Saturday, December 31, 2011

Belle of the Southwest

When the historic Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, New Mexico, was built in 1882, it was known as "The Belle of the Southwest."  After some hard times, it was restored and now sits proudly across from the Old Town Plaza.  As we approach Santa Fe which is about an hour away, we always stop to visit it and the shops in this part of the small city that is situated on  Hwy 25.

To learn more about this hotel, click here. But first, I want to wish you a


Friday, December 30, 2011


We have arrived. What fun to be greeted by these merry little figures!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Canyon Road

I snapped this photo in March of 2010 while walking down Canyon Road.  I wish one of those mailboxes was mine!  We probably have arrived by now and are settling in; I'll start posting current photos shortly. I promise.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sanctuario de Guadalupe

Images of this Lady appears everywhere in Santa Fe.  This particular statue stands in front of Santuario de Guadalupe and has frequent visitors, as you can see.  Constructed in Mexico, it has an interesting history. (I scheduled a few photos from my archive, and we're still driving, but will get to Santa Fe soon!)

Catholics from Northern New Mexico made a journey from Mexico City with a 12 foot-tall, 4,000 pound statue of the Patron Saint of the Americas. The statue was placed in front of the Santuario de Guadalupe, the oldest church in the United States honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. The journey to New Mexico followed the Camino Real, the historic route taken from Mexico City to the northern territory of New Mexico by early Spanish settlers.

The statue and the spiritual and physical journey were born out of controversial use of one of the most revered and important images in Hispanic culture. But that is not why the faithful pursued this project. Their pursuit was one of dedication, faith and discovery.

The statue is the work of reknown Mexican artist Georgina "Gogy" Farias who herself has a strong devotion to Guadalupe.

This website [listed above under "Journey"] will share photographs by photojournalist Joshua Trujillo and some of the stories from the group's journey north. You can click on a photo to see a larger version or to make a print for personal use. For publication contact the photographer.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's About Time!

DH, Maggi our dog, and I left our Minnesota home and are driving to Santa Fe as you view this.  Our son and grand-dog, Lexie is staying in our house while we are gone for our 2-month stay in one of the cities I love best. I took this photo a few years ago near the Plaza. Come back for more photos during the next couple months.  I have a new camera and lens and am anxious to begin using it in Santa Fe.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November, 2011 Theme Day-"Fences"

A typical fence

A gravesite

To see more fences posted by your friendly bloggers, Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Time to Fly Away!

I've been home in Saint Paul for the last 3 weeks, yet had a hard time breaking away from my Santa Fe blog...but, it's time!  Had an even harder time breaking away from the city but perhaps another visit will soon be in order.  "Til then, it's Visual St. Paul only.  Thanks again for your loyal visits!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ABC Wednesday - "K" Killer Chilis!

During harvest season the aroma of roasting chilis wafts throughout the  market. Watching the process is almost as much fun as eating them!
Before and After

To see more "K's" on ABC Wednesday, go here!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fiesta-Dancing in the Plaza

The cry of "Viva la Fiesta" has been reverberating through the streets of Old Santa Fe every autumn for 299 years. The sound generates a curious blend of thanksgiving, revelry and pride in the hearts of Santa Feans who celebrate Fiesta annually to commemorate Don Diego De Vargas' peaceful reoccupation of the City of Holy Faith in 1692. 

The Queen, September 2011

To learn more about the history of the Fiesta, go here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Bridge of Sorts--The Santa Fe Trail


This is a boardwalk over a remnant of the Santa Fe Trail.  It's located at Pecos National Monument, one of my favorite spots just outside Santa Fe.  I always go there at least once to visit the ruins while visiting this wonderful area.

Much of the land that helped improve the park for visitors was donated by the late actress Greer Garson and her husband.

To see some more bridges, click here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Patience-Camera Critters

On one of the hottest days of the year at the Albuquerque Zoo, this polar bear emerged from the cool water because his inner time clock told him that he was soon going to be fed some delectable fish.

To see more camera critters, go here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Sweetest Face

Sometimes people in the Plaza quickly approach and just as quickly walk by.  While people-watching, I noticed a beautiful young woman with the sweetest face approach and pass by the bench on which I was sitting.  I was a bit surprised at the tattoo she sported on her back...just didn't seem to fit my first impression of  her "Madonna-like" face.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Permanent Transplant?

I didn't get a chance to talk to both girls, but Laura with the big smile hails from Ashville, North Carolina where her folks still live in the mountains.  Laura moved to Santa Fe about five years ago and loves it, especially the sunshine. I asked her if she plans to stay, and with a shrug of her shoulders, she replied, "Who knows!"  Currently she is working two jobs; this one is with Matt Romero's Farmers Market vegetable stand and the other is with a non-profit: Santa Fe Mountain ?? I didn't take notes so my memory gave up the last word.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ABC WEDNESDAY -J-Street Corner Preacher for Jesus

He caught my attention

He didn't convert me!

To see more ABC Wednesday posts,  go here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Turquoise and Silver

Turquoise and silver are well-coordnated with the prevailing colors of the Southwest culture. The woman sporting these unique nails works in a salon in Cincinnati and planned her pedicure carefully for her holiday in Santa Fe. She told me that the decoration would cost $45.00 with an additional $35 for the pedicure itself.  She's lucky she works in a salon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

42/100 Strangers

Tyler is probably one of the best baristas I have encountered in coffee shops that I have visited.  A bit reserved he is cordial, helpful, and non-intrusive.  I met him at Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse  on Galisteo Street where I visited regularly for my daily latte and a bit of internet work.  I think that I caught him in a pensive mood here.  Originally from Nashville, Tyler graduated from St John's in Santa Fe in 2009, left after graduation, but then returned about 10 months ago.  I think that the pull of the Southwest got to him, too!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Camera Critters-The Hunter

Although this may be hard for some of you to see, CoCo is doing what animals do. She is the sweetest dog and it was difficult to know and see that she had taken down one of the beautiful birds who came to the feeders.  To see more Camera Critters, go here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Santo Domingo Annual Arts and Crafts Festival-#3

 I met these wonderful men at the Santo Domingo Pueblo on Labor Day week-end.  They were sitting at a table collecting money for Disabled Native American Veterans.  They were pleased that I felt honored to meet them, and I promised to send them photos after I returned home to Minnesota.  Unfortunately, my camera lens was dirty, and I had nothing with me to clean it.  I wish I could have taken more photos of them as a momento for  them and for me.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Santo Domingo Annual Arts and Crafts Festival-#2

I stopped in my tracks when I saw these two at the Santo Domingo Arts and Crafts Festival. I asked each of them the reasons for  their NFL preference in a place 1200 miles away from Green Bay, Wi.  Since the morning was a bit chilly, Catherine claimed that she was wearing the sweat shirt because she was cold!  So much for team allegiance!  We chatted,  and she told me that she grew up in Santo Domingo but had just recently returned to the Pueblo after living in Denver, which she had loved.  Donovan was somewhat noncommittal about the Packers.  He revealed that he was helping his auntie, Brihilda Coriz whom you met yesterday,  during the Labor Day weekend festival. After my short conversation with both of them, I hope that I convinced them to become committed fans!

ALERT:  Yesterday I  found out that there is to be a Second Annual World Wide Photo Walk on October 1st and 2nd.  To see if there is a one organized for a city near you, check this out:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Santo Domingo Annual Arts and Crafts Festival

Brihilda Coriz lives in the Santo Domingo Pueblo where she designs and creates the clothing she was selling at the annual Arts and Crafts Festival over Labor Day weekend. She mentioned that she and her husband used to work together, making jewelry.  After 25 happy years of marriage,  she sadly revealed that she lost her husband five years ago  It was then that she began to make the clothing that you see in the photos. Her warm and friendly personality was as sunny as the garment you see hanging behind her.  I promised to send her copies of these photos after I return to Minnesota.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wahoo! Santa Fe

And, who wouldn't love these boots?!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Memories - Santa Fe and Randy!

I cannot think of a better way to start the week than to introduce you to Randy!  He and I met last Tuesday and spent the afternoon chatting, talking about Santa Fe, and sharing photo blogging tips and stories.   I couldn't have spent the afternoon with a more interesting and delightful person.  Santa Fe is a magical place and meeting a full-time resident who shares my love for the city and photography was a great experience.  If you want to get to know this city better, follow Randy's Santa Fe Daily Photo Blog because he will give you an insider's view of it with terrific photos.  More fun would be to meet him in person as it was my great luck to do. Thanks, Randy, for the latte and the terrific afternoon, memories of which I will cherish! I count you as a treasured friend!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Happy Birthday to Me!! I've wanted one of these Quechquimitl  (Ruanas) for years and finally got one!  I ordered it from Centinela Traditional Arts in Chimayo, New Mexico.  I will feel very elegant wrapped in it.  Happy, Happy Birthday to me!!

Added later in response to inquisitive minds:
In some cultures this poncho-like garment, called a quechquemitl, is from Mexico and has been worn by indigenous Mexican women for around two thousand years. Before the Spanish arrived in 1521, noble women and priests wore this type of garment during ceremonies, and goddesses were often depicted wearing them in statues and paintings. Today, many ordinary indigenous women in northern and central Mexico wear quechquemitl for warmth and decoration each day.

Like most quechquemitl,  they are traditionally composed of two rectangles of handwoven cloth stitched together to attach the end of each rectangle to the side of the other. This ingenious design forms a square garment that can be slipped over the head. The points of the square hang in front and back, but other quechquemitl are intended to be worn with the points hanging to the sides, over the shoulders, instead.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


The Plaza is filled with buskers during fiestas, festivals, and art shows.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Meet Luna

Although Luna could not give me much information about herself, her parents filled in the blanks. I met them at the Tuesday Santa Fe Farmers' Market. As I strolled among the vendors, Luna approached me, offering a stone which she was attempting to eat as she ran barefoot near her parents' vegetable stand--organic produce which is the norm for the farmers selling their products. 15-month-old Luna hails from Velarde, NM and accompanies her parents when they sell at the Market. Because of her friendliness and charm , it was tempting to swoop her up in my arms and steal away. I was frankly surprised that they gave me permission to photograph Luna (when she was standing still!) and put her on my blog. Glad they did, though!
Luna's photo is #39/100 in my Strangers Project--To learn more about the 100 Strangers Project, go here:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Sharp Guy

Pat Romero (who is not related to Matt whom we featured here) can be found at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market on both Tuesdays and Saturdays during the season.  His motto is: Keep on the Cutting Edge" as he sharpens knives, scissors, and tools.  He grew up in Santa Fe and has been engaged in this important sharpening service as employment for all of his adult life.  I asked him if it was a family business, but he repied that it was not: his father was in construction. Below you can see him bent over the tools of his trade with highly concentrated effort to keep his skills sharp.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Haute Cuisine-ABC WEDNESDAY-"H"

Altho it is not a restaurant serving French cuisine, Geronimo's is one that is frequented by patrons interested in fine food.

According to their website: 



  • In its celebrated 18 years, Geronimo has established a reputation as the place to dine in Santa Fe. Tradition and innovation merge at this Canyon Road legend, where simplicity and understatement reign. New Mexico's only Mobil 4 star and AAA 4 diamond rated restaurant.

"Now I can eat well, sleep well and be glad. I can go everywhere with a good feeling."
A quote from the Apache Geronimo that perhaps defines the food served at the restaurant.

To see more ABC WEDNESDAY posts, go here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Highway Memorials-ABC WEDNESDAY "H"

 These decorated crosses are a common sight on the side of many of New Mexico highways.  Each marks a spot where an automobile accident resulted in the deaths of some of the occupants.  Either this spot had a huge accident claiming many lives or it is a dangerous place for automobiles.  I have passed these specific markers many times on Old Las Vegas Highway as I drove to and from downtown, but decided to stop to photograph them.  I was a bit startled to see the Star of David with the name of "Kate" attached.    At one of the spots on Interstate 25 as I was driving from the Albuquerque airport I noted a family visiting and praying at one of the memorial spots.  Gives one pause!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Louis Ramirez, A New Friend

To enable only patrons of several businesses and shops in downtown Santa Fe to park in their lot, Louis Ramirez, a  67-year-old retiree is employed to sit on a folding chair, guarding its entrance. I walked past him several times on my way to the bookstore and cafe where I often "hang out."  Being a very gregarious fellow, Louis and I had a long chat about his background,  He grew up in California in a Mexican family as either the 8th or 9th child in a family of 11 kids...he wasn't quite sure of his rank.  His parents were from Mexico but he has never been there and would like to go "someday."  In fact, he would be interested in doing some traveling beyond the western US states he has already visited.  When I asked him where he would like to go, he said, "Anywhere the good Lord wants to send me."  I gathered he is very devote, belonging to a non-denominational Fundamentalist Christian Fellowship Congregation. Louis has been in Santa Fe since 1981, and before his retirement, he worked at Grease Monkey doing "mechanical stuff."  Before that he did some construction work.  Before I could ask too many more questions, he turned the tables and started to interview me! When he heard that I'm originally from Wisconsin, he told me that I'm really a "Quesohead" ... Cheesehead sounds better in Spanish than in English!  After our fond adieu, I had a thought...I wonder if he will let me park in the lot now since we're such good friends?!