The Santa Fe travel narrative I was going to write appeared in the New York Times the same week. Sunday Travel Section, “ Is Santa Fe Ready For a Makeover.?” If you read it, then you know, that mod is flowing through the alleys and walkways of Santa Fe, more so than adobe mud. My answer is yes, Santa Fe is already under the mask of revival. My perspective comes from the duality of being a tourist and a resident. I have not lived here long enough to shed the distinctive air of a gambler whose just won the jackpot. It feels like a home I left years ago. I still walk through the Plaza in summer once a day to see the groove of live bands on the stage. I snap internal photographs of the conversations, expressions, and festivities surrounding Spanish and Indian Market month. Maudlin hippies slack on park benches strumming on untuned guitars. Children scatter between the adults, and third generation families sit under trees, sipping cool aid from a thermos, and eating home made tamales.
As you cross over to San Francisco Street past Starbucks, you will step over the hillbilly from Arkansas, whose sidewalk show includes, a dog, cat, and several mice playing nicely. His message is; animals get along why can’t people? You will never read this sort of description in the travel narrative. Just before dusk, the city streets empty for an hour, and the shinning light spreads evenly over the adobe walls and rooftops. That is if it is not raining. When showers greet us they pound the tricky brick walkways, and the lighting and thunder shake the windows, and everything not pinned down blows away.
I stood on the porch and watched, mostly because summer rain is the most romantic of all weather moods. That comes from a distant memory under raps. If you have a balcony, or find your way to the Rooftop of La Fonda, or Coyote Café, take a seat. Just watch and listen to the operatic electrical storm. They do not last too long.
The best time to walk is early morning. There are several roads to hike just beyond Canyon Road that lead to the Audubon Society. From there, you can choose from a dozen rated hikes from beginners to Aztec Indian strength. When in Santa Fe walk as much as possible, bring a pocket umbrella, and keep your eyes on the road. There are dazzling surprises everywhere you look.