Posts Tagged With: banks


Route 66 through Albuquerque is well represented by some of those old motor courts that later became motor-hotels from which the word  motel was coined. It was a grand thing to “Get Your Kicks on 66.” The old road may be gone but ABQ has seen fit to permit and encourage  refurbishing and protecting many of the old places and especially the neon signs that remain on what’s left of 66.

La  Puerta lodge (both photos above)  is one of those still in business and is on a list of 25 places we got on-line to see.

Luna Lodge is all boarded up and workers were on site, restoring the place.

Marks on the walls, a fun reminder of the past, the dinky rooms, with a single window and a tiny air conditioner built into the wall with a separate heater. The Luna had an old menu posted on the wall from their restaurant. It was once a fancy place.

This brought us  a chuckle since the protected figure is a Paul Bunyan with an ax and the new owners have opened the May Cafe, a Vietnamese restaurant.

Not all Route 66 businesses were motor courts, of course. When this building is refurbished, it will look better but still have that quaint look that gives ABQ’s Central Ave. a very mixed business neighborhood.  Example, the older buildings juxtaposed with a brand new building  of modern architecture as in this bank, below.

And, it may have been against the law for me to take the picture. But, more about that later.

According to a bit of Route 66 history, the motor courts competed for business by erecting bigger and bigger signs, sort of like Las Vegas, NV.  This one is still in use with the same name.

Here the sign is the only thing left awaiting refurbishing. The building  long gone.

This cool 50’s diner is all redone and still serving 50’s style food.

Saving their neons is another thing ABQ is doing.  You can drive the strip at night to see them lighted,  which we will do after our Cinco De Mayo festival tonight.   We saw signs in this neon shop which was closed.

Someone didn’t like the peace sign and put a bullet through it. In fact, this window had three bullet holes in it.

This old theater is just one of four that are being restored. ABQ is a very eclectic city.

Eventually, they will be looking for old artifacts from the past to accent these buildings.

We wandered close to Old Town and got a quick look at the beautiful Kimo Theatre. We’ll visit inside on our next jaunt.

As we crossed over to the Knob Hill area of town, we found fancier old  buildings. This architecture dates from the 1920’s to 1950’s.

ABQ has many murals around town. I particularly liked this “corner” of a mural.

A refreshing fountain on a hot day, located at the convention center downtown.

In one section, all  street signs have a fancy motif.  It would have been easier to take the tour bus and have the cities features pointed out to you by a guide. But you miss so much, including getting accosted by a security guard for breaking the law.

It happened when we were cruising the motor courts. This motel was getting refurbished and was fenced all around. I stuck my camera through the fence since it was the only one I had seen with a swimming pool.  A security card came out of the building and said, “Don’t take that picture.”  And I said, why not. He said “It is against the law to take a picture within 300 yards of a bank.”  Wha???  “I don’t see a bank?”  It was out of sight. ” No, I said. That can’t be true.”  He said:  “If you take that picture, I will call security right now.”  He brandished  a phone or maybe a two-way radio in his hand. He was not  bully about it, just letting me know he had to call, it was his job, his duty. He asked me where I was from. I told him I was from California and Jim, who was around the corner, was from Massachusetts. Then he said: “Why do you have a Washington license plate?”  Oh, no!  Try and explain a full-time RVer’s difficulty getting a license without a permanent address.  I tried. I finally told him, I’m going to take this picture. Go ahead and call. We are  tourists and these buildings are listed in the visitors center. So I did. And, he did. We got in the Bronco and drove away.

I may be  a jinx. I arrived May 1st.  There was a security upheaval at the airport, a road block, then another road block Wednesday where we were immediately blocked three times as we tried to get out of the way. And, then I broke the law and the cops may be coming for me at any time.  I told Jim, maybe I better return to Murphys?

But, dang, the food is too good. We’ve been out to eat every day. Tonight, I gotta cook before we turn into roli-polies.




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It appears to me that revolution, mild it might be, is at hand. The Occupy Wall Street movement has taken on multiple issues and at least some parts of Corporate America are shaking in their boots. I was emailed several videos of people trying to close their accounts at Bank of America, 700,000 of them according to this source.  In the 1940’s the cops would have sided with the business owner. Not, now!  They have been enlightened. And it made me happy to see it. The video’s are quite amazing and can be seen at this address:,-despite-bank-efforts-to-stopthem?

I have my own weird story of Bank of America and why I won’t bank with them. In the 1980’s I had a grocery store. B of A was located 9 miles from my business. We had no bank in Murphys at the time. I went to the Bank for change as soon as their drive up window opened because the Clampers were in town and I figured I needed  more change. I was refused  because the drive-up window was not allowed to give me $100 in change. They gave me change for a twenty. Anything bigger, I was told to come back when the main door of the bank opened, which would be after my business opened. They were unrelenting.

I closed my account with B of A.  The second incident involved a tenant in the mid 1990’s.  At the time I had a low-cost rental, $500 a month. I kept collection boxes in several Arnold businesses to take in Christmas cards after the holidays which I then delivered to St. Judes Ranch for Abused Children once a year.  My renter had given me a check,  she was a customer of B of A, had  never bounced a check nor ever paid her rent late, not once in five years. Since I was picking up cards, I cashed  my check from her while I was in the bank.  After all, my tenant was  their customer, why wouldn’t they?  The second time I went to pick up cards, they wanted my fingerprint. I was aghast. “You want my fingerprint to cash a check from your customer who has an account at this branch?”  That was correct. I then asked, “What possible good would my fingerprint do you?  Are you going to have my fingerprint analyzed before you give me the cash?” I was told no. Me:  “Then why take my fingerprint?  I will be gone with the cash and now what do you do if your customer does not have cash to cover it? What possible use would my fingerprint be to you?”
They simply repeated that it was policy and when I asked for the manager, they claimed she wasn’t available. I knew her and I knew she was in her office. Guess what? I ripped up the check and handed it to the teller. I told my tenant from then on, she was required to pay me in cash. Which she did. I have a short fuse for stupidity. I’m grateful we have Credit Unions and independent banks. The big banks are worse than thieves and insurance companies.

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