A report from New Mexico

A report from New Mexico July 15, 2015


The chapel at Chimayo
Santuario de Chimayo
(Click to enlarge.)


I’m aware — although an egocentric conviction that others ought to be interested in one’s every thought seems pretty fundamental to being a writer, and especially to being a blogger — that  not everybody out there will care very much about the details of my daily round here in the Santa Fe area.  Nonetheless, this blog serves in part as a sort of public journal for me and as an explanation of where I am to certain family and friends.  So here goes.  With merciful conciseness.  Relatively speaking.


We spent much of yesterday and, later, of last evening, walking around the central, old, part of Santa Fe with two of our sons.  We sampled a number of art galleries and shops, visited the cathedral, strolled by the state’s capitol building, and enjoyed flavors of Mexican food that are somewhat different from those to which I’m accustomed from having grown up in Southern California and living in Utah.  I am — to put it mildly — not very interested in jewelry, but I do like the silver and turquoise stuff produced by the Indians of the Southwest. And I like the art here.  In the evening, we stood in the Plaza listening to music.  Pleasant temperature, pleasant place, pleasant music, attractive surroundings, free — I like Santa Fe.


Between those two walking tours, we drove out to the Santuario de Chimayo, a place of Catholic pilgrimage some distance beyond Santa Fe.  My eldest son, who lives here, had chosen it because he thought that I, in particular, would find it fascinating.  Which, in fact, I did.  (I’ll base at least one eventual Hamblin/Peterson column on it.  Probably two.)  But he wouldn’t tell us where we were going until we were close; he wanted it to be a surprise.  Fun kid.


The Inn and Spa and Loretto, in Santa Fe
Impossible to mistake for Portland or Kansas City


Much of the United States has become homogenized to a large extent, with indistinguishable McDonalds and Burger Kings and Walmarts and Starbucks almost everywhere.  Only a few cities remain culturally unique, with very distinct “flavors.”  New Orleans and Las Vegas are two of those; you would never imagine yourself to be other than where you are, when you’re visiting them.  But that’s not always for the good. Santa Fe remains very distinct in a good sense.  Even the architecture is memorably different.  You can’t confuse it with St. Louis, Boston, Miami, Boise, or Fresno.


Posted from Santa Fe, New Mexico



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