Monday, July 23, 2007

Albuquerque's night scene is funny

On Friday, we stayed in Albuquerque to catch our early-morning Saturday flight. In Albuquerque, I finally got my taste of nightlife. The city’s entertainment district is along Central Avenue. The downtown area is clean and reminds me of Charlotte’s nightlife in the late ’90s and early ’00s -- i.e. there wasn't much to do.

The police close Central Avenue for about four blocks. Three cops on horses patrolled, as well as cops in cars and on foot. Mind you, the party section is only about four blocks and most of the action is in a two-block radius.

One mounted cop cracked me up. She trotted out from the plaza area with her left hand on her hip, her head high and a grin on her face. I couldn’t tell if she was policing or parading. Nevertheless, she and all of the other officers got serious quick at the first sign of trouble. They tooted their whistles (hard to mount a siren on a horse) and trotted over to the trouble spot. Partiers quickly cleared the street. Being trampled by a horse would have been a buzz-kill.

Along with being serious about quelling trouble, the folks in Albuquerque are equally serious about preventing underage drinking. At most of the bars, clubs and restaurants we checked out, the doorman or server took our ID and scanned it in a machine to check the authenticity.