Thursday, September 18, 2008
Los Alamos and thankfully Santa Fe
After several hours in Los Alamos I was ready to get the hell out. There are only so many McCain and Steve Pierce election signs you can see before you start feeling truly sick. Mind you, the lab is the biggest employer there and it serves their purpose to vote for whoever would spend the most on defense, but it does not serve my purpose or the greater good.
Then I knew I was nearing Santa Fe (I was in Tesuque) because I saw nothing but Obama signs. What a relief!
Some people seem to think that I hate Santa Fe and that is not at all true. I love the real Santa Fe that is there beneath what people refer to as "the southwestern disneyland."
The southwestern Disneyland is what you see if all your time in Santa Fe is spent at the plaza. You will see so much artwork depicting Cowboys and Indians that your eyes will cross and you will be taken ill.
However, if you were to scratch just a bit deeper and walk a short distance over to Canyon Road you would find that Santa Fe is not all Cowboys and Indians, it is also elves, mermaids and all manner of delightful creatures mixed in with the creature you would expect to find in the Southwest.
Over the years, Canyon Road has become almost as popular as the plaza area. That is not to say that anyone visiting Santa Fe should skip the plaza, there is a lot of history there and it is not to be missed, but when you start to OD on native culture there is Canyon Road.
We had a delightful tapa dinner there at El Farol on Canyon Road. It was enjoyed so much that I even ordered the El Farol cookbook from Amazon when I got home. And although the galleries and shops were closed we walked the street after dinner, enjoying the courtyards and peeking into windows.
Now I should mention that somewhere between Los Alamos and Santa Fe, we stopped in Tesuque. Tesuque is one of my favorite places. It is so near Santa Fe that you could almost throw a stone and yet it is rural, there are even some houses with land and horses. There in Tesuque is the Tesuque Market, which not only has a restaurant with the best green chili cheese burgers on earth, but also a market with lots of great imported wines. If I had an endless supply of money I might move to Tesuque, at least for the summers.
In Tesuque, aside from the market, you will find Shidoni Foundry and Gallery. I have spent quite a lot of time there because Britton does a lot of sculpting. They do great bronze work at Shidoni, but they also are a rather "touristy" place due to their sculpture gardens and galleries. Though, not like the plaza or something -- they are an offbeat tour place. I like that there always seems to be a variety of animals and cryptid creatures in the sculpture gardens.
BTW, I very much enjoyed Samantha Brown's Santa Fe Episode of Passport to Great Weekends last night. She skipped right over a lot of the well known touristy stuff.