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Off To the Sawmill

Okay, last time, I had us in Old Town and we had just eaten at High Noon...the restaurant, not the time. We finished and then headed out. We tried to do a bit more in the Square, but, by then, the heat was becoming oppressive, and we were tired. So, we headed back to the car and from there, headed back to the Casita.


We had a quick nap then spent some time reading and working in our journals. We noticed that it was starting on towards evening, and we were, to our surprise, getting hungry again. So we needed to figure out what to do for supper.


Martha had seen an announcement for a new venue in the town, “The Sawmill district.” (1)This was new to both of us. It hadn’t existed when we lived in New Mexico. It was, as the name would suggest, at one time a lumber mill and, after that, a lumber warehouse.


However, after some years of decline, the property was taken over by a local corporation, Heritage Hotels, in 2019 and turned into  “a 34,000-square-foot food hall, outdoor gathering place, and community hall.”(2) In other words, it is an enormous space containing multiple vendors, mostly of food and drink.


We had actually thought about going there the first night we were in town. But I’d had my little case of altitude sickness, so we had stayed around the Casita instead. But I was fine now and so we got directions and off we went.


We arrived a few minutes later and realized that we’d actually been in the area before. Like I say, it is quite near Old Town, and, more importantly, it is just across the way from “Mama’s Minerals,” a large rock and bead shop we used to visit when we lived in New Mexico. (Martha went for jewelry making supplies. I went for the fossils. You know me and dinosaurs. Peas in a pod. Two anachronisms together.) Seriously, Mama’s is quite a place, really. If you’re in Albuquerque, give it a visit. (3)


Anyway, when we lived in the city, Mama’s Minerals was kind of at the center of an area undergoing intense urban renewal. We were now about to see how that renewal was going.


We found a parking lot (not easy, actually) and joined a large-ish group making their way to the Market. We followed the crowd to some doors in a large building and soon found ourselves inside the Market’s rather large space.


It was really quite impressive. It’s a large building (obviously), very new (also obviously), and filled with all sorts of little restaurants, bars, and other vendors.(4) The way the system works is that you go to one of the vendors’ shops, order, and then they give you a pager. You go and find someplace to sit (there are tables, chairs, and benches at various locations between), and wait for your buzz. It duly comes after a decent interval, and you pick up your food. If you’re lucky, no one snags the space where you’d planned to eat it, but that’s a story for another day.




About the photos: Just three today. First, two shots of the inside of the Sawmill Market. I took the photos and then ran them through a filter on Adobe Photoshop to protect the privacy of the people in the crowd. I tried to make these look like oil paintings. Let me know if you think I succeeded.


Second, here’s a photo of Martha while we were at lunch at Roots, a restaurant of which we’re fond here in Georgetown. As per norm, nothing to do with the story. Just liked the picture.


It wasn’t bad at all, really. We had tacos from one of the vendors. Martha got a glass of wine at another shop. I got a beer from yet another vendor. The food was excellent and we didn’t have any complaints.


That said...well...we weren’t really comfortable. For one thing, it took us a while to figure out how the system worked. We didn’t know about the pagers and so on. And the crowd was very young. We spotted a few folks our age and a few families, but mostly it was young people, mostly on dates or in group gatherings. We were definitely a minority.


And...it was expensive. Martha’s glass of wine was $14 (yikes).


But, can’t please everyone. And the large crowd in the place clearly meant that the Sawmill was doing something right. It has its fans and supporters. We’re just not in its target demographic. Which is fine.


Anyway, we bought our food, and found places to eat it, and otherwise had a pleasant time.


However...there was still one more adventure to be had.


And it would involve a certain profession.


Specifically, the oldest one of all.










Footnotes


1. The Sawmill Market has a webpage here: sawmillmarket.com


2. Here’s a news story on the development of the Market, “Sawmill Market Aims to transform old warehouse in Albuquerque,” KRQE, Jun 1, 2017,  https://www.krqe.com/news/sawmill-market-aims-to-transform-old-warehouse-in-albuquerque/


3. Mama’s Minerals has a website here: https://www.mamasminerals.com/


4. The Sawmill’s webpage gives a list of “merchants” here: https://www.sawmillmarket.com/merchants/







About the photos: Just three today. First, two shots of the inside of the Sawmill Market. I took the photos and then ran them through a filter on Adobe Photoshop to protect the privacy of the people in the crowd. I tried to make these look like oil paintings. Let me know if you think I succeeded.


Second, here’s a photo of Martha while we were at lunch at Roots, a restaurant of which we’re fond here in Georgetown. As per norm, nothing to do with the story. Just liked the picture.





Copyright©2024 Michael Jay Tucker


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