I've been to New Mexico twice in the past month or so. Once for work, to visit Navajo Nation which is a huge territory governed by Native Americans (parts of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico). I didn't spend much time on the reservation, but learned a lot about the injustices these people have suffered for years, and years, and years. Luckily there are great organizations like COPE (they were our hosts for this trip) who are helping to inject a quality of life among the residents of Navajo Nation through healthcare and education.
My second visit to New Mexico was not work-related. I went to see a land art exhibit by Walter de Maria called the Lightning Field. This INSANE installation was built in the late 70's. 400 stainless steel poles, 20 feet high and exactly 220 feet apart, laid out in a perfect grid one mile by one kilometer. The result, a field of lightning conductors in the middle of nowhere. One rustic cabin, sleeps 6, some rubber boots for exploring the plains, and a bunch of blankets for when it gets freezing as fuck late at night, and you're there for about 20 hours. Sounds like the opening chapter of a horror story, but it really is the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life. Hands down. Even the other 4 strangers in the cabin were fun to be with in that moment in time. Something about being with complete strangers with interesting life stories in that setting is totally bizarre and yet exciting. We spent most of our time along though, sitting in the field and just taking it all in, thinking, and clearing out the muck in our minds. It was the closest to meditation I'll ever get.
Aside from the Lightning Field, we did some exploring (mostly food related). Here are some amazing spots you must try next time you find yourself near Albuquerque, NM.
Mary & Tito's Cafe in ABQ. At 7:30pm we realized they close at 8:00, so we raced from the hotel to their tiny cafe on a creepy abandoned stretch of road, and frantically knocked on the door at 7:59 until they let us in and let us takeaway our dinner which we ate in the car, in an abandoned parking lot next door. Get the Carne Adovada Mexican Turnovers (sopapillas). I like green chili and my boyfriend likes red - you'll have to decide for yourself!
Frontier Restaurant. A sprawling diner across from the University of New Mexico. The green chili cheeseburger is the shit. And the sticky bun for dessert will give you feelings of deep regret and shame, but only after extreme euphoria. Like Heroin, from what I hear.
The Grove. This is for the hipster crowd - but it's a great breakfast spot where you can actually get fresh vegetables and greens as an alternative to the regular stewed meats with sauce and fried bread offered everywhere else.