As previously mentioned, I was travelling for work last week and had the opportunity to spend a day on my own in Santa Fe, lovin’ life and other things of that nature. Having a single day to go through an entire place… especially one that was so full of STUFF to do, was understandably daunting, so I just put my little head down and conquered things one at a time.
First – the New Mexico countryside is F-ING beautiful… like, with cacti and tumbleweeds and like, spiders dragging old pieces of junk across sand to build their spider-nests. Exactly how you pictured it. THAT’S HOW IT IS.
I decided to start the day with a hike around the countryside with a guide who was really knowledgeable and allowed me to take multiple pictures that slowed down the rest of the group. Bad for them, GOOD FOR YOU! So many arty pictures of tumbleweeds and shit.
This is an old tree that couldn’t survive the drought one year. Negatives: it’s dead. Positives: It provides a dramatic frame for my “taking a picture of the landscape with a dramatic frame” goals.
Below is a pear-cactus, which are all over the place. They really hurt if you, say, trip while trying to take a picture, then submerge your knee bone into them. Hypothetically.
Also, apparently they are tasty if you take all the pricklers off then slice them up into a delicious salad. I never did this. It’s just the rumour around town.
Here is another cactus. Dramatic frame for my picture? SUCCESS!
This is a Yucca plant. The Yucca flower is the state flower of New Mexico – WHAAAT learnin’ things! Apparently the native tribes in New Mexico used to/still use the little stringer things on the side of the Yucca plant to like, repair their clothing and sew their moccasins and other things of a “string-requiring” nature. I tried to pull one out but it didn’t work.
So. Seriously. It’s pretty beautiful down there. The landscape just folds out in front of you with hill after hill of browns that melt into each other… then the horizon undulates in rolling swells that become more and more transparent until you aren’t sure where one stops and the other begins. POETRY SLAM WHAT!
TREE FRAME, WHAT!
ROCK FRAME, WHAT!
After about 90 minutes walking around in the New Mexico desert/drylands/whatever-they-are-called, I decided to cross “Nature-Stuff” off my list and mosey on over into town.
Being a big ol’ fatty, the first thing I needed to do was eat something. Some people really hate travelling on their own because they have to sit in restaurants by themselves and eat without talking to anyone. Me? I LOVE going to restaurants by myself and eating what I want when I want without people bothering me while I stuff my face. Paradise.
There are quite a few restaurant options in Santa Fe, but I heard about one over and over called “The Shed” that has been around for a really long time and apparently is packed all day long with people wanting to get a table, so I tried it out.
First, their patio is adorable. Small enough to feel intimate, but roomy enough not to feel stifling. and full of bright umbrellas and stuff that makes you feel all happy and shit.
Wheat beer in the foreground, happy family in the background… how much more idyllic can you get?
I started with the Corn Chowder, which was AMAZING. Really, I gobbled that shizz down in about 3 minutes.
For my main I didn’t want to go too ‘outside of the box’, because I had heard that “New Mexican-Mexican” food was really spicy and different than most Mexican food, and I didn’t want to walk around with a “tummy ache” (read: the runs) all day long, so I went with “Light Huevos Rancheros”.
Now, I’m not saying it was spicy, but IT WAS DAMN SPICY. They put this “red chili sauce” and “green chili sauce” on it and it basically tastes like you are swallowing fire. HOWEVER… it was definitely yummy.
Speaking of New Mexican foods… there is this thing called “Frito Pie” in Santa Fe that everyone was talking about.
Turns out Frito Pie is smashed-up Fritos with Chili poured over top. At the Five and Dime (above), they literally open up a bag of Fritos, smash ’em up a little bit in the bag, then pour Chili INTO the Frito bag, then you walk out with a spoon and a Frito bag full of Chili.
Best idea ever or source of long-term diarrhea? Both, I’m thinking. I never had the privilege of trying Frito Pie as I was full of my Huevos. BIGGEST REGRET EVER.
In the afternoon I headed to Coyote Rooftop Cantina for some chips and beer. The atmosphere was OK, but it was really hot and they were playing an awful radio statio… like Gin Blossoms styles. Not in an ironic “remember when you were in high school and the Gin Blossoms were cool” – kind of way, in a like, “this is some cool new music – it’s called the Gin Blossoms” – kind of way.
The town is quite pretty and magical and again, exactly what you would expect when you think of New Mexico – short, clay-like buildings and bright colours and stuff that makes you happy:
Ok, so I checked “Nature stuff”, and “Eat a whole lot of spicy chili” off my list, and I decided that I wanted to spend some time getting all cultured, so I decided to stop by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.
So, I KNOW that everyone thinks of vaginas and vagina-related flowers when they think of Georgia O’Keeffe, but in reality, her vagina-related-flower repertoire is only a VERY SMALL part of her art and it really overshadows a lot of how TRULY AMAZING she is.
I went to the museum knowing little to nothing about her, which was a great thing, because I really learned a lot and came out with an amazing amount of respect for her.
Turns out she is BAD-ASS and a wicked-cool smart and strong lady and like, walks around with skulls and shit.
Her artwork does have a sexual undercurrent, which is amazing and powerful. What strong woman didn’t have struggles with gender roles and sexuality in the mid-20th century when women’s rights were in the forefront both socially and politically? Cue the vagina-flowers.
Her photographer husband, Alfred Stieglitz, took numerous, sexually suggestive pictures of her when she was young and starting out, and that image of her as a sexual being constantly overshadowed her work. People searched for sexual meaning instead of just looking at the art.
Later in life, she decided to take control of her image and invited photographers to her New Mexico home (“Ghost Ranch” – what? coolest), and her BAD-ASSERY was shown in full effect.
A lot of her artwork was focused on New Mexico and the area surrounding Santa Fe.
Being as hipstery as possible, I bought a print of the skull/flower piece below, along with another skull piece. Skulls, skulls everywhere. That’s how you know you’re cool.
As you can tell, I haven’t said “peep” about my shopping and vintage item scouring, which is very detailed and lengthy, so I’ve decided to isolate that information into a separate, SHOPPING ONLY Santa Fe post, which I’ll put up like, within the next day.
Spoiler: I bought a lot of turquoise.