I was out shopping for some food and some supplies for the creatures we live with today. It was pleasant and surprising, and I came home filled with appreciation for good things and good people.

First I stopped by the new Talin market for my Chinatown fix, I officially love that place even though they’re new and the staff is still learning and not everything scans and all that. I can get stuff I can’t get anywhere else around here and I can support a locally owned business and I can cook stuff that I don’t have time to drive to ABQ to shop for. Perfect or not, they help fill a gap I’ve felt since I left my beloved Chinatown behind in NYC, and everyone I’ve dealt there with has been super nice.

Next, I stopped for the first time at Jurassic Pets on Cerrillos. What a cool place! I can’t believe I’d never heard of it, much less given them my business. Locally owned, happy and clean animals, and many of the pets are in pens or displays that are open to let you pet and interact. Including some big snakes wrapped around driftwood things hanging from the ceiling-snake-o-phobes may not enjoy that part, but you can steer clear…

Then I stopped for some birdseed for the feeders and maybe a treat for our cockatiel at Feathered Friends on St. Francis. So, so cool; the birds they have for sale are hand raised-they’re beautiful and amazing and well cared for. And if you buy birdseed there, it comes in recycled utility buckets that they pay homeless to clean up. So in addition to getting quality seed blends mixed by an actual ornithologist, you’re recycling, supporting a local business, and helping the homeless. I got such a good feeling from the place; people doing what they love, doing it well, and giving back to their community.