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Heights Community Center 75th Anniversary Party

Preface

Seven and a half years ago when I first made the move to Albuquerque I knew no one in this lovely Land of Enchantment. I had just driven from Florida to begin a six-month-long photo internship at the Albuquerque Journal and was in search of the local swing dance community, which I hoped existed. I had already been swing dancing for a few years by then and it was my main creative outlet outside of photography. I think I was in Albuquerque no more than two days before some deep digging on Google spit out what seemed to be some outdated info on a weekly Tuesday night dance at Heights Community Center. With nothing else to do on my first Tuesday night in Albuquerque, I drove into town to see if the dance was actually happening. Much to my excitement I found a rather large crowd of people dancing when I got there!

This became the place where I met my soon-to-be Albuquerque friends. I don’t remember who I met or danced with that first time at Heights, but boy was I excited to have found a place to dance. Much to my surprise (and excitement) I soon learned of other weekly swing dances. The Tuesday night dance at Heights Community Center will always have a special place in my heart though. It’s where I first found a community that would become a very big part of my life and where I began some very close friendships.

History & A Party

On December 30, 2014, the Calming Four hosted a 75th Anniversary Party for Heights Community Center. According to the city of Albuquerque website, Heights Community Center was the first community recreation center in the city. It was constructed between 1938 and 1942 as a National Youth Administration Project, one of several New Deal programs active in Albuquerque during the Great Depression. During World War II, servicemen stationed in Albuquerque for training flocked to dances at the center. Folk, square, and swing dancing groups still actively use the center’s wooden dance floor, which many consider the best in the area. Read more

Rail Yards of Albuquerque

Any excuse to visit and photograph the Albuquerque rail yards sounds good to me. Actually I wasn’t even scheduled to shoot this on Friday, but due to more important breaking news I “unfortunately” had to scramble to get there on time. Gosh darn.

The city of Albuquerque has come out saying “Dangers abound at the city’s rail yards.” After shooting ASH I could help with this lecture. I won’t get into specifics, but yes, the rail yards are dangerous. While filming we were constantly reminding each other of this, even though it was so obvious. Despite its danger it’s a beautiful place. The light, the dirt, the space. Here’s a few of the photos from last week’s short tour.

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