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Why Yelp Gets Local Right

Why Yelp Gets Local Right
Image courtesy of Pixabay.

As much as I admire our Department of Tourism for promoting the beauty of our state, there’s a lot more to life in Albuquerque that’s #NewMexicoTrue.


When I moved to Albuquerque 20 years ago (practically to the day), I described New Mexico as “America’s Outback.” That’s the only way I could wrap my head around this place. As a transplant from the Midwest, I was torn between adoration for this Martian netherworld and the impetus to somehow communicate to my peeps back home how foreign Burque really seemed to a newcomer.

This remains true today. As much as I admire our Department of Tourism for promoting the beauty of our state, there’s a lot more to life in Albuquerque that’s #NewMexicoTrue. It took me the better part of two decades to realize that Yelp was the ideal blog to creatively express our many unique truths.

Full disclosure: I work for Yelp, so of course I’m going to advocate for it as an incredible resource for local word on the street. I can also back up that idea, though, because I know and love this town. I get frustrated and thrilled for this town. My heart breaks for this town.

Like many New Mexicans, I have my issues with Texas, as illustrated in a review of Vick’s Vittles — and I still think the food wins. When I reflect on one of my favorite local pet stores, Clark’s Pet Emporium, my first thought is that they’ve been hiring the same breed of easy-going punk rock twentysomethings since I moved here.
It’s in my review.

I put a page on Yelp for the Tumbleweed Snowman who pops up on I-40 during the holidays. I voice my scorn for the Fiesta Dancers sculpture next to Popejoy Hall, and my love for the Number 9 breakfast burrito at Golden Pride. I cheerlead for the Rail Runner, roast the Rio Grande, and toast my favorite mixologist, Austin, at M’tucci’s Italian. I’ve even been known to drop some local science. Did you know that Don Schrader is a urine drinker? Don’t judge: he’ll probably live longer than any of us.

A review of the Wolfe’s Bagels location on Montgomery reminds me of the days when I ate those same bagels in Nob Hill, then shopped at Bow Wow Records before catching a film at The Lobo Theater. I still don’t understand why Albuquerque doesn’t plant many trees, or why our parks don’t have bathrooms, or why people walk at such a painfully slow pace. Still, these are just some of the reasons why I love this town. They’re also reasons to empower your own freedom of expression – not as an expert, but as an everyday Burqueño.

We know that ABQ Free Press consistently reports and presents opinion from a local point of view, content you share with friends and neighbors because it’s a trustworthy news source. We also encourage you to voice yourself on a digital public forum that celebrates Local. Do you have an opinion about Albuquerque? Share it on Yelp.

Howie Kaibel is the Community Director for YelpAlbuquerque. He connects people with great local businesses. Want to connect? Email albuquerque@yelp.com

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Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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