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A Dozen New Mexican Stereotypes You'll Find In Everyone's ABQ Home

The title above is a bit of a lie. (Great way to start an article, isn't it?) You won't find all these things in everyone's home, and there will be some things you may have that aren't featured here. But this will be a good sampling of what you might find in many ABQ homes.

1. Color

The most important thing here is color--and lots of it.  Nothing bland in the ABQ home. This is not a place you would retire to if you had a migraine headache.

I love the pine table and chairs. Notice how the extra chairs are placed behind the dining/kitchen table to save room.  Clever.  And look at the bright red Native American tapestry on the wall behind the table.  

Now move over to the left wall.  See the Mexican-style pottery on the ledge above the window?  Very simple and sweet.

And the very typical wooden bench looks very comfy basking in the sunshine by the window, and with some bright cushions or Mexican blankets on it.

This room has a lot in it, but still has some floorspace to move around in.  If you imagine a lot of clutter in this room--like toys or books all over the place--whoa!  It won't look so good.

2. The rack

We're talking spices here.  According to the New Mexican Food Blog, real New Mexican kitchens have a spice rack or pantry "with various spices and dried herbs that you have never heard of, as well as some bottles of potable Mexican liquids that also appear to be food ingredients."  Take a look and you'll find a lot of rice and assorted dried beans and "a bunch of other unidentifiable dry ingredients with Mexican names."

3. Tiles

Wow--this looks like a fun place to take a long shower.  Something like this is not in my place--that's for sure.  In most ABQ homes, you'll find gorgeous Mexican tiles somewhere--the floor, the walls, stoves and other appliances. My favorite has to be those sleek tiled sinks in the kitchen and bathroom.

4. Guns

Well, what's a liberal, pro-gun-control gal to say?  Nevertheless, many ABQ homes do have gun collections.  Let's hope they're used for the "right" reasons.  

5.  Chiles

I adore these.  Personally, I'd rather see these dried chiles hanging in someone's window than sitting in my plate.  They're too hot for me to eat, but I think they're cool to look at.  In fact, I've been meaning to get some.  They do seem pretty pricey, though. Does anyone know where you can buy a bunch of these in ABQ for a reasonable price?

6. Cacti

Ilene Springer

What kind of yard would it be without the prickly pear cactus? These are very common around ABQ homes.  It's amazing to me how soon these begin to bud--early January.  If there's anything you shouldn't touch in someone's home, it's this cactus.  You'll find out why.

7. Clay

It doesn't get more earthy than this.  These brown and red pieces of Native American pottery are among my favorites of all objects found in the Albuquerque home.  I myself collect them.  It is amazing with what some people can do with a lump of clay, don't you think?  

8. Jugs

Ilene Springer

These Mexican ceramics--jug and vase--are my very own in my own living room. (Please excuse the grains of cat litter I spot on the rug.)  And you will find these multicolored beauties in one room or another in the typical New Mexican home.

9. Route 66

Lucky is the home that shows off some memorabilia from the Route 66 era. Many ABQ homes will have some spot of honor for signs, statues or some machine from 66.  And many of the appliances still work!

10. Rugs

Beautiful Navajo rugs and weavings are common in homes in New Mexico.   Made of Navajo sheep wool, they can range in size from small table samplers to coverings on a sofa.  They can be used as blankets to wear or to be displayed on the wall or floor.

Here's a wonderful article on: Typical Navajo Weaving Display Techniques by Type

11. Baskets

I'm amazed that some of these baskets (the large ones on the left) are actual baskets and not pottery.  I bet there isn't one ABQ home without at least one hand-crafted basket to show off.

12. Bones

This Day of the Dead stuff scares the hell out of me.  I swear that it took me months to enter a shop that has these skeletal statues in the window. Nevertheless, you'll find many New Mexican homes that have some kind of display of these figures to commemorate the Mexican holiday that occurs around Halloween.