Sunday, November 15, 2009

Santa Fe: Breakfast Edition

K and I have started something of weekend tradition. We go out for a late breakfast on either Saturday or Sunday. Recently, we've been hitting up the Counter Culture Cafe. The Counter Culture is a counter-service only place with a super-delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu. I'd say that it specializes in baked goods (baked on premises) and fresh salads and sandwiches. That is not to say that it skimps on the New Mexican-style foods. No siree. Their green chile has been nuclear hot recently. It's great place to get a well-priced and beautifully fresh meal.

As far as atmosphere, it's noisy, busy, and attracts hipster/artsy types. Good vibe.

We have also rediscovered The Tune Up Cafe.

It's a neighborhood haunt in the Agua Fria area. We often see people we know there enjoying a cup of joe. The food, though, is El Salvadorian influenced with plenty of classic New Mexican dishes, too.
This time, Kev got a giant cinnamon roll and a plate of chiles rellenos.

I had the special, which was chicken enchiladas smothered in mole sauce with a side of fried bananas.

The Tune Up is small but it boasts a sizeable covered patio, which is great to sit on during these warm autumn days and people-watch. The price is nice and it is also counter-service only.

Finally, K and I went to Los Amigos for the first time yesterday. It's on Rodeo Road, close to the corner of Rodeo and Richards Ave, and next to the Chevron station. It's modest exterior hides a delicious, family-run, classic New Mexican-style menu.

Kev got the huevos rancheros "christmas," which means that it was topped with both red and green chile.
I got the "Buenos Dias," which is a plate of cubed potatoes smothered in the chile of your choice and topped with cheese and an egg.

This restaurant is fabulously good and appears to be essentially a local's place, a rare feat in Santa Fe. (Many of my favorite breakfast places have been featured on "Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives" which means that the wait to get in to these places have increased exponentially. And, FYI Guy Fieri, chile is spelled with an "E" at the end, not an "I." )

Also, for those so inclined, K found a very good restaurant review blog for places in and around Santa Fe. It's called NM Gastronome.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Canyon Road: Museum and Fitness Center

It's getting to be cold outside. It's dark before we get home from work. The desire to leave the warm confines of our home wanes. I mean, Santa Fe is all about drinking margaritas on patios and apres ski in cozy sweaters. But what is there to do during the in-between seasons? Kev and I have stumbled upon our new favorite thing- chillin' on Canyon Road at night.

Canyon Road is lined with galleries and, at night, the art-filled windows light the way.

Allegedly, Santa Fe has the second largest art market in the United States, right behind New York City. There are all sorts of galleries: western art, traditional arts from different countries, modern art, print and sculptural arts. Going for a nighttime stroll is like a brightly lit hors d'oeuvres of arty delights.

But Canyon Road is not only gawking at studios and galleries. No siree. After a few blocks of strolling in the chilly night air, we pop our heads into one of Canyon Road's restaurants for a glass of wine.

The Compound is a Santa Fe legend. It's *extremely expensive* but delicious. And single glass of wine is an affordable indulgence. Another option is Geronimo, which is perhaps ever so slightly less expensive than The Compound but still very, very good (and expensive. Did I mention expensive?) Also- I saw Val Kilmer at Geronimo one time. He's, uh, kind of, um, no longer Batman-sized. Another good place for a drink is El Farol, which is by far the most affordable of the three. El Farol is a busy and loud tapas bar that usually has live music. I am kind of on an El Farol boycott, though. It's a long and uninteresting story but, suffice to say, I prefer other places.

So, yeah. That's what K and I do when we sitting at home and addled by inertia. It's simple but remarkably fun.

Also, along these same lines, Canyon Road is a good place to go running at night. I find treadmill running incredibly boring but it's usually dark by the time I get home from work. The solution is Canyon Road. There is very little traffic at night and the street is lit up by all of the galleries.

Yes, I know I am a big ham. But at least I'm a big glowing ham in running tights. That's gotta be worth something, right?

Edited to add:
I forgot to post this photo I took. It's a shop window on Canyon Road full of neat old things.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween in Santa Fe

Happy All Saints Day!  Last night K and I went to the best Halloween party in town, the Santa Fe Reporter Party.  The Santa Fe Reporter is the free weekly newspaper in town here, sort of like the City Paper in DC.

K, true to form, made his costume in the span of 45 minutes.  He went as a lobster.

My favorite part of his costume were his eyes.  We made the eyes by sticking pipe cleaners in styrofoam spheres and then wrapping the pipe cleaners around a headband.


I went as an octopus.

I made this costume by tie dying a sweatsuit and 4 additional arms cut off of other sweatshirts.  Then, I cut about 1 million circles out of felt and glued them to the arms and legs.  I stuffed the extra sweatshirt arms and sewed them to the hooded sweatshirt.  I was pleased with the result and the costume was nice and warm in the freezing night.

We also tortured Lucy by putting her bee costume on her.  She was not pleased but we sure were!

She's still getting over the indignity of it all.

So, then after having a couple of trick-or-treaters, we headed off to the Reporter Party.  It was a new place in town, Milagro 139.  It's downtown and across the street from the long-standing Evangelo's Bar.  The place was packed and there was a line to get in, which is a rare beast in Santa Fe.

Inside was full, too, and DJ Feathericci was pumping the jams. Feathericci is a DJ around town and seems to have something of a following here.  This was the first time I listened to him and, I gotta say, he was good.  Real good.
Here's the dance floor, taken from the above balcony.

I especially liked this Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew muppet duo costume:

After the Reporter Party, we headed over to the Catamount- which ended up having an only so-so Halloween party, and finally to one of our favorite dive bars of all time, The Matador, for a quick drink. 

So, that's what we did for Halloween.  It was a great night, even though I am freaking exhausted today.  So much dancing!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

La Posada & Haunted Santa Fe

A few weeks ago K and I went to one of our favorite bars in Santa Fe, La PosadaLa Posada is also a hotel and spa but the bar is really nice, quiet, and comfortable.  The bar is located in the old Staab House.  The Staab House is named after its original owners, Julia and Abraham Staab, and was built in the 1880s.  The legend is, Julia Staab committed suicide in her bedroom and the Staab House has been haunted ever since.  Her bedroom is actually the largest suite in the hotel and the haunted room demands a premium.  Here's a link to the whole story. 

Here we are, sans ghost, finishing up a glass of wine in the bar.  It was chilly so we sat by a fireplace.

I actually had one of their delicious cocktails- a Lemondrop.  mmm.  Also, I am no photographer so I caught the flash in the mirror above the fireplace.  Oh well!
Here's a photo of the hallway leading to the bar.  The story is that the ghost of Julia Staab is frequently seen to be walking down the stair (which are behind me in this photo) and into the hallway below.

I learned about this story last year when I went on a Santa Fe Hearse Tour.  This is an awesome nighttime activity where you tour around in a modified open-air hearse. 

On the way back to the car, we passed another haunted area.  Here's a creepy photo:

This is an abandoned mental hospital.  No joke.  Well, it was once a mental hospital, then at some point became a nursing home, but now it is mostly abandoned.  The rooms are rented out to film production companies and other short-term enterprises.  It's really the strangest thing because it's a large plot really close to downtown.  One would think that it'd be a prime candidate for either remodel or tear down.  It's probably the fact that it's incredibly haunted that detracts potential developers. 

Happy Halloween everyone!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Early Snow!

The past week has been cold.  Very cold.  Winter has arrived! 

I generally like the winter months.  The beautiful white powder blankets, the cozy down blankets, and the freshly baked goods are a-ok by me.  So I was not terribly upset to wake up and see this in my back yard:

It ended up snowing most of the day.  Not a whole lot has stuck around, though, because the ground is still too warm.  Nevertheless, I'm happy.
So, reminder to those coming to visit this winter- bring warm clothes! 

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Santa Fe Farmers Market

This morning I went to the Santa Fe Farmers Market .  It's a fantastic market and this is the prime time of year for it.  It is a year-round market.  During the winter, though, it shrinks significantly and features mostly meats (including super delicious Pollo Real chicken, Pecos Valley Grassfed Beef, buffalo meat vendors such as LaMont, lamb meat and yarn, and yak), long-storing, winter vegetables, preserved foods, cosmetics and baked goods.

The Farmers Market has, within the past year or so, relocated to its permanent home at the fancy new Santa Fe Railyard.  The Railyard is the shiny new happenin' place around here.  When it's cold outside, the market moves indoors.  But on a gorgeous day like today, it was mainly outside, like so:

Each farmer has a booth underneath the wooden awning.
The railyard is also the last stop of the Rail Runner train, which connects Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Belen.  I have never been on the Rail Runner.  A predicament I hope to remedy tomorrow.

The above photo is the Rail Runner rolling into the Farmers Market.  You can see the permanent Farmers Market building on the right, partially obscured by a tree.
The tourist train also leaves from the Railyard:

You may remember that K and I rode the tourist train for his birthday a few years ago.  Here's a link to my old post on that adventure.

Anyway, I ended up with quite a bounty, including a gorgeous bouquet of flowers:

And 1000 pounds of fruit and vegetables:

(Starting from the carrots and moving clockwise --> bosc pears, loaf of wheat bread, 2 eggplants, 2 small watermelons, a couple of turnips, a head of green cabbage and some red beets).

Now, to start cooking it all up!  Mmm.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Richest Deadman Alive

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Last night, I had the pleasure of going to see The Richest Deadman Alive, an original play presented by a local company here called Theater Grottesco.  It was also “pay as you wish” night, which was nice because I’m a cheapskate.  :)

The comic play is actually quite funny; I even laughed out loud at several points.  I rarely laugh out loud when watching  TV shows or movies, so take it from me that it was funny.  What happens is a hapless man, plagued by severe allergies, is accidentally locked outside of his home by a well-meaning but dim delivery man.  Because the outside world is full of asthma-inducing things, the hapless man dies from exposure to pollen.  His wife and friends mourn his passing and lay flowers on his casket.  Enter the twist.  Apparently, the hapless husband had been paying on a life insurance policy for many years unbeknownst to his wife.  The insurance agent comes to the wake, cuts the wife a giant check, and leaves.  Enter the second twist:   the flowers laid on the casket muster up some crazy-strong allergic reaction that sneezes the husband back to life.  There is rejoicing… and scheming.

The husband and wife blow all of their money on a vacation.  They return home, wondering what to do now that they are broke.  Unwilling to get a job, they decide that insurance fraud is the way to go and they start cooking up plans to fake the hapless husband’s death again.  Hilarity ensues. 

The end is a little strange and contains some social commentary that is uncharacteristically poignant (and a little jarring) for this slapstick comedy.  It was rushed and abrupt.  Also, there was a some over-acting that caught me in an eye roll or two, but for the most part it was appropriate for the play which contained a good bit of physical comedy and puns.  On the whole, The Richest Deadman Alive gets 2 thumbs up. Oh, the stage and set design is simple but genius.

The Richest Deadman Alive was great.  It was entertaining and an all-around good time.  I recommend going.  It’s playing at the Armory of the Arts (on Old Pecos Trail) and is running until October 18th.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Adventure

This afternoon K and I decided to go on an adventure.  We originally were thinking about heading to El Rito, which is a town near Abiquiu.  El Rito was having a gallery crawl this weekend that sounded like fun.  We opted not to, though, because El Rito is a several hours drive from us.

Instead, K heard of some petroglyphs that are practically in our backyard.  They are on BLM land in La Cieneguilla, which is right off of Airport Road in Santa Fe.  Neither K nor I had ever been there before and, I gotta say, it was pretty awesome.

To get there, continue on Airport Road past the intersection with 599.  Pass the horse stable place and Calle Debra.  You will see a nice fenced-in parking area on the right hand side of the road.  Park there and the trail head and trail is very well-marked.  Like so:

The trial moseys along a barbed wire fence for a while, but eventually cuts toward the escarpment.  There were A TON of petroglyphs up there.  I took some choice pics.  Here's one of a cool looking bird and some deer/horses:

Here's a close up of a turtle/lizard/horny toad:

Here's K with a whole bunch of awesome ones (and some electric green moss):

And another one of K with the glyphs:

And me and some additional petroglyphs:

The trial climbs up the cliff side and then you scramble over rocks to walk the length of the cliff.  It's a beautiful view up there.  Those are the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the distance:

We ended up scurrying up some rocks to the top of the mesa and taking an alternate route back to the car.  It was a lovely, short, easy to moderate hike around. 

When we got back to the car, we picked up a bunch of cans which we collect and take to the scrap yard for cash-money.  What is it with people throwing their garbage all over the place here? 

Check out that sky!^ 

Edited to Add:  I forgot to post this petroglyph of a dog/coyote:

I liked this one because I thought it looked like Lucy (she's the one on the right):

Fall Foliage

Yes, it is that time of year when everyone scurries up to the mountains to look at leaves.  We are no different.

On Friday evening, K and I drove up to Aspen Vista which is in the Santa Fe National Forest. It takes about 20 minutes or so to get there from downtown Santa Fe.  We went up to catch the sunset and hike around in the moonlight. 

This is what we saw:

The story is this large aspen stand was created by a fire many years ago.  The fire cleared out all of the pine trees which made room for the aspens.  Over time, the aspen stand is getting smaller and smaller as the pine trees encroach.  It's perfectly natural; the pine forest is the older stage of the forest.

We watched the sun go down, which was very beautiful.  Unfortunately, I don't have mad camera skills.  But I did the best I could:

We took the girls with us and a bottle of wine.

The girls hiking-

We crossed Big Tesuque creek:

We luxuriated:

We walked back to the car with the full moon:

It was beautiful and the girls liked it, too.

The following day K and I returned for the Big Tesuque Trail Run.  A race, unfortunately, I was not able to participate in this year.  K ran, though and beat his previous time.  I took some photos with K's camera that I haven't downloaded yet.  It will accompany a separate post hopefully later tonight.