Travel: In Search Of Albuquerque’s 300-year-old Past—and Its Neon-lit Present

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One woman, after learning where I was from, said, “Oh, New York! I’m going to tell you something even local people don’t know.” She directed me to seek out a tree in the parking lot behind the church. I headed back, circled several trees, and finally found a weathered wooden sculpture peering out from the crook of an old cottonwood. It seemed to have been there forever but turned out to be a Virgin of Guadalupe made in the 1980s by a reverent carver named Toby Avila. No matter. There are treasures scattered all about Albuquerque, be they 20 years old or 300.

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