Thursday, July 30, 2009

National Hispanic Cultural Center

I posted some pictures awhile back of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. For several years Dan and I have gone there, on occasion, for a meal; and I have taken guests there to see the art work, the museum, and the gift shop. But, before today, I had never visited the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which is in the south part of Albuquerque (4th and Bridge).

Today after work I thought I'd go investigate it. I didn't spend long there, but hope to go back sometime and spend more time. One of the first things I checked out was their restaurant, and I was almost overwhelmed by the wonderful aroma of Mexican cuisine. It was 1:00, I hadn't had lunch yet, and my stomach started growling - but I resisted. I looked on the door, for their hours, and found that they are open until 3:00 every day except Monday. Sadly, dinner isn't an option, but maybe Dan and I can go for a Saturday morning breakfast sometime; or my friend, Pam, and I might meet there for lunch some Tuesday.

The center has several beautiful buildings, including a History and Literary Arts Building, A Technology and Visual Arts Center (including an art museum), the Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts (with two theaters and an auditorium), an Education Center and the Restaurant (La Fonda del Bosque). There is also a store, connected with the museum, and a walking and bike trail that winds through the Bosque - THAT sounds like a photo op just waiting for me to explore.

Here are a few pictures I took today. I can't wait to go back and spend more time (and eat some enchiladas!).

The tree-lined walkway that leads from the parking lot to the art museum. Actually, this is leaving the facility, so my back is to the main buildings.

Stop and smell the flowers! This is just a closer look at some of the native plants in the flower beds that border the sidewalk.

This tower is not yet open. Inside a world-renowned artist is creating a fresco of the Hispanic culture. Click on the photo below, to enlarge it, to read the details.

This is a fountain that sits in the courtyard outside the restaurant.

La Fonda del Bosque Restaurant, inside.

This plaza is used for outdoor performances. There is tiered seating on the south (left) side of the plaza.

This water art - a flume - borders the west side of the plaza.

From beneath the flume, watching the water spill out.

I peeked inside the Intel Center for Technology and Visual Arts. This beautiful arched hallway runs through it.

And this hall, also arched, runs the length of the Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts.

Inside the Performing Arts building is this beautiful lobby outside the Albuquerque Journal Theater.

Between the Performing Arts Center and the Technology/Visual Arts center is this quiet courtyard, with another water feature.

It was sunny and about 85 degrees as I strolled through the Center. By the time I got home, a half hour later, a thunder storm had moved in. The sky was so dark that I had to drive with the headlights. I got inside before the lightning started streaking across the sky and the rain started coming down. But, like most of these summer thunder storms, it passed quickly.

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