We’ve come across a lot of questions about what we do. If you can’t find an answer here, please ask.
2005. A National Poetry Slam planning meeting. Eric supplied the genius, Adam the design and printer (in his living room), and they solicited reviews from friends to cover enough ground. This here‘s the full story.
We believe we’re doing it just one way, and despite our best efforts, can’t represent everyone’s opinions. We’re not the underground guide; we’re just one permutation of an underground guide.
It’s the original spelling of the city’s name. Legend has it a gavacho railmaster couldn’t pronounce “Alburquerque,” and so changed the sign. As we’re creatures of history at the Guide, we have restored and work with the original spelling.
Our approach, our commitment to quality local business, and our reviews: we’re advocate for both the consumer (you) and local business (possibly also you). We advertise exclusively home-grown businesses, which in several cases has made us the only place that business has ever advertised. We swear a lot, and sometimes behave without much regard for tact. Not everything we refer to is “underground,” but the way we talk about it always will be.
Presently there are seven: #1 (2005-2006), #2 (2007-2008), #3 (2008-2009), #4 (2009-2010), #5 (2010-2011), #6 (2011-2012), and An Arrival Guide (2013). They’ve come in various names, editions and quantities. We can usually find you a copy of #4-forward at the Guide Shop.
We solicit reviews from anyone who’s patronized a business three times or more. We figure three is the minimum visits necessary to smooth outlier-experiences, like an abnormally helpful or rude employee. We take reviews in all forms – from full-blown essays to a list of adjectives – and whittle them into Guide style, while trying to maintain the original flavor. We’ll never cover all of Burque – there’s too many awesome businesses, and more open all the time. But we figure if you write a few reviews, and get your friends to, we can cover a lot of ground. And with a wider base of opinion, the Guide becomes less top-down, always sincere, and more useful.
Beginning in 2013, we’ve been opening the website more to anyone who wants to edit. We doubt we’ll ever become a full-on wiki, but we like the increased democracy.
We see the cost associated with print as an invitation to be concise – and direct. In our print editions, we try to pack in as many quality reviews as we can. It’s lead us toward the no-bullshit style we’ve become known for. Here on the web, we’re into maintaining that sensibility, though it’s exciting to have some wiggle room.
We try to balance what’s most useful with what’s most practical for us to maintain. As hours are the most flexible service change a business can make, we figured we’d rather not take responsibility for giving you bad info. We do include phone numbers, and websites whenever possible.
We plan to build that functionality in some day. For now, that’s all you get.
As of 2011, we think of the website as the whole shebang. Of course, we also love producing books and printed matter. Each year’s printed Guide is a little experiment in book design and production – a snapshot of Burque’s indie business offerings, and an artifact of our interpreting the guidebook form. We also include special content in the books which can’t be seen on the web, such as our now legendary Don Schrader Thermometer Paper Doll.
We do frown on chains invading our perfectly awesome local offerings, but sometimes—rarely—there’s just no one local offering a comparable product. If you spot someone in the listings you think has a comparable or better local counterpart, let us know!