This week I had a wonderful Sunday afternoon. In an effort to combine photographic and exercise goals, I drove down to Central Avenue to wander and to photograph the art and architecture of Route 66. This historic highway is an important part of Albuquerque’s history and there are many relics of the motels, restaurants, and businesses of its heyday. Some are repurposed, some are derelict. This stretch of the old highway goes through Albuquerque’s downtown and Nob Hill districts and there is also much public art from the present era on the buildings.
It was a beautiful day, mild temperatures and those unsurpassed New Mexico blue skies with just enough clouds to make it potographically perfect. And a photographer’s dream: few people or vehicles. In fact the traffic on the drive down and back and on Central Avenue was eerily sparse. This, of course, is the two-edged sword of the Covid-19 restrictions. The businesses were closed. The ART busses weren’t running. It was a rare opportunity for uncluttered photographs, but sad and ominous.
As an added bonus, I listened to classic country music on the drive – windows down, excellent stereo in the new Prius. I do love the older country music, although some of it is a little culturally dated, like Willie Nelson singing Good Hearted Woman, followed by Johnny Cash and June Carter’s rendition of It Ain’t Me Babe. Now if it the “me” in the latter song were June instead of Johnny, that one would have been fixed.
The photos below represent only the few blocks that I walked. I plan to do this again on another section of the road.
This really is a remarkable opportunity to view some of these places sans traffic. Looking forward to your future posts.
Thanks! And it is that. Was thinking today that I need to document some of the more prosaic quiet spots. Like the empty mall parking lot.
Rachel Aaker said:
These are beautiful! What breathtaking skies, and I love the empty road in the foreground in the black and white image.
Thanks, Rachel. The road was eerily deserted. There were occasional bursts of traffic, but jaywalking was definitely easy.
These human-made landscapes look so strange without people in them. They make me feel like I’m wandering around on the set of an old Twilight Zone episode. Yet they’re also gorgeous, especially with those dramatic skies, and for me they conjure up warm childhood memories of trips along Route 66 in my family’s ’56 Chevy. Very dreamlike. I like them a lot!
Thanks for your thoughtful comments!
Kay Reed said:
We enjoyed your tour through this section of Albuquerque! Skies so beautiful.
Thanks, Kay. Sure do miss you guys. Put Albuquerque on your list of places to visit. I have guest accommodations.
Those photos are — as usual — just amazing. You are so talented! Although people really are what streets and buildings are about, and it’s as eerie as you observed to see practically no traffic, seeing the places without the distractions is an interesting concept. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks, Madeline. And yes, people would add a lot!