Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque ( (listen) AL-bə-kur-kee, Spanish: [alβuˈkeɾke]), abbreviated as ABQ, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. Its nicknames, The Duke City and Burque, both reference its 1706 founding by Nuevo México governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés as La Villa de Alburquerque. Named in honor of the Viceroy of New Spain, the 10th Duke of Alburquerque, the city was an outpost on El Camino Real linking Mexico City to the northernmost territories of New Spain. The 2020 census found the population of the city to be 564,559, making Albuquerque the 32nd-most populous city in the United States and the fourth-largest in the Southwest. It is the principal city of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, which had 916,528 residents as of July 2020.Located in north-central New Mexico, Albuquerque serves as the county seat of Bernalillo County. To its east are the Sandia–Manzano Mountains, Rio Grande flows north to south through its center, while the West Mesa and Petroglyph National Monument make up the western part of the city. Albuquerque has one of the highest elevations of any major city in the U.S., ranging from 4,900 feet (1,500 m) above sea level near the Rio Grande to over 6,700 feet (2,000 m) in the foothill areas of Sandia Heights and Glenwood Hills. The civic apex is found in an undeveloped area within the Albuquerque Open Space; there, the terrain rises to an elevation of approximately 6,880 feet (2,100 m), and the metropolitan area's highest point is the Sandia Mountains crest at an altitude of 10,678 feet (3,255 m). The economy of Albuquerque centers on science, medicine, technology, commerce, education, entertainment, and culture outlets. The city is home to Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Presbyterian Health Services, and both the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College have their main campuses in the city. Albuquerque is the center of the New Mexico Technology Corridor, a concentration of high-tech institutions, including the metropolitan area being the location of Intel's Fab 11X in Rio Rancho and a Facebook Data Center in Los Lunas. Albuquerque was also the founding location of MITS and Microsoft. Film studios have a major presence in the state of New Mexico, for example Netflix has a main production hub at Albuquerque Studios. There are numerous shopping centers and malls within the city, including ABQ Uptown, Coronado, Cottonwood, Nob Hill, and Winrock. Outside city limits but surrounded by the city is the location of a horse racing track and casino called The Downs Casino and Racetrack, and the Pueblos surrounding the city feature resort casinos, including Sandia Resort, Santa Ana Star, Isleta Resort, and Laguna Pueblo's Route 66 Resort. The city hosts the International Balloon Fiesta, the world's largest gathering of hot-air balloons, taking place every October at a venue referred to as Balloon Fiesta Park, with its 47-acre launch field. Another large venue is Expo New Mexico, where other annual events are held, such as North America's largest pow wow at the Gathering of Nations, as well as the New Mexico State Fair. Other major venues throughout the metropolitan area include the National Hispanic Cultural Center, the University of New Mexico's Popejoy Hall, Santa Ana Star Center, and Isleta Amphitheater. Old Town Albuquerque's Plaza, Hotel, and San Felipe de Neri Church hosts traditional fiestas and events such as weddings, also near Old Town are the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Explora, and Albuquerque Biological Park. Located in Downtown Albuquerque are historic theaters such as the KiMo Theater, and near the Civic Plaza is the Al Hurricane Pavilion and Albuquerque Convention Center with its Kiva Auditorium. Due to its population size, the metropolitan area regularly receives most national and international music concerts, Broadway shows, and other large traveling events, as well as New Mexico music, and other local music performances. Likewise, due to the metropolitan size, it is home to a diverse restaurant scene from various global cuisines and the state's distinct New Mexican cuisine. Being the focus of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District gives an agricultural contrast along acequias to the otherwise heavily urban setting of the city. Crops such as New Mexico chile are grown along the entire Rio Grande; the red or green chile pepper is a staple of the aforementioned New Mexican cuisine. The Albuquerque metro is a major contributor of the Middle Rio Grande Valley AVA with New Mexico wine produced at several vineyards, it is also home to several New Mexican breweries. The river also provides trade access with the Mesilla Valley (containing Las Cruces, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas) region to the south, with its Mesilla Valley AVA and the adjacent Hatch Valley which is well known for its New Mexico chile peppers. Since the city's founding, it has continued to be included on travel and trade routes including Santa Fe Railway (ATSF), Route 66, Interstate 25, Interstate 40, and the Albuquerque International Sunport.

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