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?!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

All's Quiet...

This is what downtown Santa Fe looks like early on a Sunday morning when all the tourists are still in bed.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

CoCo-Camera Critters

CoCo, My Santa Fe Companion

This sweet little Border Collie lives across the highway from where I am staying in Santa Fe.  According to her owner, CoCo is an "outside dog" with her own doghouse. He provides food and water for her there and has paid attention to her veterinary requirements: spayed, all shots with ID tags on her collar.

Shortly after  I get up in the morning, CoCo appears on the backyard deck, remaining there 'til I leave for my adventures.  When I return she lopes down the gravel driveway and beats me to the door.  She'll remain on the deck every night until I go to bed, even if I'm in a different part of the casa. It's hard for me to honor my friends' request not to feed her or let her in their casa. Because her owner is gone almost all day long, 10-month old CoCo is alone and literally starved for affection and companionship.  Because our family are animal lovers, an outside dog is a foreign concept to me and hard for me to understand.  I'm worried that someday she might be injured or killed crossing the highway from her house to this casa.  When I'm not here, one of my friends gives her some attention also.  If I were driving instead of flying home, I think I would be tempted to engage in dognapping and whisk her away to Minnesota because of her sweet temperament and good nature.

To see more photos of camera critters. go here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hot Stuff

I first met Matt Romero at the Santa Fe Saturday Farmers' Market.  While roasting green chiles grown at his organic farm in Dixon, New Mexico, he kept up a steady, friendly banter about his farm, the chiles, and his background.  After growing up in Espanola he spent 23 years in Colorado, learning how to talk like an Anglo (tongue in check with this remark).  I assume that is where he spent many years as an executive chef, but he gave it up to farm about 8 years ago.  He started out as a small vendor but quickly grew to become one of the largest vendors at the Santa Fe and Los Alamos markets. Matt was also instrumental in helping to get the 4.5 million dollar Santa Fe Farmers' Market started. He highly recommends organic farming, and his farming philosophy is worth reading right here.  In the photos below, you can see Matt roasting a large, rotating basket of chiles, a New Mexico staple which is coming into harvest right now, and it's a big deal!!  Notice the gloves he's wearing as he handles the hot roasted chiles.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Perspective-Theme Day, September, 2011

What kind of perspective do you have on death? Do you have a religious or secular outlook on its outer  symbolic expression?  Because much of the history, culture, and customs of Hispanics in New Mexico are so heavily intertwined with Roman Catholicism, my impression is that, whether its citizens are practicing Catholics or not, their perspective on honoring death seems to have a certain homogeneity. The cemeteries in New Mexico definitely look different from the Midwest because of the terrain, but there is also a common symbolism of artificial floral decorations and fenced and enclosed markers in many of them.  I stopped at the Nambe´ cemetery and noticed frequent visitors to individual gravesites while I was there. I spoke to John Valdes in the photo below who was visiting the gravesite of his father, Esquepulo Valdes, who died at the age of 79 on June 29th of this year. John indicated that he visits and prays here often and will continue to do so. He told me quite a lot about his father and indicated that both Spanish and English are integral parts of his family and the community.  From his perspective his culture and his religion gives him a particular perspective on the ways in which a death of a loved one is honored, one apparently shared by many members of his village, judging by the number of mourners who visited the cemetery while I was there.