IT’S UNLIKE ANY OTHER CITY I’VE EXPERIENCED. Named the city different, it is also the city difficult. She ( I see Santa Fe in the feminine gender) has to be treated gently. Her weather patterns resemble a menopausal woman,her stature demands respect, and she can be congenial and patient.
You can walk this city as if it were a neighborhood. If you do that consistently you’ll meet people, and get to know them. Unless you’re like me, a standoffish fast walker dazed by the outdoors.
If you’re dazed and illusional you can master this city very well, as the drowsy pace and cordiality allow freakish freedom. I ‘ve seen the liberating soul of Santa Fe, teenagers racing down the middle of a commercial street one foot on the skateboard, bad-ass bikers talking with bad-ass cops, women with parrots on their shoulder, dogs in baby carriages, cats in a bag, and women on horseback galloping up Palace Avenue.
At night you’ll see raging midnight ramblers dancing on the sidewalk, and all of this is appealing to an LA transplant. I have driven in my robe, danced in the street and broken the heels on most of my shoes because of the pot-holes. They are always working on a street, but never the sidewalks. I ‘ve been bounced out of the locals night-howl El Farol for accidently pushing a dancer, who knew the manager, who came running after me and took down my license plate.
So many of us are loners, the serious kind, that have to be rigged out of our nests. Luckily I live on a commercial street and have no choice but to be commercially friendly. After nine years, my seasonal behavior is obvious: sprite in summer, blissful in fall, giddy in spring, and withdrawan in winter. I’ve learned patience, understanding, and adopted a mixture of cultural traditions. I’m close to fifty percent certain I’ll miss Santa Fe terribly when I do leave.
Has living in Santa Fe given me more than I’ve given back? Yes, it has and that’s why when I’m asked what’s it like living in Santa Fe, I try to reveal the blessings here and not the bullshit.