Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 545,852 as of the 2010 Census and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. As of June 2007, the city was the sixth fastest-growing in America. It has a metropolitan population of 887,077 as of the 2010 Census. Albuquerque is the 57th-largest United States metropolitan area. This population includes the city of Rio Rancho, which extends North and West of Albuquerque.
Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico (UNM), Kirtland Air Force Base,Sandia National Laboratories, and Petroglyph National Monument, to name a few. Albuquerque lies at the center of the New Mexico Technology Corridor, a concentration of high-tech private companies and government institutions along the Rio Grande. The Sandia Mountains run along the eastern side of Albuquerque, and the Rio Grande flows through the city, north to south.
Albuquerque contains a variety of museums, galleries, shops and other points of interest. Some of these include the Albuquerque Biological Park,Albuquerque Museum of Art and History,Museum of Natural History and Science, and Old Town Albuquerque. The majority of locally owned boutiques and fine dining establishments are scattered throughout Downtown, Old Town, and Uptown. Old Town features ghost tours performed by the Southwest Ghosthunters Association. Albuquerque also has a variety of live music/performance venues including Isleta Amphitheater, Tingley Coliseum, Sunshine Theater and the KiMo Theater.
Recognized as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, Albuquerque’s Mexican, Spanish, Native and Anglo populations have contributed greatly to its architecture, artwork, and its cuisine. The state question “Red or Green?” has to do with how people like their chile—the traditional roasted hatch green chile from southern New Mexico (particularly Hatch), or the dark rich smoky red chile from Northern New Mexico. Albuquerque also includes strong African American, Asian, Middle Eastern and other ethnic communities, creating a unique and modern Southwestern blend comprising more than 70 ethnicities. The growing International District offers restaurants of many of these cultures.
In terms of gay and lesbian culture, Albuquerque and Santa Fe have some of the largest gay and lesbian populations per capita of any cities in the U.S. As of 2011, Santa Fe ranked # 7 in the country for number of same-sex couples living together on a per capita basis, and Albuquerque was #22.
The Sandia and Manzano Mountains to the east offer trails, open spaces, and rock climbing. Climbs from one to ten pitches can be found at all ability levels. The Sandia Peak Tramway, located adjacent to Albuquerque is the world’s second-longest passenger aerial tramway. It also has the world’s third-longest single span. It stretches from the Northeast edge of the city to the crestline of the Sandia Mountains. Elevation at the top of the tramway is roughly 10,300 ft (3,100 m). above sea level.
Albuquerque has a rich and growing film industry, and has been featured in Hollywood movies such as Sunshine Cleaning, Little Miss Sunshine and Brothers and television shows including Breaking Bad and In Plain Sight.