Visit to the church with the spiffy url on Route 66

May 18, 2007 22:45 UTC

Church2.jpgImmanuel Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque isnt the only house of worship located on the old cross-country highway.

Not by a long shot. Route 66, after all, passed through some keys states in the  Bible Belt, including Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. Churches were as plentiful as Whiting Bros service stations in the heyday of Route 66.  

But Immanuel Presbyterian can confidently claim to be the primus inter pares among the many roadside houses of worship thanks to its website at

Even without the spiffy URL, Imroof.jpgmanuel Presbyterians claim to the title is probably as good as any other churchs. Maybe better.  

For starters, it was organized in 1948, just as Route 66 was entering its prime.  

Snapshots from Albuquerque to Tucumcari – Part 2

May 18, 2007 18:39 UTC













Upper left, clockwise: One of the last surviving Whiting Bros. service stations once ubiquitous on old Route 66 – in Moriarty, New Mexico; a rather unusual Route 66 sign in Moriarty, which doubles as a bird perch; motel on Tucumcaris main drag, which was hard hit when Route 66 was decommissioned; nice variation on a theme; a hitchhiker in Clines Corners, New Mexico. We first saw him west of Moriarty, then here and never after; truck driver checking his load on Interstate 40.

Photos NickCarey/James Kelleher, May 19, 2007 

Snapshots from Albuquerque to Tucumcari – Part 1

May 18, 2007 18:19 UTC



From top, clockwise: View of a bridge on Historic Route 66 from the back of a police car. Luckily, Nick was allowed to walk free; Albuquerque’s anti-gang unit officer John Sullivan examines a gang members tattoos, to the amusement of both; a homeless man in Albuquerque; gang member in Albuquerque shows off his impressive tattoo collection; real piece of Americana: a drive-in liquor store; storm clouds over a mountain, seen as we headed east from Albuquerque.

Photos Nick Carey/James Kelleher, May 18, 2007

For the real Albuquerque diner experience

May 18, 2007 17:27 UTC

               Diner1.jpg                    If youre looking for a Route 66 experience that looks the part, then this Route 66 Diner (left) in Albuquerque on the highway itself could hardly fit the bill more closely:

Its not the first diner weve seen on this trip that evokes Route 66 and it most certainly wont be the last before we reach Chicago.

But while its clean, locals say its just for tourists. 

If you want the real Albuquerque experience, they say, the Frontier Restaurant, a little further east and opposite the University of New Mexico, is it, faded yellow roof and all.

Pit stop to meet Roswell Alien Amber Ale maker

May 18, 2007 17:18 UTC

Rich Wbeer1.jpgeber is midway through fixing up a large batch of beer for a Benedictine monastery in Pecos, New Mexico, just north of Santa Fe.

This mildly hoppy Belgian-style ale is not for the monks to drink, mind you, but to sell under their own label: Monks Ale (made with care and prayer).

The recipe comes from the monks themselves and is just one of a number of beers that Rich Weber produces all within a few minutes walk of old Route 66 – most of them under the label of the Sierra Blanca Brewing Company he runs.

Afternoon with Albuquerque’s ‘gang suppression unit’

May 18, 2007 16:59 UTC

gang.jpgSergeant Larry Bitsoih (left) says gangs have been active in Albuquerque since at least the 1930s and are likely to be around for a long time to come.

Gangs have always been around, they are a cultural issue in America, said the head of a new gang suppression unit set up by the city last week as part of a public campaign by Mayor Martin Chávez to combat gang violence.

Although we only just started the new unit, its already beginning to make a difference in what we do, added Bitsoih added. We can never get rid of gangs altogether, but we can make it more difficult for them to operate here. Larry Bitsoih on the gang violence cycle here

Is Clines still worth waiting and stopping for?

May 18, 2007 15:35 UTC

Clines6.jpgFor decades, that was the big promise: Clines Corners a restaurant, gas station and gift shop located at a remote crossroad in central New Mexico — was the ideal place for travelers on old Route 66 to pull off and rest.

On orange and red billboards that start popping up at the Texas state line in the east and the Arizona state line in the west, and that reappear with an almost manic urgency as drivers get closer, Clines warns weary travelers:  

Dont be a sucker. Dont fall for the false allure and instant gratification of the places like Grants, Albuquerque, Tijeras and Moriarty that youll pass before you get here. Clines Corners is something special — something you might even tell the folks back home about. Clines_web.jpg

It’s Cannes, Jim, but not as we know it

May 18, 2007 15:10 UTC

You think showbiz is glamorous? If so, then it doesnt get any more glam than the Cannes film festival on the French Riviera, right? Well, that all depends on who youre with and what youre doing.
While Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney stroll up the red carpet outside Cannes Palais for glitzy premiCannes film market eres, underneath them in the basement bunker is the Marche du Film.
Forget the Warner Bros. and films like “Ocean’s Thirteen,” this is the real movie market takes place, where the down-and-dirty buying and selling goes on, and where businessmen and women will spend and make hundreds of millions of dollars before the festival ends next week.
Hundreds of companies such as Maxim Media, IndustryWorks and Phranakorn Film hawk rights for television, DVD and other products for movies with titles such as Autopsy: A Love Story, Mans Job, Hanuman: The White Monkey Warrior and documentary Bakushi which tells of The Incredible Lives of Rope-Masters.
Asked what a Rope-Master is, a representative for Tokyo-based Gold View Co Ltd., replied: about men who tie up women. Enough said. And ever wondered what happened to Oscar winner Faye Dunaway? You can catch her in Fashion The Movie. Ah, Faye, its been a long time since Bonnie and Clyde.

Rock’n'roll at 8 in the morning?

May 18, 2007 09:55 UTC

I don’t want sleep deprivation to become a blog obsession during Cannes, but having sat through a screening of “U2 3D” starting at 8 a.m., I feel a mild rant coming on. I mean, a 3D film of the band’s high-octane perfCannes51.jpgormances on their “Vertigo” tour in South America is all about rock’n'roll. But it’s hard to get pumped up for Bono’s balladeering at such an ungodly hour, particularly when wearing outsized dark glasses over my regular glasses (it’s too early for contacts) and feeling like I am at the optician’s.

That said, the 55-minute preview of a longer version did succeed in recreating some of the atmosphere of a sellout rock concert, with cameras swooping above an 80,000 crowd and Bono reaching toward the camera and practically touching your nose. The real pop glamour comes on Saturday night, when the film is screened at midnight at the main Cannes cinema for invited guests. There are rumours the band might perform a couple of songs outside the theatre just beforehand. Now that’s rock’n'roll.

While on the subject, music is big in Cannes this year. One of the most talked-about films so far is “Control”, a biopic about the life and premature death of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. Sam Riley’s performance as the tragic singer is superb, as is Samantha Morton as his wife. If ever you want a reminder of how the rock’n'roll life can turn around and devour you, this is it. But, good as it was, do we really need another biopic of a troubled rock figure? And was Curtis himself really big enough to attract an audience beyond hard-core Joy Division fans?

Speedometer situation on Route 66 drives James mad

May 17, 2007 21:53 UTC

Wednesday was a day ospeedo_celebrate_250.jpgf milestones good and bad for the Route 66 team. Both milestones, ironically enough, revolved around the trip odometer on the 1967 Porsche 912 we’re driving across the country.

The day began with a decision to veer off Route 66 for a spell and head north on New Mexico state Route 491, which runs through the heart of the Navajo nation, for some stories we’re working on.

As we travelled north, the odometer, which was set to zero on Sunday in San Diego, turned over to zero again, indicating the car had successfully put the first 1,000 miles of the estimated 2,500-mile trip behind it.