Saturday, January 8, 2011
Santa Fe, New Mexico - Kitsch, Tacos, And Snowmen Screaming For Mercy
I've always wanted to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
All my spiritual and artistic friends have raved about the place for ages: The beauty, the many art galleries, the high spiritual vibrations of the natives and the desert. So I went there with My Pale Soulmate Who Shall Remain Nameless Until She Gets A Tan.
When we arrived we were very surprised to find that it snowed. Somehow, the name Mexico doesn't jell with snowmen, but most of the state is actually at a high altitude - something I might forgive after a few more years of intense therapy.
We stayed in a rented cabin overlooking the mountains. And we went for long walks in a city that doesn't believe in sidewalks. But then again, most American cities treat pedestrians like they're perverts. At times, we were the only ones walking around which made the natives seem restless. They would stare at us from their warm cars with a combination of scorn and misplaced compassion.
Our cabin was close to Canyon Road, the awesome street that brag of being the home of two hundred art galleries. There was so much art on that road I almost hoped for a Walmart to break the monotony. Some of the pictures and installations were pretty awesome. And if they weren't, the snow made sure they got an upgrade.
We visited about twenty-two galleries, pretending to be art dealers or con men - as if there is any difference. Many of the gallery owners welcomed us with open arms, since there wasn't any one else around. They even laughed at my jokes which just goes to show how desperate they were.
Strangely enough, there are very few restaurants or cafes on the famed road. Maybe you're supposed to eat the paintings - or continue on to the small but quaint downtown that has an abundance of tourist stores selling native kitsch and non-offensive cacti.
Perhaps we were a little disappointed in one thing: Both of us thought Santa Fe was more of a hippie town, but no one tried to read our auras or poison us with tofu. We did visit a nice new age book store - the kind of place where chakras and herbal tea are a way of life. But we have those places in Portland and Copenhagen as well, so I had to stuff myself with homeopathic medicine to get over the disappointment.
Santa Fe was very expensive, but I'll definitely recommend New Mexico to any hot blooded tourist. It has a peaceful atmosphere, and most rattlesnakes keep out of your way. We definitely want to come back when the weather is warmer. The summers are pretty nice because of the high altitude. And hey, the local tacos should be enjoyed in 60+ weather, not with two blankets wrapped around you.
God bless you, Santa Fe!