With city mandated “covenants that run with the land”, there are no billboards, the housing stock is all brownish, limited to two stories, and one can see the snow covered mountains from everywhere in town. There is a huge amount of public art installations, galleries and museums, and performance art. It must have the most enormous volume of culture and entertainment per capita, especially for a city of 70,000 people). With little crime, affordable housing, abundant parks and open space, buckets of southwestern-style retail and restaurants, it is unusual and lovely. It is many people’s “happy place”…and makes me want to make fun of it!
So you get cartoons from me, rather than culture, and gripes about the wandering streets that were laid out on the beds of old wagon trails, narrow and convoluted. Retail is the main language spoken here. The art is very expensive to buy, but so much of it is outdoors, you just cannot miss the free show. An original Nicolai Fachin, (a Russian who painted in Taos, NM), a 20″ x 25″ “cowboy” painting in a gallery here, only costs ….$800,000. I will cherish my paperback book of his work.
Yet one can only sound like a jerk complaining about Santa Fe, when the sun is shining almost year round, people are friendly, there are dogs everywhere and a great community and recreation center, including an ice rink and indoor water park. The Cathedral on the Plaza is the site for Willa Cather’s, Death Comes For The Archbishop. It is a story about the nasty behavior by the first priests that got them killed off in an uprising, followed by the benign treatment by the French priests, that made them beloved by the native people. The depot for the “RailRunner” (a train with 4 cars that runs to Albuquerque) is also part of an arts district and outdoor sculpture park. Even the attached dog park sports a big gorgeous sculpture!
It was 22 degrees when we woke up yesterday, but the warm and intense sun at 6,000 feet melts the snow and makes you want to hang out with friends on a sunny patio and in front of a kiva fireplace, and enjoy
Frank’s daily private tango lessons and Irene’s martinis and great cooking. We are so spoiled!