Monday, August 15, 2011

Roadboy's Santa Fe

Pure Bliss

Anyone that knows Roadboy is well aware of my penchant for one-of-a-kind places. I despise modern American cities carefully designed by sadistic civil engineers to maximize pavement. While great for cars, 6 lane wide streets, divided by huge medians are completely anti-pedestrain and efficient in the destruction of anyone who dares to ride a bicycle. These are roads bordered by the urban vomit of cookie cutter Applebee's, Burger Kings, Starbucks, or Panera's.

To me there is nothing more heartbreaking than the slow "Strip Malling" of America. 

So, lets just put it out there that I prefer places with history. Places that embrace art. Places with distinctive architecture. Places that serve up unique food. Place's that are unabashedly spiritual. Places with narrow streets. Places with distinctive colors and smells.

This weekend I had the good fortune to revisit one of those special places - Santa Fe. 

So here is a quick post to throw a little happy on a place that leaves no doubt why New Mexico truly is America's "Land of Enchantment".   

Moonrise Over Santa Fe

Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in North America. It is also the site of the oldest public building in North America - the 401 year old Santa Fe Palace of Governor's.

Indian Artisan's at the Palace of the Governor's

Coming from a typical Phoenix summer day of 108° F, the weather in Santa Fe was a delight; bright sunshine followed by big splashes of cool drops of rain!

Man's Best Friend Carry's the Umbrella

This is a city where there is seemingly a church and three art galleries on every corner. The art varies from traditional to cutting edge. The church's are sublime, with perhaps the Loretto Chapel and it's miraculous staircase being my favorite.

The Stairs of Loretto
To this day there is no record of the mysterious craftsman who came, built the stair tower in the Loretto Chapel, and then was never seen again. The stair has two complete 360° coils and was built solely using wooden pegs. There is no glue, nails, or steel in its construction. It rises without any center support. It was originally built without handrails. It is quite simply a marvel.

Contemporary Native Art 
At the Institute of the American Indian

Santa Fe inspired luminaries like Gerogia O'Keefe and is home to the renowned Santa Fe Opera Company.

If you need lodging consider the funky El Rey Motel. For Dinner Lan's Vietnamese was tasty. Oh, but for Breakfast go early and grab a table at The Pantry where (since 1948) portions and flavors have been  big, rich, and spicy and the staff and clientele ever friendly.

And if you come or go via the Albuquerque Sunport, plan to stop long enough to enjoy an amazing meal at The Standard Diner on Central SE. It began life as a gas station, but now it deliver's creative cuisine with flair and finesse.

Albuquerque's Standard Diner - Nothin Standard About it!

For my money, a visit to Santa Fe is pure magic any time of the year.

Roadboy's Travel's © 2011

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