Anytime of day or evening, this several-block stretch of Central abounds with distinctive galleries and boutiques, cool cafes, trendy restaurants, and interesting people-watching - the extent of the business district extends well east and west of Dartmouth and Carlisle. In recent years, the neighborhood has especially begun to expand east - you'll find a number of notable businesses as you walk or drive up Central toward San Mateo.
The First Thursday performing arts strolls take place each month until 10 pm - Central Avenue is closed to motor traffic, and shops stay open late. Bands and musicians perform along the street, and restaurants and bars overflow with patrons. It's a very fun time to check things out.
Venture north or south along the side streets that intersect with Central, and you'll discover residential blocks of vintage adobe homes, many dating to the early part of the 20th century. It's in these parts that quite a few of Albuquerque's gays and lesbians live. In general, this neighborhood is popular with young professionals, students and faculty from nearby UNM, and artists. Here's a more detailed profile of the neighborhood.