10 April 2007

The Secret of Old Town

After the visit to the International Rattlesnake Museum I thought I would go for lunch [naturally, huh..] I had remembered a place off the main plaza behind the San Felipe de Niri Church called, appropriately enough, Church Street Cafe.

The restaurant is one of the oldest dwellings in the city, occupied as a home until about 1991 by the Ruiz Family, original settlers. The interesting thing is, back in Los Angeles I knew a woman named Rita Ruiz..a member of this family. She recalled the times she had growing up in the house. Kinda cool. She has been away from Albuquerque for a good 30 years now. I mailed her a restaurant t-shirt awhile back.

And for lunch?? Carne adovada. Not asada which is shredded pork, but adovada, chunks of pork marinated in seasonings and chili.....oh man... I was baaaaad..hahahaha..but it was sooooo good.

After lunch I thought I would walk the plaza. Not much has changed I'm sure since I was last here at Christmas time. I wandered the streets just snapping some shots...

It was very quiet and peaceful. The touristas have not arrived in mass yet.

The spires of the San Felipe de Niri church can be seen from most places in the plaza.

Having thought I had seen everything there was to see in Old Town I started to head back to the car when I came across something I had never seen or heard of before. I would have missed it again had I not just happened to glance down a corridor where I thought would just be more shops

It was the Chapel of Our Lady Guadalupe.

I had never seen this place before. Had the doors been shut I would have thought it was a storage area or a back exit to one of the shops.

It was so small and un-assuming. Not bigger then a garage.

But then neither is a manger.

It was lit only by natural sunlight and candles.

No touristas. No donation plate. Just me and Him.

Against the back wall was another alter. At the base were pictures with lit candles. My friend Jon had posted a link on his blog that took you to a website where you could see tributes to fallen servicemen. Here I was before an alter to Christ. An alter that also paid tribute to the fallen. To another kind of hero. Mothers. Fathers. Family. Friends. Snapshots of lives lived. From long ago to possibly last week.

On April 21st I will be at this alter to pay tribute to one of my hero's. My mom would have been 76.

...until next time friend. i'm out

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