Albuquerque, New Mexico

Duran Central Pharmacy

The first time I drove past Duran Central Pharmacy I was on my way to somewhere else, and the only thing that really stood out to me besides the sign:

was the fact that it had ample parking and the place I was headed did not.

The power of parking

My husband normally has what I think of as superior parking chi. When I go places with him, I am able to park easily and within reasonable walking distances.

By contrast, when I go out on my own, I am able to make a substantial dent in the 10,000 daily steps which are supposed to help maintain health. So there is the upside of getting the exercise I need to stay healthy, but there is the downside that it requires me to budget more time to get things done because I know I will be hiking in.

One Friday night, however, when we had plans to eat dinner at a newly renovated hotel on the historic Route 66, my husband’s parking chi was not up the daunting task we faced. There was very limited parking at the venue, and the only nearby parking we could find was the customer parking at Duran Pharmacy. Because we couldn’t find parking near our original destination, we changed our plans and availed ourselves of the Duran Pharmacy customer parking by becoming customers.

More than a pharmacy

Even if you have heard about this Albuquerque landmark, it isn’t until you get there and see the window displays that you understand that it isn’t just Albuquerque’s go-to, one-stop, pharmacy for all of your travel vaccinations or just a diner with superb New Mexican cuisine or just a gift shop with exquisite one-of-a-kind gifts. Duran Pharmacy it’s another world entirely and once you enter the doors you are are transported — or at least I was.

The first hint you have that you are entering an otherworldly world is the window displays. One my last visit these were the items being featured in the store windows:

With a “Tacotastic” lunch box in the back to school window, a guiding star in the New Mexico themed gifts window, and a ceramic Buddha head gazing out at you as you gaze in, the windows alone are worth the trip.

But we were there for dinner, and so we made our way past the astounding array of gifts to the diner.

Where you can get all your Frida Kahlo needs met

After an excellent dinner, we had more time to explore the gift shop, and if you have a friend who is a Frida Kahlo fan, then Duran is your one-stop shopping dream.

There are Frida Kahlo passport covers, paper cups, socks, and string dolls. Whatever Frida Kahlo festivity you might want to plan, there is a good chance you will be able to find it

Frida Kahlo gear

Llamas everywhere

But if you prefer llamas, there is still a lot to choose from.

In addition to the llama passport covers, pouches, and paper cups, there was also a very charming tea set. So charming, I wished that I could once again be three so I could enjoy the tea set through my long ago child’s eyes.

But if you are a more literary llama aficionado, Duran Pharmacy has you covered with a selection of children’s books that includes the popular llama llama red pajama:

A world within

When you cross the threshold into Duran Pharmacy you will find is that you are somewhere you didn’t know you wanted to be, and you will be able to find exactly what you need, even though you didn’t know you needed it.

Crocheter on a mission to make the world a better place — one stitch at a time. Twitter: @crochetbug. Crochet blog:

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