Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WELCOME TO BELEN, NEW MEXICO, USA




This is how Belen looked during the past Christmas season. This is the City's gateway, an arch facing Main Street, welcoming visitors. In one photo above the building on the right, with the orange tile roof, is the Belen City Hall. Behind the arch is a gazebo, with tables and benches, where you can sit, sip a drink, chat, stay out of the hot summer sun, and watch cars whizz by.


Belen: this city of about 10,000 residents started out just 269 years ago (1740) with less than 50 farming families in a quiet place alongside the Rio Grande. It has since grown in population and in importance to the economy of the state. It is nicknamed the "Hub City" because with the coming of the railroads to New Mexico in the 1880's all east-west and north-south rail lines crossed here, where the railroad established a huge railyard and repair facilities. The trains still go through the city each day, but the main railway repair facilities are no longer here.


Belen, with its eclectic mix of building styles and interesting streets, has proven a draw to Hollywoood producers and several movies have been filmed here. More are expected.

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