Saturday, March 31, 2012

April fool’s dreams for Las Cruces

By S. Derrickson Moore
dmoore@lcsun-news.com
LAS CRUCES — I’m pleased to announce that all those exciting projects we’ve been anticipating for years have finally been finished, way ahead of schedule and dramatically under budget.
In fact, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (and Brad’s exes Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow) are all coming this weekend for a gala to christen the new NMSU Center for the Arts. Because of the budget surplus, we’ve been able to complete the whole thing, instead of just the first phase, and add some hanging gardens and a veranda filled with sculpture.
The visiting stars are also eager to spend some time in downtown Las Cruces, also miraculously finished ahead of schedule and with lots of surplus cash, plus some extra revenues from enthusiastic investors eager to get in on the fun.
Turns out the downtown planners had some surprises in store for us, too. That beautiful old Chinese Pistache tree didn’t really vanish in the twinkling of an eye. It was moved to anchor the south meridian of what was once the Downtown Mall. At the north end, is the realization of Bob Diven’s dream: a giant statue of Billy the Kid, with a kiva fireplace in his derriere and a revolving restaurant in his hat. Billy is straddling the no-longer-confusing turnabout (just weave in and out between the bluejean arches).
I’m reporting this from the state-of-the-art media center at the new Las Cruces Sun-News building, where we’re Skyping with the celebrities who are clamoring for reservations for the trendiest destination on the planet: you guessed it — right here.
I’m about to take a break and do a few laps on our rooftop pool and spa (yep, you guessed it — we came in way under budget, too, so we added some amenities, including a fun day care center to accommodate the newsroom baby boom).
After the post-fire clearing was finished, we discovered the property was much bigger than we thought, so we’re sharing the block with the new adobe Trader Joe’s, which blends beautifully with the old town ambiance.
I’m heading over for a gourmet snack now and will Tweet some star sightings. There’s George Clooney. Hi, George. Jennifer “Hunger Games” Lawrence is back with a scout planning another blockbuster movie. She told me she’s amazed at the changes since she filmed “The Burning Plain” with Kim Basinger back in 2008.
There are rumors that one or more of the visiting stars will be on this weekend’s maiden flight from Spaceport America, where Richard Branson recently unveiled new spaceships that will let citizen astronauts fly to the moon for lunch and be back for dinner at the elegant new Spaceport resort and golf complex. Check out Stephen Hansen’s whimsical lunar landscape show and works by other Las Cruces artists in the new Spaceport Art Center, before the exhibit goes on tour to similar centers on the moon and around the planet.
Or if you’re not in the mood for a moon dance, it’s just one hour up and down to the new Spaceport New Zealand. Leave after breakfast on Saturday, get in some deep sea fishing, visit a Maori cultural center and hop on back to meet us for margaritas in Billy’s hat and watch a New Mexico sunset. )
• • •
Sigh. It’s really another day in our interim newsroom on Idaho Avenue, and if you haven’t guessed it, this has been an April Fool’s Day daydream, inspired in part by a little dialog after an e-mail offering from planeclear.com. Newsroom staffers are debating whether we should go with a private jet charter to the PGA Master’s Tournament or the Kentucky Derby at the bargain basement price of just $13,500 for a round trip to each site.
The proffered fare is from Dallas. I think we should raid petty cash and make ’em pick us up at Las Cruces International Airport, as long as we’re daydreaming.
And, frankly, with Las Cruces looking so promising, even in real-time reality, I’d just as soon stay home and plan to spend a little quality time with Brangelina and rest of the stars.
It’s just a matter of time. We’re on our way. Life is good and getting better here and our main challenge these days may be to keep the word from getting out too fast. No foolin’.

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to www.lcsun-news.com and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style. Follow her on Twitter @DerricksonMoore.

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