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  • Kanani Fong

Through the pandemic & beyond, with music

It has been 2 years since posting on the Casa Otra Vez blog. Embarrassing, yes, but Casa Otra Vez has proven to be a bit of an oasis. The house provided a much needed refuge for crew members who bravely filmed through the pandemic. There was a lot of sheltering in place, and phone calls placed to the tenant to ensure they had everything they needed. Through the most uncertain of times, the studios sent visiting nurses to the house to test them before they had to go onto the set. It was an odd time to be introduced to Albuquerque, though we were grateful to have the film companies back. We were glad we'd left puzzles, games, books, and coloring books behind for them to find. In addition to working on a show, one of our tenants picked up another contract to to score music for a new show called "Reservation Dogs." Obviously, we were excited, and prouder still, when we watched it when it came out. But we were chagrined to learn he'd done it all in the upstairs walk-in closet, so good are the acoustics. We've joked that it's an added bonus: A room to be used for podcasts or sound mixing!

The pandemic was a time of learning, patience and growth. When the tenant left, he left this drawing for us. A sign of appreciation. We hope that Mato comes back again.

2022 brought changes as well. A much-needed stucco job, some painting, the addition of a chimenea outside for those winter nights, a vent to pull the hot air out and help the swamp cooler work more efficiently, and Claudio and Abbie came to paint. We had Isaiah up on the roof, following strong monsoons. These metal roofs, so common here in New Mexico, can be tricky, requiring 'tune ups' every year.

The work on this old adobe is ongoing. It's not a hotel, motel, or B&B. It very much is a house with a character of its own. Each tenant left a little something behind, moved by the spirit of Casa Otra Vez.


What will 2023 have in store? So far, we've had a great group here planning a regional sorority meeting. We hope to have it rented out to a professional coming into town for a few months so that we can continue to support organizations that make Albuquerque a better place. That's another thing: A portion of the profits of Casa Otra Vez goes to local organizations.

So let others know! We're here, and the staff at Southwest Suites -Stephanie, Larry, Day, and Cliff are here to make your stay seamless.

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