundraiser for the hurricane victims. Keep in mind, this was prior to all the other natural disasters that came after Harvey.

Within a matter of minutes people were responding saying, “What can I do?”  Friends I know well, some not-so-well, and even friends from my childhood were ready to pitch in and help. I had all these people willing to help and no place to actually host the fundraiser. Luckily, the wonderful and generous women of Found on 4th said that they would be happy to host the event!

I met with Heather and Katrina of Found on 4th, and it was suggested that we combine the fundraiser with their second anniversary celebration. The date was set for Saturday, September 30, 2017.  We only had a month to organize! After our discussion, we decided that artisan vendors, a food truck, an art making station, live music, and a raffle and silent auction were in order. We set a modest goal of $2000 and decided that the money raised would benefit the Houston Food Bank and the Texas Diaper Bank.

Our friends sprang into action and slowly but surely the donation items started rolling in. Vendors were selected and all are donating something to the raffle. Posters and flyers were created and the word started spreading. Friends from all over the country started to spread the word and items from artists and businesses from as far away as Seattle and Maine started arriving. In addition to the raffle and silent auction, Found on 4th is donating 10% of their sales for the day!

It has all come together beautifully and effortlessly. In the current divisive political climate, it has been reassuring to know that when others are in distress, people will help…even New Mexicans helping Texans! Political affiliation doesn’t matter, skin color, religion, gender, age, none of that matters. What matters is that a group of community-minded folks from Albuquerque have come together and are making something beautiful happen.

I hope that all of you will join us for our Found on 4th Helping Houston Fundraiser. If you can’t make it, I hope you do something to help even just one person in need. It’s a good thing.

Here is more information about the fundraiser and some photos of the donations we’ve received!

Found on 4th Helping Houston

Raffles for wonderful artisan-made treasures, gift certicates, items from all over the country!

A silent auction of amazing art, jewelry, house concert!

Make and take art!

Live music from La Rondalla de Albuquerque (10am – 11am) and Seth Hoffman (between 3-5pm)

The Blazing Barn Food truck!

And so much more!

Raffle tickets:

$5 for 6 tix, $10 for 12 tix, $20 for 25 tix

Silent auction:

The silent auction will run for one week at Found on 4th ending October 7th.

Please invite your friends and let’s help our Texas neighbors! Check out our Facebook invitation and see photos of many of the silent auction and raffle prizes!

I.B. with Bowl #1 – oil on canvas by Mark Horst

Blue Orbs Necklace made by Renate Surh (granite and azurite from the base of Mt. Everest!)

House Concert by empress of the blues Joanie Cere and blues guitar god Darin Goldston

Gift certificates from so many businesses!

Time to help our neighbors!


I am a typical New Mexican. I don’t like Texans. It’s tradition for New Mexicans to not like Texans, right? It’s kind of hard to hold to that kind of thinking when you have family living in Texas and some of your dearest friends are from there.

I have a friend who lives in Rockport, Texas. We had a particularly ugly falling out. Things have somewhat simmered out to the point that we have at least re-friended each other on Facebook.

As the news reports were rolling in about Hurricane Harvey, I saw that the eye of the storm would touch down in Rockport first. My friend was hunkered down in her home, refusing to leave. It was shocking to me that she decided to stay, but since I’ve never been in a situation like that, who was I to judge?

Needless to say, her house, and pretty much all of Rockport, has been destroyed. She and her partner and their dogs all survived and are planning to rebuild. While keeping tabs on her and her family, I watched the news. I was stunned at what Mother Nature was capable of. As I was scrolling down my Facebook feed I saw the photo that brought me to tears, the one of the senior citizens waist deep in water with nowhere to go.

It was at that moment that I sprung into action. I immediately posted on FB that I wanted to do a fundraiser and asked if anyone wanted to help. Within an hour a dozen friends said they wanted to help and I even had a local business woman who owns one of the coolest stores in Albuquerque tell me that she was willing to offer her place of business to host the fundraiser!

We met, created an outline of what needed to be done – all within one month – and set a goal of $2000. We decided the money would go to the Houston Food Bank and the Texas Diaper Bank. Within a few hours, friends were emailing to help, solicit donations, and offers of raffle items and cash.

Ultimately, in a horrific situation like this, you have to do something…even if you are a gal from Albuquerque and you are helping Texans. If y’all want to help, come by and buy raffle tickets, win some prizes and support a neighborly cause. Here are the details:

Found on 4th Helping Houston, September 30th from 10am – 5pm.

Help us help Houston. Seeing the devastation in Houston and wanting to do something, we have banded together a group of community members for an event to bring a slice of hope and help in the best way we know how – through music, art, and beautiful handmade and vintage treasures. Please join us for a day of celebration with Found on 4th as they dedicate their second anniversary to raising money for The Texas Diaper Bank and the Houston Food Bank. We will have raffles for wonderful artisan-made treasures, a silent auction, make and take art, music, food and more.


Big Changes to the Fix!



We LOVE Albuquerque! We love the people, the food, the events, the hot air balloons, Chevy on a Stick! Duke City Fix, from its inception, has been all about showing our love for our fair city.  It has also become a place for this community to come together to vent and discuss not only the good, but the not-always-great side of Albuquerque. What Duke City Fix has done, has been to create a community of people who care about this city.

It’s no secret that great friendships (and even weddings!) have taken place as a result of people coming together on this site; or that local news outlets have kept an eye on us and have done stories as a result of our insightful volunteer writers; or that we have uncovered the best places to eat and cultural events to attend. The list goes on and on.

What else is no secret, is that social media has exploded in a way that we never could have imagined. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are social media sites that most people now use. They are all free and accessible to huge audiences.

Duke City Fix has been a labor of love for many years. It has always been run by volunteers. Every story, every Morning Fix, every daily photo, every poem, has been posted by a dedicated volunteer. Think about it, Dee Cohen posted a photo a day, every day, for how many years?! All those Morning Fixes that you love to read are by an incredibly devoted group of folks who seek out the most interesting stories to get your day started.

What this all boils down to is that we are making a shift. We aren’t going away, but rather, going where the most action is and right now that action is on Facebook and Instagram. This shift will take place at the end of this month. There will be no new content on DCF after August 31, but we will keep the site up through September so that you can still access and reread some of your favorite stories.

We will begin to post local news stories, events, photos, all the usual DCF stuff, on Facebook and Instagram, instead, starting September 1st.  We still have a dedicated group of volunteers who have accepted the challenge of helping us out to continue posting all the things you love to read about Albuquerque. Some of us will be starting our own little blog sites with new stories and also archives of old stories! We’ll be sure to give you links to those sites from your favorite writers.

Sophie and I have been incredibly blessed to work together with a group of fabulous writers, poets, and photographers. We are beyond grateful to everyone who has volunteered, who has commented, or who has simply read what we have put out there. We truly appreciate the love and we hope to see your continued support for Duke City Fix on Facebook and Instagram!


Sophie and Lita (Adelita)

Originally posted August 16, 2017

Time To Get To Work

No secret that I’m a big old bleeding heart liberal.  I admit that the POTUS has made decisions in his first couple of weeks that have made me angry.  While I do post political stories on Facebook and make lots of political comments on Twitter, that seems to be, really, a waste of time.  Sure it lets me blow off some steam, but I think it’s lazy and not productive. I decided to take some action instead.

Yes, I participated in the Women’s March with my niece in Albuquerque. There is no denying that it lifted me up in a way that I hadn’t felt in a long time. I feel motivated to take action that counteracts the mess that those in power are making.

Instead of making my usual lose-weight-exercise-more-be-nicer-to-everyone New Year’s resolutions, I made a New Year’s action list that will directly impact my community. If you think that your single voice doesn’t make a difference, think again.  Sometimes the smallest actions make the biggest impact.

Here are are few things from my action list:

Support Local Music and the Arts

Our Burque Music Scene writer, Lynn Marie Rusaw, introduces us to the who’s who in the Albuquerque music scene. I used to always to go out and listen to live music.  Music is an important part of my life and I miss listening to and dancing to my favorite local bands.

As a teaching artist, craftsperson, and all around art lover, I am taking steps to become more involved in the arts community. Honestly, I’ve always shied away from the art cliques. That being said, I can be involved in ways that don’t require me to be part of any group.  Art and music and theater and poetry are important to the survival of our culture. Imagine the world without any of these? Check out a new band in town, head out to a local gallery or craft show or take a class! Buy the cd, buy the handmade product. Albuquerque has a wealth of talented artists of all kinds.They need you to show them some love!

Welcome new people in my community

One of the promises I made to myself after hearing so many people’s ignorant views of refugees was to get involved with the refugee community in Albuquerque.  There are large numbers of refugees here from various countries – Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Syria.  My niece teaches English to a group of refugees and I will follow suit by volunteering my time. We were invited to a potluck with families from Syria, the Republic of Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan.  The language barriers didn’t matter. What mattered was that we all broke bread together and we communicated with smiles and laughter. The potluck was so much fun that a group of women from the Republic of Congo spontaneously starting singing and then dancing.  The whole room buzzed with applause and smiles from ear to ear.  And not to be outdone, a group of Syrian men started dancing a traditional dance around the room. Scary people? No way. They have come from devastating circumstances and yet, were so full of hope and joy.  I will be writing about the refugee community in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!

Patronize businesses along central while ART is being constructed

I am working on patronizing businesses on Central Avenue and surrounding areas while A.R.T. is being constructed.  I read an article a few weeks ago that said Olympia Café may close because business has been impacted so much and that The Frontier’s business was down 30%.  Small businesses like Cheese and Coffee, located just off Central in the Old Town area, are struggling. I can’t imagine Albuquerque without any of these businesses or any of the many other businesses along Central. We can’t let them die. Please join me and make the effort to do the same. This weekend a group of Duke City Fix writers got together at Scalo and checked out their Bloody Mary Bar. We will be back! Support all your local bookstores, coffee shops, art galleries, movie theaters, and restaurants!

These are just three small things I am working on to improve and hopefully impact my community. Small steps, to be sure, but if each of us took small steps to do something positive, it would make big changes.

Right after the Presidential election I bought a charm to salute a huuuge good bye to 2016.  It is a large silver hand flipping the bird.  The hatred and vitriol of the election left me so numb and angry, it is a small gesture to let go of all of that. It’s time to get to work. Now, I have to ask, what will you do to make a difference?

Originally posted February 26, 2016