City Girl Gone Wandering
Santa Fe is the crown jewel of NM–the pinnacle of everything that so many other towns are trying to be and falling short of. Santa Fe has great food, a creative atmosphere, and a well-balanced blending of the old and the new.
Lined with museums, Santa Fe Plaza is the center of town. This is where you will find an abundance of bars and restaurants that will satisfy any craving. The plaza also plays host to a thriving arts and crafts markets where locals and tourists mill about together under the famous Santa Fe sunshine.
The city is home to a number of historical landmarks (primarily old churches) and you can easily pass an afternoon or two marveling at their architecture and design.
Santa Fe has a lot going for it, but it also tries very hard to live up to the branded image of being “Santa Fe”. That effort is palpable and it makes every moment there feel somewhat constructed. For me, it was a nice place to spend a few days before moving on to somewhere else.
Then again, some people love it there. Santa Fe seems much like New York in that way: it’s either yours or it’s not. And, as much as I enjoyed my time there, that city will never belong to me.
Just north of Santa Fe is a historic village with a unique claim to fame: they are the keepers of the holy dirt. Chimayo is a Catholic pilgrimage site and thousands of visitors come to the village annually to take a bit of holy dirt home. Some come with prayers and hopes, others come in search for a miracle.
I came solely with an inner curiosity. What I found was a beautiful green space that offered the sanctuary one can only find in nature.
As for the holy dirty, believe whatever suits your fancy. Perhaps the dirt really does have miraculous properties. Or perhaps it’s just the idea of said miracles that causes lives to improve or wishes to be granted. Either way, Chimayo is a must-see for any New Mexican excursion.
I am skipping over Albuquerque because I have had very few positive experiences there. My memories of Albuquerque will be limited to being trapped in a bus station for twelve hours while the people around me grew progressively sketchier. Then, months later, going out on the town the night I left the ranch only to have a friend’s coat get stolen off our table. I am sure Albuquerque has a multitude of redeeming qualities but I have not been privy to any of them. For me, it is a town that I will desperately try to avoid from here on out. Nothing good happens in Albuquerque, except maybe for some annual ballooning.