By Meredith Hughes

Happily hopping along in the positivity of the Year of The Rabbit, I wanted to note two examples of excellent customer service, one at Ace, and one at Walgreen’s. The service providers were young. The Ace guy named Evan—yes, we did discuss his name, his Welsh ancestry, and mine, and when I handed over my Ace reward cards/coupons he actually managed to save me $15! Be still, my heart. Some Ace-ers fail at the reward bit. The Walgreen’s dude trotted up and down and around every aisle in the meds/vitamin area relentlessly searching, in vain, for the fab homeopathic product Cold Calm. He looked despondent at not finding any. Another win for Natural Grocers.

Eyes on a new business near Flying Star
In search of nifty classy eyeball covers? Consider dropping in at Artistic Vision, 10700 Corrales Road, especially designed for “those who wish to express their artistic side through their eyewear.” We talked with Marie Archibeque, an optician for well over 20 years, who with a fellow optician of equal experience also owns Perfect Pair Optical Shop on San Mateo. The Corrales shop is more high end or “boutique,” as Archibeque put it, and its interior packs a colorful kick (

Longtime food business still rocking it
Corrales’ Jane—enthusiastic-expert-in-all-things-culinarily-Southwest—Butel is offering once
again her Red Chile Fiesta Cooking Class on Feb. 23, from 5-10pm. The first 12 applicants will comprise the class. You will learn to make and taste the following: Two Award-Winning Red Chilis – Bowl o’ Red and First Love Chili, Crushed Red Chile Salsa, Red Chile Beef Enchiladas, Flat New Mexico-Style Carne Adovada made into burritos and tacos, Spicy Chocolate Chile Cupcakes. You also will dive into culinary history and have many laughs. (Your presenter is a hoot.)

The class meets in her kitchen at 138 Armijo Ct. and costs $115. Butel also offers online courses via her website. 505-243-2622;

From the Corrales Historical Society
Next up in the CHS speaker series is the former history curator at the Albuquerque Museum, Leslie Kim, who will discuss what made the northern territory of Mexico “New” Mexican and what it meant to live here in the first half of the 19th century. The program is at Old Church, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m.

Kim’s current project, analyzing the dictatorships of the southern-most countries of South
America in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, will culminate in an exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum this June that will feature graphic posters, arpilleras (small patchwork textiles), ephemera and more. The exhibit is titled “Dictators and the Disappeared: Democracy Lost and Restored.”

The Siphon, Online

Further in things historic, the latest offering in the ongoing saga of the antique Corrales
Siphon is now viewable online.

Jason Casuga, head of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, was featured at the
Jan. 24 Village Council meeting and revealed the latest “pump plan” for the twitchy siphon. You can view his visual offering here:

Did you know?

February is “Geology, Rocks, and Soil Life” month. ( Also “Ducks Spotted
Hanging Out in Public Pools” month, FYI). Bachechi Open Space, Sundays from 12pm-5pm, hosts Family Fun Days. Educator provide hands-on learning stations here and kids get one-of-a-kind Nature Packs, filled with materials providing families with ways to explore the natural features of Bachechi. The packs include guides, hands-on supplies and activity sheets to investigate birds, bugs, tracks, wetlands and more. All free. Each month focuses on a different topic: March— “Read the Skies with Weather;”April I—“Watery Wetland Wonders;” May— “Knock, Knock, Who’s Here? Wildlife
in the Bosque;and as the program ends, June presents “Pretty or Not: Pollinators.”
9521 Rio Grande Blvd.

February is also Vinedo Pajaro Azul wine month at Casa Vieja
The Casa is now fully licensed to sell its wine, produced from a vineyard established about 11 years ago by Molly and Dan O’Brien, new owners of Casa Vieja, 4541 Corrales Road. Their Cuvée blend is available for walk-in wine hunters at $27.50 a bottle. As are their Zinfandel, Rosé, Paloma Blanca and Cabernet Franc. You can taste five wines at $10 per guest. The tasting fee is waived with the purchase of two bottles of their wines per guest. Take note for March 17: Casa offers an O’Brien’s Irish Nitro Stout.

An apology
Finally, News-y blew it last time by referencing The Farm Store instead of The Farm Stand, which now boasts a hitching post, by the way. And we love their cress so much.
It’s The Farm Stand, 4206 Corrales Road.

Please do get in touch with News-y—gossip, questions such as “Why is my husband intent on repositioning all our artwork?,” upcoming events? Many thanks.


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