Poetry: Albuquerque Frontier

By Joan Robins

The frontier was buzzing and bleating with humans and animals – lining up for their daily fix of vitamins and happy water.

Josie brought her javelina inside rather than risk someone shooting him for meat. There was safety in numbers even if one couldn’t afford the food. She pulled her cape around her shoulders and checked and rechecked her plastic pants pockets for spare change enough to get a doped-up tortilla spit out by the aging machine. Josie’s friend Sarah was smiling; she’d obviously drank the water and was wishing everyone Happy Halloween. Costumes were optional. Eighty-five-year-old Dan Straighter was completely nude, bent over, hobbling with a cane. No one paid him any attention. read more

Interview with District 3 City Councilor Klarissa Pena

By Nick Vottero

One of the biggest things I’ve noticed about living in the South Valley is how unincorporated it is. There are certain parts that are, and some that are not. How has the history of the South Valley in those aspects made it difficult for some of those districts to receive public funding? I don’t think it makes it difficult to receive public funding. I think that throughout the years it has been an area that has been underserved, I hate to say underrepresented, but the previous representatives did the best they could when communities had been historically redlined by several factors. The South Valley has been incorporated in a checkerboard pattern. There are some areas that are within the City of Albuquerque, and that is a result of some lax rules in terms of getting property incorporated into the City. Previously the only standard for incorporation was contiguity, but now the County requires permission for incorporation. I think the initial plan was to incorporate the area as the City grew, but now that the County requires permission there are some additional factors to consider. The County is trying to increase their base for tax revenue, which is important to County residents. The checkerboard incorporation has made it difficult to get City services to the incorporated areas. I think a lot of people like the rural quality of the South Valley, and that is something we have to consider as we envision what we want to see. We can expand onto the West Mesa, but if people want to grow inward instead of out, we have to look at infilling more rural areas like the South Valley. It sounds great to grow up instead of out, but the infill might affect the rural feeling of the South Valley, something I have a lot of reservations about and something I’ve heard about from my constituents. read more

Giving in the Modern Age: An Analysis of the One Albuquerque Housing Fund

By Two Way Street’s Editorial Team

In the modern age, there are so many ways to give – whether it’s making a monetary donation through a micro-lending online platform like Kiva or an care package donation to someone on the side of the street. But what modern form of giving leaves the most impact? And how do we measure that impact when everyone’s needs are so different. read more

Call for Service Provider Professionals!

By Two Way Street’s Editorial Team

In an attempt to create a “safe space” for employees working under institutional constraints who want to share their thoughts and opinions as private citizens, Two Way Street has carved out space in our paper to publish professionals’ experiences and reviews of our community’s Continuum of Care. Contributors can have these comments remain anonymous if they would like. read more

Macro-Answers for Micro-Entrepreneurs

By Jacqueline Andrews

New Mexico is widely known for its large community of artists and creators, many of whom are actively involved in a vending network and share their products with an interested, like-minded crowd. As one such vendor, I often wonder – What is the next step in creating a business alone? How do I expand to more official, government sponsored events? Is what I am doing even legal? I need to know that what I am doing now is not going to affect me negatively as I try to move forward in the proper way, carefully creating a small business from my passion. It is certain, I am not alone in this cloud of uncertainty. I have been able to reach and relate to a large network of people in my time as a vendor, and it has become very clear to me that many are still asking the same questions I find myself faced with. read more

Changing Trends In What We Consider “Home”

By Justin Gaudian

Housing refers to constructed buildings or houses that provide adequate living spaces for the purpose of sheltering people, but a ‘home’ is a much more personal concept. Homes are the places we create out of housing. They are the incubation chambers for young families to grow and flourish, the study base for students to garner a successful education, the studio for musicians to expand their musical careers, or the perfect venue for a young social networker to host their perfect event, each room is given life through the memories and experiences shared. They are much more than just places we choose to sleep; homes should have the resources each of these different individuals need to live comfortable meaningful lives and encourage growth and wellbeing. They should be a functional representation of our individuality and the lifestyles we choose for ourselves. read more