Woody Allen commented on depression in all his films; the one I remember most went something like this; ‘I get depressed if one person is suffering in Africa.’

Remember those days; when all we had to concern ourselves with was:  Africa, a bit of Russia, and powerfully silent Cuba and China.  The Europeans loved us back then; we gave them something to laugh about.

I turn on the news intermittently during the day; and whatever activity had occupied me suddenly dissipated into bothersome dust.  Murder, beheadings, shootings, corruption, deception, fear and helplessness swept away the dust, and my consciousness wept.

Whether it is the unfathomable death of a woman who seemed immortal, the young  journalist beheaded on television,  the left and right parties swinging obscenities at  each other,  all soliciting a reality show of our government. My choice of sorrows is mounting.

Today is a cabaret of: weather, activity, and excitement as Fiesta Week begins in Santa Fe.
The city will converge on the Plaza for the performing arts, parades, musical improvisations, dance and Northern New Mexico  chow. Policeman will be stationed alongside the booths to protect us.  They look grouchy and irritable; but in my experience, the friendliest cops I’ve ever met. Try talking to a cop in Los Angeles.20140823_134608

The butter on the tortilla of  Santa Fe, is that our community events, processions, and traditional religious enactments are safe havens for  Spaniards,  Native Americans, the mixed,  the foreign and us Anglos. I can ask to be invited into any assemblage and chances are they will accept my presence.

The safety and care  of people depends on all of us. If I recognize a stoned drunk stumbling; I should take his hand to shelter. If an old woman needs help crossing the street: I should lead her. If  insults and arguments draw my attention; I should keep my eye on the situation. This is where my consciousness rises from dust and sorrow; to a strong wind of humanity.



GALLERY LOULOU 20th Century Photography
The Royals & the Rebels
343 E. Palace Avenue Santa Fe NM 87501

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.