An Unforgettable Afternoon at the Spanish Colonial Museum

I have a confession. I’m not a “museum person.” Maybe it’s the thought of long lines, stern guards  and dry descriptions that turns me off. Or maybe it’s a therapist-worthy flashback from one tragically awkward middle school field trip (don’t ask). So it was with some trepidation that I finally decided to experience what friends have been raving about for years – the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art at Santa Fe’s famous Museum Hill.

Step one: Get museum-ready. In preparation I called upon the most powerful energy vortex in Santa Fe: a double Americano from Ohori’s (oh, sweet nectar of the gods.) Reusable cup in hand, I drove on, pumping a steady dose of Adele powerfully through the stereo. It was a particularly clear Santa Fe day, and I was briefly tempted to detour and stroll the Santa Fe Railyard. But, caffeinated and inspired, I stayed the course.

Museums of Spanish Colonial Art

Winding through the tranquil and scenic foothills, driving to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art didn’t feel like going to a museum at all. My short route took me just minutes from the Plaza through the lavender-dotted hills that evoked a Santa Fe watercolor. A quick glance at my GPS confirmed that the museum was in fact the charming adobe hacienda hidden behind piñon trees in the distance. This might not be so bad after all.

I bravely walked the rustic flagstone path to the museum’s entrance. It felt so much like approaching someone’s front door I nearly paused to knock. Once inside the museum, I immediately felt the unmistakable, warm Santa Fe vibe my friends had been talking about. Crooked halls connected a trove of charming rooms the likes of which you’d linger in with friends over a glass of wine (note to self: Dragon Room, it’s been too long.) No vaulted ceilings, pretentious architecture, grand staircases, marble pillars, or silver-haired “shush-ers” here. This was my kind of museum.

New Deal Art: CCC Tinworker Light

The featured exhibit was: CCC Furniture and Tinwork from the Great Depression. The CCC? My heart swelled. My grandfather had proudly served in the CCC–the Civilian Conservation Corps, and shared with great pride the stories and weathered photographs of the bridge he helped build near Bandelier National Monument.

At the museum I learned that in New Mexico FDR’s New Deal allowed local artists and craftsmen to create some of our state’s most exquisite artworks. Actually, some of the murals done for the program can still be viewed on walking tours through downtown Santa Fe. Yet as breathtaking as the artistry and skill of the CCC artists was, their work had never before been exhibited. I felt proud to be part of this inaugural exhibit. And to my surprise I felt right at home surround by the past.

CCC Tinworker Sconce

Completing the exhibit, I envisioned impressing the girls at wine club by unleashing my inner Martha Stewart. “The exquisite antique furniture was constructed using traditional European techniques handed down by early colonists, but CCC workers also incorporated designs and animal motifs from Pueblo Indian pottery,” I would tell them. Then, after an appropriate pause, “It’s impossible to know which CCC workers are responsible for each piece, but the traditions preserved by the CCC projects are some of the most recognizable in New Mexico.”

The story of how tin working became a tradition is told across the hall from the CCC exhibit. But that’s a whole other, equally enchanting, story I’ll save for another time.

The good news for longtime and temporary Santa Feans: The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art tells our story beyond just “museum-style” names and dates. In just minutes you can journey to Santa Fe’s artistic heritage. Take it from me, you’ll feel the true spirit of Santa Fe… even if you’re not a museum person.

Check out the exhibit at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

Want to discover more New Deal Art in Santa Fe? Experience the New Deal Art Legacy Walking Tour 

Runners, Dreamers and Legends: The 2nd Annual Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon

Santa Fe, N.M. —The second annual Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will draw runners from across North America the weekend of September 15. The USATF-certified race starts Sunday, Sept. 16, at 8 a.m. in downtown Santa Fe and will end in the Rio Grande Valley at the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.  The race will bring runners and families from around the country to New Mexico and will give athletes the opportunity to test their fitness and endurance at high altitude.

The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon course will be fast and scenic, dropping over 1,300 feet after a gradual climb for the first two miles. The race starts at historic Fort Marcy Park in the heart of Santa Fe.  Runners will head north on the Old Taos Highway and will see the spectacular views of the 13,000 foot high Sangre De Cristo mountains to the east soon after they exit Fort Marcy.  They will also see the 11,000 foot Jemez Mountains to the west, which will be in the peak fall colors. At the three-mile mark near the Santa Fe Opera, the high point of the course, an inspiring panorama will inspire runners to kick it up a notch. The red rock formations extending up the valley north as far as the eye can see will entice the runners to keep going as they descend into the Rio Grande Valley.

The course then will take the runners into the picturesque Village of Tesuque, passing by Tesuque Village Market, where music, refreshments and water stations await. Continuing downhill, participants will enter the Tesuque Pueblo, passing by Camel Rock before reaching the Pueblo of Pojoaque. The finish will be at the magnificent Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.

“We’ve created a destination race with top runners who will enjoy our beautiful scenery and rich culture,” says race director Joseph Karnes of Global Running Culture. “We have entries from 26 states, Canada and Mexico. We hope to grow this into a ‘must run’ race that provides participants with an unforgettable experience.  There’s still time to register, so please visit www.santafethunder.com  and join us for this beautiful, fun run.”

Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will honor legendary Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills, Steve “King of the Mountain” Gachupin, double U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, Nike N7 Ambassador Alvina Begay and World Record Steeplechaser Peter Koech. They all are scheduled to attend and participate in weekend events. Mills will officially start the race. In addition, a contingent of Rarámuri (Tarahumara) Indians from Copper Canyon, Mexico, is scheduled to participate in the weekend events. The Rarámuri are famed for their running-based culture, as recently portrayed in the best-selling book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.

Global Running Culture, a nonprofit organization formed by elite distance runners Abraham Kosgei, Joseph Karnes and Antonio Lopez, created Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon. They came together to promote youth fitness, nutrition and health through participation in the sport of running. The race is the group’s primary fundraiser. Partnering with Whole Foods Market, Global Running Culture established the Fitness, Food & Fun Program at the Santa Fe Boys & Girls Clubs. This monthly program provides Club members with the opportunity to run with elite athletes, learn about healthy nutrition and enjoy healthy snacks.

“We want to inspire the next generation by the power of sport,” says 2000 Kenyan Olympic Team selection Abraham Kosgei. “For every child, regular physical activity and good nutrition are keys to success in life.”

There were 710 runners in the 2011 Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon. Organizers can accommodate up to 1,000 runners this year.

Following his astounding come-from-behind victory in the 1964 Olympic 10,000 meter race in Tokyo and a world-record-setting career, Billy Mills has devoted his life to enhancing opportunities for young people. His foundation, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, implements his vision, and his worldwide appearances inspire people of all ages to make the most of their lives. “Each of us is unique,” says Mills, “and we should appreciate the opportunities we have and make the most of them.” Mills is attending the race in support of Global Running Culture’s mission to promote youth fitness and health through healthy nutrition and participation in sport.

Nike N7 dry-fit t-shirts, handmade age-group awards made by Pueblo artists, unique finisher’s medals, a pasta dinner at Buffalo Thunder and live music along the course, combined with Santa Fe’s natural beauty and cultural amenities, make this race a not-to-miss event for both runners and spectators.

Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon weekend events include a talk by Billy Mills, the Race Expo, a Kids Run and the Pasta Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 15.  The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, 5K and 1 mile walk all start Sunday, Sept. 16, at 8 a.m., followed by awards and entertainment at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. The point-to-point half marathon course starts at Fort Marcy and finishes at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, which is where the 5K and 1 Mile walk start and finish.

To register and for additional information, please visit www.santafethunder.com  or email info@santafethunder.com
Registration Fees: Half Marathon: $50, 5K: $25, Walk:  $15
After Sept. 9: Half Marathon: $60, 5K: $30, Walk: $20

www.santafethunder.com

Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon is an official New Mexico Centennial project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PARTY ON IN PEACE: Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Fiesta de Santa Fe.

If there’s one tradition that captures the vibrant spirit of Santa Fe, it’s our city’s annual celebration, La Fiesta de Santa Fe–a colorful, historic feast unlike anything you’ve experienced. With parades, dancing, concerts, and a 30-foot effigyof gloom built every year just to be burned to the ground, La Fiesta de Santa Fe is truly a feast for all the senses.

As thousands of fiesta-goers who return year-after-year will attest, celebrating Santa Fe style means more than just revelry. Legendary food, music and the pageantry of 300 year traditions provide the perfect celebration.  Crowds discover and rediscover a bounty of authentic local cuisine and regional wines at gourmet restaurants and traditional food booths lining the Plaza. Streets spill over with music, parades and cries of “Viva la Fiesta,” with festivities pausing only for a majestic, time-honored Catholic ceremony.

Ask any local, and you’ll discover that Fiesta de Santa Fe has a special place in the hearts of Santa Feans. Beyond its fun and pageantry, it offers a unique blend of ancient culture, modern art, and longstanding community traditions.  ¡Viva La Fiesta!

A Celebration of Peace

With a name that means “holy faith” in Spanish, it won’t surprise anyone to learn that there’s a lot of Spanish colonial heritage in Santa Fe. In fact, Santa Fe was considered the capital city even when New Mexico was still the “Kingdom of New Mexico” under the rule of the King of Spain. La Fiesta de Santa Fe is a celebration created by the conquistadors who helped establish colonies here.

It might be hard to get excited about celebrating colonialism in the Twenty First Century, but Fiesta de Santa Fe has survived since 1912 because it was never a celebration of Spanish conquest. La Fiesta de Santa Fe has survived so long because it celebrates cultures coming together in peace. After years of conflict between colonists and native tribes, Don Diego de Vargas successfully re-occupied Santa Fe without conflict or bloodshed. It was such a profound step toward peaceful coexistence that De Vargas attributed it to divine intervention and insisted that a feast be held in reverence of the Virgin Mary.

Conflicts did not completely disappear, but the tradition of celebrating a peaceful marriage of differing cultures remained, an attitude that characterizes Santa Fe even today. Visitors can celebrate culture and history by retracing the actual steps of the city’s ancestors through the center of town, or by joining a candlelight procession on the last day of the Fiesta.

A Celebration of Art

In 1924, before Burning Man, and comparatively new to the rest of Fiesta celebrations, the burning of Zozobra began as a creation by artist William Shuster. A member of a group known around town as Los Cincos Pintores (the five painters), Shuster was among the first Anglo artists to discover Santa Fe’s unspoiled beauty and natural splendor. By then, La Fiesta de Santa Fe was over two hundred years old and had seen better days.

Not content to let the tradition die, Will Shuster and several of his friends hatched a plot to stage a fiesta of their own in an empty lot behind City Hall. Shuster adapted a tradition with roots in Roman Catholicism as well as the cultural ceremonies of the Yaqui Indians to create a huge marionette personification of gloom that would be burned into cinders.

This year Fiesta de Santa Fe celebrates its 300th anniversary, proving that partying in peace can be a lasting tradition. So join Santa Fe in watching your troubles and gloom go up in smoke. “Viva La Fiesta”!

Fiesta De Santa Fe Events: September 5-9, 2012

September 5

Concierto de Mariachi: 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm at the Lensic Performing Art Center
Historical Fiesta Lecture:  6pm – 7:30 September 5 at the New Mexico History Museum

September 6

Burning of Zozobra: 3pm – 11pm  at Fort Marcy Park

September 7

Pregon de la Fiesta: 6am – 7am at Rosario Chapel
Fiesta Fine Art and Craft Market: 9am – 5pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Food Booths: 9am – 10pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Bandstand on the Plaza: 10am – 10pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Official Opening of the Fiesta: 12pm – 12:30pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Entrada de Don Diego de Vargas: 2pm – 3pm at the Santa Fe Plaza

September 8

Desfile de Los Ninos (The Pet Parade): 9am – 10:45am Downtown Santa Fe
Bandstand on the Plaza: 10:45am – 10pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
La Merienda (The Fashion Show): 3pm – 5pm at the James A. Little Theater
Gran Baile: 7:30pm at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center

 September 9

Solemn Procession: 9:30am – 10am at the Palace of the Governors
Pontifical Mass: 10am – 11:15am at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
Bandstand on the Plaza: 11am- 5pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Desfile de la Gente Historical Parade: 12:30pm – 3 pm Downtown Santa Fe
Closing Ceremonies: 5:15pm – 5:30pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Mass of Thanksgiving and Candlelight Procession: 7pm – 9pm at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Find more ways and reasons to celebrate in Santa Fe here!

Not Your Ordinary Soup Can

It’s just another mini-mart, right?

OmegaMart looks the way everyone expects a grocery store to look. The shelves are fully stocked with a hundred different things. The hand-made ‘OmegaMart’ sign matches the signage of surrounding shops, and the pleasant Muzak-like sounds create a familiar mind-numbing environment for shoppers. An OmegaMart associate wearing an OmegaMart apron standing behind checkout stand even greets shoppers with a smile.

The catch is, OmegaMart is not a grocery store. It’s an original work of art. But this monumental installation isn’t your typical art, either. Simply by stepping inside, curious shoppers help create the experience that makes OmegaMart special. What else would you expect from The City Different and our friends at the avant garde art collective, Meow Wolf?

OmegaMart oddities

During the 2011/2012 school year, Meow Wolf’s CHIMERA Educational Outreach Program worked with over 1000 elementary school students to design products for commercial reproduction and display. The hands-on project gave students the chance to be on the producer side of consumerism by creating 150 original designs for OmegaMart’s displays and faux-groceries.

Some products are simply empty boxes or recycled containers with originally designed sticker-labels.  Other products are cast-plaster sculptures painted and labeled with repetitive consistency. OmegaMart also stocks with finest oxymorons like ‘Locally-Nationalized Produce’ and ‘Organically Recommended Meats.’ Tongue-in-cheek murals surround shoppers, and fake handmade display cases and freezers line the walls. Many collected items from actual grocery stores – ‘Sale!’ and ‘ Big Savings!’ signs – hang from the ceiling alongside humorous propaganda posters.

Laughter can be heard up and down the aisles as customers explore the store, inspect items, and even buy one or two ‘products’ before they leave. The groceries may be fake, but they can still be purchased with real money!

Come experience OmegaMart‘s funhouse reflection of daily life, open Wednesday through Sunday, 12pm-6pm at 1636 St. Michael’s Dr. from now until September 23rd, so Interested in art events? Find more here!

Advice From PeterGreenberg.com: Skip the Strip For Santa Fe!

Not every girlfriend getaway begins or ends in Las Vegas.  Not that you can’t have a lot of fun there, but instead of the traditional shopping and cocktails, we sent Fit Globetrotter Dena Roché to New Mexico for a Southwestern alternative to the typical getaway. Think natural spas, galleries and outdoor opera in and around Santa Fe.

An ancient Native American proverb reads, “Don’t allow the grass to grow on the path of friendship.”

While girlfriend getaways are a dime a dozen, Santa Fe offers something different. The city weaves adventure, culinary treats, culture and the requisite pampering with a memorable landscape and unpretentious locals.

We couldn’t have said it better, Dena. Read the full article to see why experts are gushing about Santa Fe, and find everything you need to plan your getaway on Santa Fe’s Official Travel Website SantaFe.org

Need A Change Of Altitude?

Travelers at the summit of Atalaya Trail

Whether you’re looking for an athletic challenge to get your adrenaline flowing, or you’re planning your vacation around cooler temperatures and a landscape beautiful enough to lose yourself in, chances are you’ll find something to love about autumn in Santa Fe. Nestled in the southern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe is the perfect place to find leisurely walks, and hiking trails, as well as more active events like the annual Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon and the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s World Summit. Athletes have always loved the challenge offered by trails like the 22.2 mile Dale Ball system, and the expansive La Tierra system. And, at an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level even power shopping on the Plaza can qualify as a sport.

 

A customized excursion with Santa Fe Walkabouts

No matter how you decide to spend your time in Santa Fe, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most vibrant fall colors in the southwest thanks to the pristine 1.6 million acre Santa Fe National Forest.  We always get a kick out of sharing our mountain vistas, hiking trails, and scenic country roads with visitors. But, we want your first taste of the cleanest air in the country to be as refreshing as possible, so you can fall head-over-heels in love with Santa Fe the way visitors have for hundreds of years. So, here are a few useful  tips to get you prepared for your change of altitude.

Stay Hydrated

Lots of water seems to help with just about everything, and elevation is no exception.  So drink up. Sure, bathroom breaks might add a little time to your road trip, but you’ll be ready to hit the trail or hit the town as soon as your bags hit the hotel floor.  And trust us, you’ll want to experience as much as possible.

Eat Well

Sopapillas at Tia Sophia’s photo by Justin Delaney from www.goboogo.com

Break your diet and go for those carbohydrates (we recommend the locally loved sopapillas with honey). Seriously. Carbs give your body the immediate energy it needs to let you play hard hiking, biking, or checking out all of Santa Fe’s art markets.

We don’t want to brag, but Santa Fe was just nominated Best Food Town in America by USA Today and Rand Mcnally’s ‘Best of the Road.’ So come hungry. We also have a top ranked local farmer’s market which can provide a bounty of
fresh, seasonal gastronomic surprises. Remember, this is for your health.

Pace Yourself

Santa Fe Plaza during SWAIA Indian Market

Even if you don’t happen to be running in the Buffalo Thunder half marathon, this is still good advice. Don’t try to see and do everything Santa Fe offers that first night here.  Even locals can’t fit all Santa Fe’s great music, cuisine, shopping and hiking trails in one weekend. And we live here. Go ahead and take that extra day or two off work and give yourself the time to relax. And, don’t forget to include a few hours at one of our great spas in your schedule. Remember, vacations are supposed to be relaxing.

Want to know more about the great events going on during your visit, the best places to eat, or hotel specials?  Find it all on our homepage www.santafe.org.  See you soon!

 

Athletic events to get you going: 

Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon – September 16
Santa Fe Gourmet Classic Bicycle Ride – October 6
International Mountain Bicycling World Summit – October 10-13

Click here to explore the hiking & biking trails that Outside Magazine called one of the top five adventures in the Southwest!

The City Different

There are arguably other cities as exotic as Santa Fe. Just not on this continent.

It strikes you the first time you see The City Different. When city officials came up with that name early last century, they got it exactly right. For rarely does a place speak to so many people on so many levels.The landscape conspires to take your breath away. The sunsets are so beautiful and the stars so clear that you can’t take your eyes off the skies. But you’ll quickly see that there’s much to admire in our historic city. The narrow, winding streets invite you to walk closer together. The 400-year-old adobe buildings say, Hey, what’s the hurry? Linger a little. And you’ll find that lingering is easy to do here.

visiting santa fe textThere’s certainly plenty to explore, from the spectacular Sangre de Cristo Mountains outside of town to the world-renowned galleries, museums, boutiques and restaurants just outside your door. The list is almost endless. This site can only whet your appetite and help you plan your perfect visit, whether you’re here for a shopping excursion, an outdoor adventure, a rejuvenation weekend or a food odyssey.

To truly understand why the readers of Conde Nast Traveler put Santa Fe near the top of their must-see list, you’ll just have to experience it first hand. And start a love affair of your own. It only takes one visit to see that this is one of the world’s extraordinary places. And you’ll want to return again and again.

Artsy Flavor on Canyon Road

canyon road sky

Canyon Road is the heart of art in Santa Fe. This charming neighborhood has developed into global destinationteeming with diverse and captivating art collections. You’ll find Contemporary, Native and Folk Art, sculptural works, textiles, ceramics, jewelry and fashion, to name but a few. Whatever your tastes, you are likely to be sated here. The vibe is mellow and inviting as people mill about, following the road where it takes them, resulting in an easy unfolding of the perfect kind of day.

canyon road blue gate
Amazingly, there are over 100 world-class galleries available for your viewing pleasure on Canyon Road. This density of art creates a dynamism of experience that is easily accessible.

Begin your expedition at the bottom of the canyon just off Paseo de Peralta. A whimsical sculpture of three dancing lambs will greet you on the left at Gallery 203B. Just across the street, a more recent addition, Arroyo focuses on a Western sensibility in a multitude of forms.
Be sure to take your time as you walk amid the fragrant pines and spreads of colorful blooms, back-dropped against the canvas of the azure summer sky. You can feel the stress dropping away with each step, as you partake of the visual wonderment.

Ventana Fine Art serves up vibrant Contemporary fare, Chalk Farm Gallery takes us to the stratosphere and beyond with it’s Visionary art, and don’t miss the magical outdoor sculpture garden at Wiford Gallery.

You’ll want to have your camera ready for the stunning sights that abound, including our legendary monsoon cloud formations that typically gather in the summer afternoons.
It’s easy to spend a whole day taking in the sights.

Canyon Road first developed as a farming community. A bucolic terrain settled by the Spanish, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States.
The history of Santa Fe pulses in the architecture on Canyon Road, from the warm adobe walls ofTerritorial and Spanish homes, to the few surviving farmhouses that still exist.

Artists began to populate here in the 1880’s, many were drawn to the area for relief from respiratory ailments which were soothed in the dry, high desert air. Eventually, artist colonies formed and flourished. Like Paris in the 30’s and 40’s, one’s creativity blossomed in the fecund ground of Santa Fe’s idyllic ambiance. Canyon Road even had a unique “residential arts and crafts” zoning classification.

After drinking in the beauty of this enchanting road, you will work up an appetite, and Canyon Road does not disappoint. You have an array of choices as well;
Casual settings with tasty food can be found atThe Teahouse, known for their Cowboy Chai, orCanyon Hideout Cafe. If you want to indulge in award-winning cuisine, The Compound or Geronimoare memorable choices.
For scrumptious tapas and drinks, try El Farol, Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant which has live music Thursdays through Sundays.
For in-depth information on all things Canyon Road, visit: Canyon Road Arts Website.
canyon road archway
canyon road mermaid