Sunday, November 13, 2016


I wrote this in 2013 and have thought about it quite a bit since:

Within half a mile of my house I have a drive-through ATM machine (not a bank, just the machine, in the corner of a gas station lot), car wash, charity-shop donations (they come and take it out of the back of the car for me, and if you don't want a receipt for tax donation credit, they'll offer a bottle of cold water), and a drive-through full service bank window. Oh! and Pizza, or burgers. And a dry-cleaner's, where they will walk out and hand you the stuff. If I go as far as a mile and a quarter, there are drive-through drug stores. Starbucks drive-through. Jiffy-Lube will change your oil, but you do have to get out of the car. Three miles, I drove into the Dodge dealership and got a car repair without getting out of the car.

There are places in the U.S. where none of those things are true, I'm sure. Either too rural or too urban. There are neighborhoods in Albuquerque without so many things in one place to drive through, but right here at Candelaria and Juan Tabo, we are drive-through wealthy.


It was a response to a list of things foreigners were shocked about, in the U.S. These drive-throughs being so common in some places are a shock to some Americans, even.

Since I wrote that, though, I've thought of making a list of all the drive-throughs (current and former) very near me. I might add photos here.

This summer, a drive-through Dunkin' Donuts appeare a few blocks south on Juan Tabo.

At Golden Pride on Juan Tabo near Comanche, when it's busy, they run three drive-through lines—the regular around-the-building, and two through bays of a former self-service car wash next door.

There is still a boarded up former drive-through window which afterwards for a while was a drive-through barbecue window.
There is a plastered-over former frozen yogurt drive-through. The two posts to keep cars from hitting the building are still there.

There's a drive-by post office box, and near there is a drive-through title-loan place (which used to be a drive-through one-hour photo booth).

I should bring pictures. I should mark them all on a map of the neighborhood and name them. I might.

No comments: