Getting My Kicks: Part 2

West of San Mateo Boulevard, as Central Avenue neared the University of New Mexico campus, many businesses on and near the avenue had a smarter and more prosperous look.  Fancier restaurants appeared, as did the businesses─head, clothing, record, video, and copying shops; a sprawling twenty-four-hour eatery; three small art movie houses; two independent bookstores─that catered to the needs, wants, and trivialities of college youth flush with allowances.  The campus along Central included an informal athletic field and grassy commons from which grew stately fir and deciduous trees that filled with a remarkable quantity of crows at dusk, and handsome and imposing buildings, including beautifully maintained pueblo-revival structures.  Here on the sidewalks of Central, amid the hurrying students─men and women of all races and ethnicities burdened with textbooks, radiant with youth and idealism─there often shuffled, staggered, or squatted a mentally ill, alcoholic, or homeless person: the wretched and needy of Albuquerque knew where the tolerant, tender-hearted, and generous could be found. 

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