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The River of Lights is a holiday light display that runs at the Albuquerque BioPark Botanic Garden for the month of December. The event started in 1997 to raise money for the park which has a zoo, aquarium, botanic garden, and beach.
There are nearly 600 individual light displays with millions of twinkling lights, and the park employs three full-time craftsmen year-round to build new exhibits and to maintain the existing ones. It takes about two months to set up the holiday display. One of the crowd favorites is a 63 foot (19 meters) brontosaurus, named “One-Ton” because of the weight of its metal frame. “One-Ton” took nearly 600 hours to build, and has 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) of rope light.
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Young ladies step out in the Old Town section of Albuquerque, New Mexico wearing the latest Southwest fashions. Fringes, silver, turquoise, Native American jewelry, cowgirl hats, and cowgirl boots are the New Mexico style.
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Special thanks to Ashley Wagner aka Rhinestone Rambler. Www.rhinestonerambler.com/instagram @ashleywagner505, Chantelle Wagner @chantellefawn, Cierra Wagner @makeupbycierraw for fashions, modeling, and make-up.
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Ernest Hemingway once said “Time spent with a cat is never wasted.” Customers at Catopia Cat Café in Albuquerque, New Mexico can spend as much time as they want with about a dozen adoptable cats while having coffee and browsing the web. Internet coffee shops that have cats up for adoption is a new trend in the U.S. Right now, there are about one hundred cat cafés around the country. Café customers can get to know the cats that they might want to take home in the open space of the coffee shops.
Catopia’s manager, Sandy Dierks, said “They can kind of show their personalities in a bigger environment like this and wander around and play, and people can see a little more what they’re like.” The cats that are up for adoption have been neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, and have had a check-up from a veterinarian.
Catopia’s patrons find the presence of playful cats to be a stress reliever. Dierks told us “People, like students, can do their work on their laptops and we have free Wi-Fi and you can just get some work done while hanging out with a cat on your lap. It’s a lot more relaxing than other environments.”
All of the drinks and snacks are pre-packaged to insure cleanliness. The coffee is made from sealed pods. There are two sets of doors that can only be opened one at a time to keep cats from running outside into a busy shopping center. There is “cat furniture” throughout the café that allows the cats to climb up the walls or scurry through tunnels.
Catopia has only been open for a few months but has had seventeen cats adopted, as well as a positive local response. Dierks told us “We’ve had a ton of support from the community, people coming out and just wanting to help get these guys homes and just support our business and make a go of it, so it’s been, it’s been really wonderful.”
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Billed as the “The Biggest Pow Wow in North America,” the Gathering of Nations brings together participants from Indigenous Nations all over Canada, the US, and Mexico.
This is part of a photo series featuring the American southwest.
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Albuquerque, New Mexico