Episode 28: Smallpox

This and the next episode were originally going to be one super-packed disease-a-rama also featuring TB and Hanta Virus, but the length came too close to the 2 hour mark for our comfort. So, instead, we’ll be releasing part two next Monday! Stay tuned!

Things discussed:

Mike’s absence!

Albuquerque crime: Man found in the Bosque with his hands nailed to a tree, but his story doesn’t add up.

The Pit is changing to Dreamstyle Arena? Should we make fun of this? Probably.


Origin and first physical evidence of the disease.

The first inoculations (via variolation) in China and Turkey.

Jenner’s use of cowpox as a vaccine in England.

Smallpox in New Mexico. Larrañaga’s tour of the territory with cowpox infected children. What happens when you run out of kids with cowpox? You try powdered scabs. And then things get gross.

Eradication of smallpox. Last known deaths associated with the disease.

2004: Discovery of smallpox in… Santa Fe?

Have we mentioned our patreon account? It's a great way to support what we're doing!

Part two- Coming right up!


Episode 27: The Giant of Sandia

Show notes.

In 1866, prospector and future territorial legislator Dr. W.T. Strachan swore he found the skeleton of a 40-foot giant in a cave on Sandia. What in the world?

Mike discusses some hard-hitting Albuquerque news: He fed an orange to a prairie dog. Somehow, he also manages to work in some political commentary. Because he’s Mike.

Nora discusses Wise Pies Arena AKA The Pit and how it will no longer have that unwieldy name.

Another one-act play? Two strangers meet in a coffee shop and discuss Patreon. Weird how that keeps happening.

Mike tells us the story of the Sandia giant. We discuss what we know about its “discoverer” W.T. Strachan, businessman and politician.

Nora tells the history of another famous discovery: the Cardiff Giant.

Ty reads a news story from 1902 about the supposed discovery of 12’ skeletons in Guadalupe, NM and asks, What?

Next episode: New Mexico Diseases, part 2.

7 Times Albuquerque Went Viral

1. Universe Closed, Use Rainbow

Universe and Rainbow are streets in northwest Albuquerque. During a time when Universe was closed, a detour pointed drivers to an alternate route and a whimsical meme was born.

2. Moon

This is about as simple as it gets. Moon is a street. The Moon is a moon. One day, they met.


3. Cuba Gooding Junior Behaves Badly


Oh, Cuba. First Sled Dogs and now this? While filming a movie in Albuquerque, Gooding decided to blow off some steam at the no-longer-extant Maloney’s Pub. Things got out of hand.

"At about midnight on March 1st, Cuba Gooding Jr. waltzed into the bar we were at and proceeded to sexually harass a number of the [women there] and assault (punch) a [man] for attempting to take a picture of Cuba receiving a lap dance. [...] The sexual harassment occurred when women would be taking pictures with him; he would grab butt cheeks during the picture taking and when women reacted negatively to that, he would proceed to either touch women's breasts or tell them that he "loved them." He told me that he loved me because his wife's name is also Sara. Classy."

4. Christian Bale Behaves Badly

Oh good. It's fucking unprofessional. Good for you. Etc. While filming a scene at the Albuquerque Railyards for the aggressively mediocre Terminator Salvation, Christian Bale reached his limit in dealing with a light technician's apparently unprofessional behavior. The rest is internet legend.

5. Blind Mountain Climber

We love our local anchors, in part because they often show their human sides.  Cynthia Izaguirre did exactly that when she suffered an on-air brain bubble and mistakenly labeled a blind mountain climber as… well, if you don’t know, just watch.

The blooper continues to haunt her, though she seems to have made a certain amount of peace with her brief foray into the viral internet as seen in this more recent clip.

6. Soccer Brutality

In 2009, UNM soccer player Elizabeth Lambert got a bit carried away by the competitive spirit during a game against Brigham Young.


In a later New York Times interview, Lambert apologized for her behavior, but also suggested that it would not have gotten so much attention if the players were men.

7. Shit Burqueños Say

Lauren Poole had made a few videos with her Black Out Theater co-hort before 2012, but none of them reached the level of success as their entry in the Shit [BLANK]Say trend. By tapping into the realm of Albuquerque (and New Mexican) slang, her character Lynette LaBurqueña became a phenomenon.

For more on Viral Albuquerque, including an interview with Lynette herself (aka Lauren Poole), check out the latest episode of the City on the Edge podcast.


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Episode 20: What's Going Bump in the Night?


As we say on the episode, a question on the Albuquerque subreddit about what sort of paranormal beastie might be causing a user's dog to bark at nothing kicked off this round of folkloric speculation. Fortunately, New Mexico has plenty of unusual bogeys to choose from.

Nora brought one of the strangest spooks I’ve ever heard of, a 6-foot long undulating mass of hair known as an “earth baby.” She found the story in an out of print book called The Squaw Tree : Ghosts, Mysteries, and Miracles of New Mexico. I suppose that the creature counts as more of a cryptic than a spirit, and I’d love to know more information about it. Interestingly, both the name “earth baby” and one of the creature’s major traits, its propensity to squawl with a sound like an infant crying, imply a relationship to the Jerusalem cricket, aka the niña de la tierra. But I’ve never heard of the little bastards getting 6 feet long.

 God I hope not.

God I hope not.


My tales of the duende and the Goblin Rat come from The New Mexico Book of the Undead by Ray John de Aragon. It’s a good book for folklore, though I take some exception to his one-sided depiction of the Pueblo Revolt.

Mike brought a collection of weirdness from all over, as is his wont. In particular, I loved the idea of the “cabbit,” the world’s dumbest cryptid (a half-cat, half-rabbit) emerging from the underground alien/human base of Dulce, NM. Dulce is the center of a huge number of conspiracy theories, but none are quite as arbitrary and inconsequential as the cabbit.

Oh, and did we mention Big Hoot? Big Hoot is apparently a six foot owl that flutters around in Lincoln Co.. Why? Why not?


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Show Notes and Slide Show: Episode 18, Secret UNM

Our first live event! We had a full house and everyone seemed to have a good time, so thanks to all for coming out.


One aspect of the live show that we obviously can't replicate via audio alone is our slide presentation. So, compiled below are all the slides you missed if you didn't make it out. Follow along as you listen!



Show notes: Episode 17: Secret Albuquerque

As we mention on the show, each and everyone of us has access to a “secret” Albuquerque experience. The very fact of approximately 1 million unique minds living in this city means that there are 1 million unique and inaccessible points of view and thus, 1 million secret versions of our city. That was the idea behind this episode, to use that thought as a leaping off place: What are the Albuquerque’s that we wish we could access, but can’t?

Inspired by a top 10 list from the still-shockingly-not-posting-their-content-online Albuquerque the Magazine (seriously, how do you get away with that when most of your stories are basically clickbait?) the three of us made up our own Top 5 Secret Albuquerque lists and focussed on one entry each to explore a little more in detail.

Nora wondered about the experience of being a woman in Albuquerque, and New Mexico, during the last century and found some answers in the book Down the Santa Fe Trail and Into Mexico: The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin 1846-1847.

Mike mentioned the Z-Machine, some kind of apocalyptic scientific device hiding away at Sandia Labs that none of us are smart enough to understand, and the four hills, where half of America’s nuclear arsenal was once stored.


 The Z-Machine in all its terrifying glory.

The Z-Machine in all its terrifying glory.


Ty talked about his fantasy of joining a gang (seriously, not a good plan), the hidden things on Kirkland Airfare Base (including Atlas-1, pictured below) but really delved into the long-vanished province of Tiguex and the destroyed pueblo of Ghufoor.


Ty’s dogs barked a bit and Mike’s kids rang the doorbell. Listen carefully to the episode to hear this exclusive bonus content! I don’t know what the weird buzzing feedback noise is. It pops up from time to time for mysterious reasons of its own and I never notice it until it’s too late.

Also, Ty has a real problem saying the word “harquebus.” Which, seriously, why is that even a word?


Show Notes: Episode 15 & 16, Route 66

For these two episodes, writer and poet Nora Hickey joins us to discuss the impact of America’s most famous road, Route 66, on Albuquerque. She interviews David Dunaway, author of The Route 66 Companion, and discusses her own experiences with the Mother Road.


We also talk about some of Albuquerque's more famous Route 66 sites.


The KiMo Theatre

Built in 1927, the same year that Route 66 was commissioned, the KiMo theatre is a unique example of the Pueblo Deco architectural style.



Some visitors may be shocked by the swastikas prominently displayed in the theater's interior, but they have nothing to do with Nazi Germany. Instead, they are "whirling log" designs, used by various Native American groups.


 Sign from the El Vado Motel

Sign from the El Vado Motel

 De Anza Motor Lodge

De Anza Motor Lodge

We check out the history of two of Albuquerque's most iconic 66 motels: the El Vado, built in 1937 and the De Anza, built in 1939. Both are currently owned by the city and soon to undergo renovation and revitalization.


 The De Anza is home to a beautiful Native mural depicting the Shalako dance at Zuni Pueblo.

The De Anza is home to a beautiful Native mural depicting the Shalako dance at Zuni Pueblo.

Mike tells the sad story of the Oasis gas station, a site in Tijeras canyon beset by tragedy.

Other things discussed:

The Negro Motorists Green Book (And check out the interactive map here!)

Albuquerque Rapid Transit. Will it kill 66? Or save it?



Welcome to our new blog and website!

Since we started City on the Edge in October 2015, we have been gratified to see that this labor of love has been embraced by the Albuquerque community. Each month, our listener numbers have grown, and as we head into our next "season," we are excited to share even more fascinating stories of Albuquerque with an audience that finds this city just as beautiful, bewildering and ever-surprising as we do.

Also, we plan on having several more events like our showing of Track of the Moonbeast this past summer! Keep your eyes on this space and we'll let you know when and where they'll be.