At lunch I pretend to listen to foodie stories about the restaurant business then, trapped in my car after lunch, my friend pretends to listen to my placey stories about this or that subdivision, what was there before and what old-timers said about it.
After lunch downtown we drive down the valley, exploring the city's south valley sacrifice area - home to the first and subsequent wastewater treatment plants, superfund sites, scrap yards and "tank farms" that replaced alfalfa fields and stockyards.
The Sunport Railrunner train stop and parking lot is down that way at Rio Bravo. The lonely site surrounded my vacant industrial zoned land is envisioned by MRCOG planners to one day be a mixed use transit oriented development - a walkable village-like place with housing and shops. You don't have to be high to picture this, but it helps.
In the early aerial photos from the 1930's you can see a wide stock driveway leading down from the mesa where the UNM golf course is now to a rail yard and packing plant just south of Woodward Road. There is still a little segment of road there called Stock Drive. Remains of a small plant and an old house are visible at the end of a sad row of cottonwoods on an old ditch. With a little imagination you can still hear and smell hundreds of cattle.
Now you can reach up and touch the belly of a Southwest jet.