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Posts Tagged ‘Santa Fe Reporter’



Dining Santa Fe: Andiamo

Authentic in taste, if a bit upscale for the term “Trattoria,” Andiamo reminds me of dining in Italy for its quality of ingredients, smooth composition, and generous hospitality.  An intersection of passion, pride, and joyous good humor prevails, whether the restaurant is packed or building steam. Credit the caring staff for upholding the feeling.  Credit the cook for putting together knockout culinary combinations.

The acme of appetizers is the Crispy Polenta: a Rumba of taste and texture– at once crispy, creamy, savory and sweet. My ten year old niece ate it with gusto as has every adult I know who’s put a fork into its luscious appeal.  The Parma Prosciutto + Belgian Endive is a tastebud-zinging balance of mildly bitter, fruity and salty flavors. For the main course, I love the Penne with House-Made Lamb Sausage, the Chicken Marsala with its earthy porcini side, and the Seafood Linguini.  I am less wowed by the Pizzas (for those, I head to Farina, in Albuquerque.  More on that in another post).

While I am not much of a dessert fan, I find the pots de crème irresistible, to a giddy, sybaritic, self-embarrassing degree. This Chocolatey Custard is rich enough to split, luxurious enough to make any meal a Valentine. My younger relatives favor the Profiteroles (puff pastries, ice cream AND chocolate sauce.) I hear the Pannacotta is excellent. Skip the unremarkable cookies.

A comparatively low-cost way to check out Andiamo is during its weekday Happy Hour.  Select glasses of wine and appetizers are offered at reduced prices. Sip, sample, and you won’t be able to resist returning.

Arguably “Santa Fe’s Best Italian,” Andiamo has snagged 1st place honors for four years running in The Santa Fe Reporter’s Best of Santa Fe annual poll (2008-2011.) Its fans are loyal and happy.

Andatene: Go. Eat. Enjoy.

Located at 322 Garfield Street, in the Railyard District, an easy walk from The Plaza, Andiamo is open for Lunch from 11-2 and from 5:00 PM for Dinner. Some items are available partially-cooked, to be completed and enjoyed at home.  Catering is also available. Tel: 505.995.9595

Creating the Perfect Santa Fe

Solemates, Acrylic on Canvas, by Mark Frossard, 2010

A great deal of ink and shutter snaps have been expended by writers and photographers in their efforts to capture the vivid allure of Santa Fe. The latest effort we ran across was “Celebrate Santa Fe” a piece published in Destinations Travel Magazine.

I’m a bit wary of outsiders’ assessments of Santa Fe, or of any city I know well.  Example: a recent Wall Street Journal piece labeling the Albuquerque area near Gertrude Zachary’s “Castle” –an area which includes the Elements Urban Townhomes, a desirable Green Development– as “Skid Row” and “derelict” is an egregious example of the distorted lens of distance.  But Darlene Perrone’s piece rings true in the main. As she says at the start, “There is no place on earth like Santa Fe….”

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A little over a year ago, Zane Fischer, writer for the Santa Fe Reporter (Zane’s World), wrote a column entitled Mirror, Mirror.  In it, he said:

“On the whole, it appears the time is right for Santa Fe to head into the New Year understanding that accolades from travel magazines are nice, but clear-eyed assessments of how to move into the future are nicer. All of us need to consider the short- and long-term paths to maintaining the city’s integrity and character while positioning it as a genuine center for creative innovation.”

Accolades are nice.  We get a lot of them. But what’s more important than plaudits based on surveys and dreamy sketches by swing-through visitors is a healthy self regard.  Santa Fe isn’t perfect, but it is genuinely and deeply creative. Entities such as the Santa Fe Complex, a matrix of interdisciplinary cross-pollination, show this small town’s remarkable reach for innovative action.

On Monday, I read a piece Creating the Perfect City is About Illusions, Such As Shorter Blocks about a grassroots urban planner working to make his city more vibrant and liveable. Anthony Lyons, the planner, and David Green, an urban designer from Perkins+Will, have teamed up “to re-imagine how we address the challenges cities face in the coming decades.”  They started with the simple question, “What kind of city do we want to be?”

So how ’bout it Santa Fe: what kind of city do we want to be? Through Changing Gallery and this blog, I regularly cast my votes in support of emerging and independent artists and musicians.  Joshua Maes and I are also, through lifestyle, affiliations and advocacy, supporters of sustainability and Green initiatives. There’s a hot debate about incentives for the film industry, and bills under consideration covering education, energy, marriage and many other issues core to our civic identity. What do you think?

Dining Santa Fe: The Green Chile Cheeseburger

NM Dept of Tourism Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail“No state is more passionate about its burger than New Mexico,” states The New Mexico Department of Tourism, a claim that Texas, California, Illinois or half-a-dozen other burger-loving locales might dispute.  But the Land of Enchantment can call first and best for the marriage of burger and green chile.

Chile is what makes New Mexican food New Mexican, versus Mexican or Tex-Mex. Red and Green chile come from the same plant, harvested at different times. Red chile, made from dried, ground pods, has a sweeter, slightly smoky taste. Green chile is to me what pesto was to Genovese sailors: it holds the bright, fresh essence of New Mexican sunshine in a taste.

New Mexico’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, put together by the New Mexico Department of Tourism, is a”[selection of] some four dozen of the state’s outstanding green chile cheeseburger restaurants, cafes, drive-ins, and joints.”  Below– in alphabetical order, not order of preference– are our recommendations for the best local spots in downtown Santa Fe.

Bert’s Burger Bowl: Our usual order is a green chile cheeseburger with a side of sweet potato fries and spicy sauce, but the flavorful gourmet burgers, such as lamb, Kobe Beef and Ostrich– are what really set Bert’s apart. Service is perfunctory. Outdoor seating options are tables on busy Guadalupe or in a plastic-windowed shotgun patio without atmosphere or adequate heat for cool weather. Also note that the Arnold Palmers are made with Sprite, not lemonade. Still, for quick, filling, savory and cheap, Bert’s is a good bet. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ Guy Fieri visited Bert’s in November of 2009. Watch the YouTube.

Bobcat Bite: This small, ever-busy, no-nonsense diner is a perennial Santa Fe Reporter “Best of Santa Fe” winner that has reaped kudos from sources as diverse as GQ, Bon Appetit and The Chicago Tribune.  The thick, juicy 10 ounce burgers are made of choice ground choice whole boneless chuck or sirloin served on a toasty, cornmeal dusted bun.  Homefries extra. Well-worth the 15 minute drive. 420 Old Las Vegas Highway Tel: 505.983.5319 Winter Hours: 11-7:50.

Cowgirl Santa Fe: The Cowgirl’s half-pound choice burger comes with fries and slaw, topped with your choice of cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss or Blue Cheese. Add a dollar for green chile strips and the Cowgirl’s burger is still a bargain relative to other sit-down restaurants.  Plus, the Kaiser Roll beats the typical tasteless, super-soft white bread bun by a yard. Feeling adventurous? For a few dollars more, you can get an Elk, Buffalo or Venison burger, smothered in Green, topped with cheddar, with a salad on the side. Tel: 982.2565; 319 S. Guadalupe St. For hours and Directions, click here.

Santacafé: I haven’t had their Green Chile Cheeseburger and, frankly, this isn’t the sort of fare I seek out at this upscale restaurant known for its American-Southwest-dash-of-Asian fusion cuisine (the Calamari with 4 Chile Lime dipping sauce is a must-try.) But if you want your burger in slightly more sophisticated surroundings, Santa Cafe is a good bet.  The courtyard is a wonderful setting in fair weather. 231 Washington Avenue Tel: 505.984.1788

Second Street Brewery:  The half-pound choice burger can be topped with green chile and cheese for an additional $1.75.  Homemade fries or chips are included, or you can substitute slaw, onion rings, soup, stew or a salad of mixed greens– my usual choice. Quality, handcrafted beers and frequent live music are among the reasons Second Street made the list. The newest location in the Railyard, is walking distance from the Plaza, and hard by Box Gallery and SITE Santa Fe, two of our favorite places for Contemporary Art.  Tel: 989-3278 The original Second Street Brewery is located at 1814 Second Street, near the Pacheco Street Arts District. Tel: 982-3030 The new Second Street is brand new and a tad swankier, but the old building has Ernie– as sensitive and savvy a waiter as you’ll find at any price point.

I put the vote for best Green Chile Cheeseburger out to my friends on Facebook.  The swift and rich response included plugs for Albuquerque eateries (Lumpy’s, Five Star Burger, Duran’s and O’Neill’s) as well as both confirmation (Bobcat Bite) and counterpoint (Rio Chama, Del Charro, Horseman’s Haven, San Francisco Bar & Grill, and El Milagro) for our Santa Fe lineup.

Have an opinion?  Leave your comment below.  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

READERS NOTE: Through the end of the month, you can nominate your favorite candidate for best New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger.  Follow this link to fill out the brief nomination form. Voting runs from March 1st through March 31st, so be sure to check back and cast your vote.

UPDATE:  The burgers made famous by John and Bonnie Eckre at the Bobcat Bite can now be enjoyed at their new location Santa Fe Bite, at the Garrett’s Desert Inn, in downtown Santa Fe on Old Santa Fe Trail.

Party on the Plaza: Southwest Roots Music at the Santa Fe Bandstand

Here’s something I love about my business.

In the course of checking out a house for a client, our paths intersected with Mike Koster, a Director of Southwest Roots Music (SWRM) and the founder and sustaining force behind the Thirsty Ear Festival. Most of us know them as the folks who’ve brought New Mexico the likes of Dr. John, Bo Diddley, Taj Mahal, The Wailers, and Odetta. But Southwest Roots Music is more than just a concert promoter. It’s a nonprofit 501c3 organization “dedicated to increasing awareness of New Mexico as a center for music, to promoting traditional music through educational programs and live performances by local and internationally renowned artists, and to helping strengthen New Mexico’s arts economy.” Click the links to read more on these worthy folks who add dimension to our musical scene.

Tomorrow night, August 3rd, I’m heading downtown for Southwest Roots Music night, featuring Boris and The Saltlicks followed by Po’ Girl.  Mike thought I might like Po’ Girl since I am a fan of Canadian Folk Duo The Be Good Tanyas. We’ll grab a loaf of Clafouti bread, some cheese and salad and make it an evening picnic.

Two years ago, I viewed the Santa Fe Bandstand as a hokey reminder that Santa Fe is, indeed, a small town.  But the city responded to complaints about quality and upped the caliber of featured acts. Right about then was the first year Southwest Roots Music got involved, along with the admirable not-for-profit Outside In Productions (Take a moment; click the link, and READ about their powerful mission.) The changes were so successful, 2010 readers of the Santa Fe Reporter awarded the Plaza Best Outdoor Public Space and the Bandstand concerts Best Community Event or Festival. No polls are perfect, but  Best of Santa Fe 2010 offers a pretty good insight into the tastes of Santa Fe denizens. Scan the calendar for upcoming events and take advantage of just one more offering that makes the City Different a remarkable place to call home.

As for Southwest Roots Music, they’re taking a couple of months off–for the first time in eleven years, but count on Mike to be back in the saddle by winter, bringing us fresh encounters with traditional music.

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For honest, fly-on-the-wall insight on the Santa Fe Art Scene, read Patricia Sauthoff’s piece, Seen in Santa Fe’s Scene: A Critical Look posted on the End of Being’s website.

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Mike Rohner wrote in to let us know he’d have a booth (#121) at the Girls Inc. Arts and Crafts Show on the plaza this weekend with new work.  Mike will be sharing space “with the talented brothers Gino and Viento Natchez” whose work can be seen at Four Winds Gallery. Swing by and support independent and emerging talents.


Earth Day in Santa Fe

Salvia, garden of Allison Rani Moore

For a sustainability-minded community like Santa Fe, Earth Day is more a power surge of ongoing efforts than a shallow and short-lived kumbaya with Mother Nature.  Santa Fe is a recognized leader in sustainability initiatives, an early adopter of  the 2030 Challenge by architect Ed Mazria. Check out the city’s Residential Green Building Code and the Sustainable Santa Fe Plan at the city’s website.

For fun and community profit, take part in one of the many of the Earth Day events happening throughout the weekend. Start off at Warehouse 21 from 7-10 PM tonight where Earth Care’s Youth Allies present an Art and Social Change Show.  On Saturday, head over to the Community Farm at San Isidro Crossing for two major events:  The Earth Day Celebration and Day of Service kicks off at 10 am with service projects followed by a community picnic, demonstrations, a seed giveaway from Seeds of Change, live music and more. Then, from 1-3 PM, Sustainable Santa Fe will be honoring local heros of sustainability and best practices at its annual awards ceremony.  Details at the Earth Care International website.

Also happening this weekend, from 10-4, Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25, in downtown Santa Fe at the Hilton near the Plaza, a free Sustainability E

Chokecherry in garden of Allison Rani Moore

xpo with Free Sustainability Workshops and presentations by local businesses and not-for-profits. Topics include:

* Drip Irrigation
* Composting
* Solar Ovens
* Tree Planting
* Solar PV Systems
* What’s in Your Water and How to Remove Contaminants
* Using Grey Water to Make Your Garden Grow

Find more information at the Facebook Fan Page for Sustainable Santa Fe hosted by Taylor Selby Selby himself will be at the Positive Energy Booth at the Expo on Sunday.

Gardeners shouldn’t miss the 6th Annual Garden Fair this Saturday, 10-4 at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds, as mentioned in my previous post, Controlling Chaos. Savor Allison Moore’s luscious landscape designs at her website Spirit of the Garden.  Read up on Xeriscape Council of New Mexico and other local landcrafters and learn how lush and beautiful a low water landscape can be.

Finally, for a more expanded look at Santa Fe’s environmental scene, read Earth Day A-Z by Laura Paskus at the Santa Fe Reporter.

This week on Santa Fe’s Emerging, Indie and Alt Creative Scene

Never underestimate the power of a cheeseball.

Forty some years ago, my southern-born mama started making cheeseballs for The Sorry Muthas: a Minneapolis based folk band. Before the band went off on tour, mom would fill doubled up paper sacks from the local Red Owl grocery store with oranges, crackers and other substantive snacks.  Cheeseballs were her way of ensuring the band “got a little nutrition.”  Overtime, she and my father opened their hearts and home to support their musical family, hiring them to play at parties, spotting them cash, even offering the fiddler, Bill Hinkley, a home in our basement, and the harmonica player, Soupy Schindler, space in our Chicago attic after we moved to the Windy City. Whatever the Muthas got, they gave back with interest, enriching our lives with their skills, intelligence, humor, and of course, their music.

Mom passed away more than 20 years ago, but I do my best to hold the spirit of the cheeseball aloft.  For the past year, my business partner, Joshua Maes, and I have used our real estate listings in downtown Santa Fe to showcase the work of emerging and independent artists and musicians.  100% of the proceeds from any sale go to the artist. We’re happy to report at least 14 sales that took place at or following one of our Art Open Houses. I also use the forum of this blog to report on the people and events of Santa Fe’s alternative, independent and emerging arts scene, since, at this writing, there is no formal one-stop resource for such information.  (I do commend The Santa Fe Reporter for its community calendar.)  A couple of times, I’ve thrown in information on Albuquerque players, including photographer David Bram, Fraction Mag, and [AC]2

Up to now, I have been tucking alt arts info into the tail of my blogposts and rotating, somewhat awkwardly, between reviews of our openings, artists, local businesses and real estate, constantly worrying that if you came for one, you might not want to look at the other.

But here it is:  I am an art lover, an ad hoc mentor, an enthusiast for entrepreneurial energy, a proud citizen of Santa Fe, and a real estate agent. In me, all those passions are reconciled.  By offering emerging and independent artists and musicians a place to be seen and heard, I am attempting to support the people and activities that make my chosen home more interesting, vibrant and dimensional.  I am also hoping these efforts will help attract and retain young people who are a vital component of our  community. I support and showcase local businesses I know to be doing good work because I hope that you will use their goods and services and keep them in business.  And, yes, I do talk about real estate because that’s my day job of choice and something I care to see done well.

So, when you visit my blog, you may find some words on real estate, an update on an emerging artist, a restaurant review or interview with a business owner.  You can focus on just one subject using the tabs.  But my hope is that you will take a look at whatever befalls you. It’s just my cheeseball, but never discount the collective power of small acts; witness the enormous grassroots response to the quake in Haiti.  Hope to hear from you.

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Didn’t get word on much this week, but a shoutout to Alt Curator Red Cell  and The End of Being, a news magazine and Esoteric Guide to Difficult and Unusual Art, Music, Film, People and Ideas he cohosts with Patricia Sauthoff, former Arts and Entertainment editor of the Santa Fe Reporter. Good things starting in March through The Process, Red Cell’s alternative curatorial wing.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 5TH, 2012:

If you’re in Minneapolis on February 12th, don’t forget to catch the 30th annual Battle of the Jug Bands at the Nomad World Pub.  “The oldest Jug Band Gathering in the Known Universe.” Three former Muthas, Papa John Kolstad, Bob Stelnicki and Cal Hand, will be playing. Whatever your musical leanings, the passion of these battles is a joyous thing to hear and watch.

Santa Baby: Santa Fe Hangs its Stockings at Mayor’s Economic Forum

The Mayor’s Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth was held last Friday morning at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, in downtown Santa Fe.  The forum, moderated by Santa Fe Reporter columnist Zane Fischer, began with a panel of local economic players followed by community input.  The choice of Fischer, an independent voice from an alternative weekly rag, provided an interesting counterpoint to the more establishment face of the panel.  As moderator, Fischer did a commendable job containing the public’s nervous, angry and diffuse energy into two minute bitstreams, gently “tasering” those who exceeded their time with humor or a touch of tough love.

Jon Hendry, business agent at IATSE local 480, the local union branch of employees in the film and television, caught our attention with compelling numbers and stories of immediate employment opportunities through the film and TV industry. “These are jobs for our young people,” Hendry said, and pitched the urgent need for a studio in the Santa Fe environs. Michael Halsey and Santa Fe Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem, Rebecca Warzburger, both cited the need for affordable housing. For highlights from these and other panel members (Marie Longserre, Fidel Gutierrez–Randy Grissom was present, but not filmed due to a technical glitch) check out Joshua Maes’ video below.

Suggestions from the citizenry ranged widely in their usefulness, clarity and relevance. Some sought to create a greater whole by interlinking several sectors of the community.  Others had a more narrow agenda.  And then there were the odd, out there and occasional “dangit, it’s my moment to rant” folks. Indeed the need to vent made me think that perhaps a Truth and Reconciliation Commission style opportunity might be in order as a way to clear the way for dialogue and cooperation.

Many people are frustrated and rightly so.  But as Fischer noted at the outset, what was most needed and most likely to be effective were ideas “that inform policy.”  As it was, good points and suggestions landed like multiple balls on a playing field–usable, but unclear which one to kick towards the goal.

Mayor Coss’ Vision of Santa Fe’s future economy, projected on a screen at the start of the forum, defined an ideal Santa Fe with the following terms: creative center; high wage jobs; strong middle class; vibrant youth culture; leadership in sustainability; innovation center for environmental and other technology, art, cultural and science capital.  Happily, many of these aspirations already apply, although they cry to be expanded.

“Business, banking, and our not-for-profits can very likely make something magic happen here in Santa Fe.  We’ve seen it before; we know we can do it again,”  said Coss in his opening statement.  We, too, believe in Santa Fe’s magic it and look forward to more.  Meantime, we’ll do our parts to swell Santa Fe stockings through our support of local artists, musicians, business owners and other creative and entrepreneurial lights who work to make the City Different such a great place to call home. We hope you’ll do the same.

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This week in Santa Fe’s alt/indie/emerging cultural scene….

A couple of weeks ago, we attended the REAL closing night of MeowWolf’s GEODEcedant exhibition (extended run) at which we met Benjie who gave us a guided tour of the exhibit.  Benjie’s a hurdy gurdy of creative intelligence churning out brilliance, curiosity and buoyant good nature. This coming Saturday, from 5-9 and again Sunday, from 2-7, the boys at Meow Wolf will be spinning another experiential wonder with the opening of OmegaMart. “…bringing quality affordable art product to the citizens of Santa Fe just in time for the 2009 holiday shopping season…” If GEODEcedant is any indication, you will grin like a kid at OmegaMart.  Meow Wolf is raw, catch-it-while-it’s-local-and-affordable talent.

Just discovered Fraction Magazine, “an online venture promoting and exploring emerging photographic artists” conceived in an Albuquerque coffee shop by Joshua Spees and David Bram and sustained by Bram and Melanie McWhorter.  Bram’s blog offers thoughtful words and pics from a photographer, dad and reflective human. Check out Fraction’s recent post on the future of photography books and the Fraction Magazine Holiday Print Sale.

Friday, December 18th, is the last night to catch the musical wave at Annapurna Restaurant on Alameda. Hear Monsoon 6, featuring Dave Decibel, from 6-9 tonight. Steve Brisk writes, “Hopefully a new venue will be found soon.  Lets end this series with a bang!”

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Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale. Currently displaying work by Mark Frossard, Laird Hovland, Jonathan Tercero at 133 Sombrio in Casa Solana, downtown Santa Fe. To schedule an appointment, call: 231.7598. For up-to-date market info and full access to the MLS, visit: Santa Fe Real Estate Downtown.

Mad Science Brewing in Downtown Santa Fe

-2In the heart of downtown Santa Fe’s South Capitol district, a Mad Scientist is stirring a cauldron of mind-spurring experiments and impressionable young minds to create a new generation of revolutionary thinkers.

At least that’s her hope.

Once a week, age-clustered groups of students gather to  build electric motors, dissect plants, peer at small things through microscopes, assemble and launch a hovercraft and otherwise engage in scientific play.  Sprung from the head of Janette Fischer, a PhD Biologist with a Masters in Elementary Education, The Mad Scientists’ Clubhouse is an after school program designed to give kids–”Natural Born Scientists–an opportunity to see just how much fun science can be.

“More and more, because lack of money in the schools, teachers will perform an experiment like a magic trick. Students just watch and take notes, ” says Fischer.   The Mad Scientists’ Clubhouse is an ongoing opportunity for children to explore entertaining scientific questions “with guidance and encouragement, but without pressure or haste.”

“Some students who come to the Clubhouse used to love science, but are now sick of it because it’s become all talk.  There’s no license to make mistakes because there’s no time or money for it. Yet, some of the best scientific discoveries have been made because of scientific error.”

Currently, Fischer offers classes on Wednesdays (grades 1-3) and Thursdays (grades 4-6), from 3-5 PM.  The next semester starts the week of January 11.  The  popular program usually fills up, but with enough demand, Fischer will add a third class on Tuesdays. For more information, call: 505.982.0677.

A Hovercraft

A Hovercraft

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This Week on the Santa Fe Creative Scene…

Friday marks the opening of the first annual Santa Fe Independent 2009 Film Festival, featuring underground, experimental and art films from around the world.  This invitational event begins Friday at 5PM and runs through Sunday at 9:30 PM.  The 10th annual Santa Fe Film Festival opens tonight and runs through Sunday.

Also on Friday, head over to the Baca St. Studios for the Annual Baca Street Arts Tour and a chance to sample new chocolate creations by Ryan and Beth Helean’s House of Sin. Sculptor Laird Hovland will be showing five new bronze pieces.  Artist Erika Wanenmacher, will be offering discounts at Ditch Witch.  For more info, check out Charlotte Jusinski’s preview in the Santa Fe Reporter or call 505.820.2222 for maps and info. Show runs Friday Dec. 4th- 5-9pm, Sat Dec. 5th 10-4pm and Sun Dec. 6th 10-4pm.

From 5-7 PM, The Lisa Chun Gallery, 533 Agua Fria Street, will be having a Holiday show and sale featuring artwork by Ben Haggard and Lisa Chun.  Chun’s handsome collage work merges poetic word with voluptuous image.  Look for 20% off on smaller items.

On Sunday the 6th from 1-3pm, Mike Tait Tafoya will be playing at The Collected Works Bookstore at 202 Galisteo St #A  (505) 988-4226.

Also of note, Alt Curator, Red Cell, has launched The End of Being, a news magazine and Esoteric Guide to Difficult and Unusual Art, Music, Film, People and Ideas.  One stop shopping for all the unusual stuff that draws Red’s roving mind.  Co-hosted by Patricia Sauthoff, former Arts and Entertainment editor of the Santa Fe Reporter. Watch for an interview with Red in a later blogpost.

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Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale. Currently displaying work by Mark Frossard, Laird Hovland, Jonathan Tercero at the Bella Donna, 111 East Santa Fe Ave. To schedule an appointment, call: 231.7598. For up-to-date market info and full access to the MLS, visit: Santa Fe Real Estate Downtown.

Santa Fe Art Scene: Substance over Style

"Suppertime"-Mark Frossard

"Suppertime"-Mark Frossard

Sure, Santa Fe was crowned a UNESCO Creative City in 2005 (for folk art and design) and has apparent squatter’s right in the Small Cities category of American Style’s annual poll on the top 25 arts destinations.  We’re known for the Canyon Road art galleries, the opera, Indian Market, Spanish Market and most recently, the International Folk Art Market. We’ve got SOFA, SITE Santa Fe, The Santa Fe Film Festival, The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, not to mention the smorgasbord of dance, music, performance and film laid out at The Lensic.  Photographers flock here for the light, the galleries and the excellent workshops.  “In no other state of this union is the trend of life so clearly shaped by art as in New Mexico.” Edgar Lee Hewett, first director of the Museum of New Mexico, said this 100 years ago, and it may still be true.  But to my mind, the real measure of our civic creativity lies not in our institutions, but in our individual creative drive, the ingenuity and I’m-an-artist-if-I-say-so moxie of the denizens of the City Different.

You’ll find plenty to do just by checking out the Santa Fe Arts and Culture Calendar, the website for the Santa Fe Gallery Association, the Pasatiempo calendar , or the SFR Picks page in the Arts and Culture section of the Santa Fe Reporter. But to tap the depths of Santa Fe’s creative soul,  take a chance on something new. There’s a goldsteam of cultural riches that ride under the radar of many visitors and residents.

Tonight, October 30th, from 5-9 PM,  Meow Wolf, a collective of multimedia artists who pool their talents to create dynamic, “must see”, installation events, has an opening for “GEODEcedant” at their home on Second Street.  Also on Second Street, from 6-9 PM, is the opening for “Inner Demons” at Ahalenia Studios.  On Saturday night, starting at 5 PM, Baca Street Studios is having a Halloween Party, featuring the music of Sean Helean, the grand opening of Erika Wanenmacher‘s Ditch Witch Store, “fire dancers, and other spectacular wonders.”

"Chicano on Alto St"-Carlo Armendariz

"Chicano on Alto St"-Carlo Armendariz

People sometimes lament Santa Fe’s limits.  The music scene has seen its ebbs and swells and more than one fine musical venue has washed out on a mysterious tide.  But while one kid complains of a lack of toys, another kid builds castles in the sand. Like Meow Wolf, local alt curator Red Cell, is working “to bring audience and artists together in a unique way” through his non-profit group, The Process, which pulls together a distinct mix of music, art, film, spoken word and performance art.

I’ll close with a shameless plug for a few of our favorite indie and up-and-coming arts: Mark Frossard (artist and blogger) showing in downtown Santa Fe at 111 East Santa Fe Ave., sculptor Laird Hovland, photographer and musician Carlo Armendariz, photographer Jonathan Tercero, whose work currently hangs at Java Joe’s DeVargas location, and Michael Tait Tafoya (playing tonight, and most Fridays, at Vino del Corazon at the corner of Alameda and Don Gaspar).  This weekend, step out of the mainstream and treat yourself to something different in the City Different.

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Real estate agents Malissa Kullberg and Joshua Maes, AKA Changing Gallery, use their listings, where appropriate, to showcase the art, photography, sculpture and other creations of emerging and independent talents. Artists receive 100% of the proceeds from any sale. For up-to-date market info and full access to the MLS, visit: Santa Fe Real Estate Downtown.

Dining Santa Fe: Best New Mexican

Last week, The Santa Fe Reporter released its much anticipated Best of Santa Fe issue, the results of an annual reader poll ( SFReporter.com.) While we share a number of favorites, our short list for best New Mexican does not include this year’s multiple-category winner, Tomasita’s (although they do make fine sopapillas and fabulous honey butter.)  Check them all out and  send us your vote.

The Shed: Dependable excellence and charming atmosphere make this downtown spot just a block off The Plaza a mainstay for locals and tourists alike.  Good selection of non New Mexican fare if your party includes both the chile seeking and the chile adverse. We like the #10–one, blue corn, cheese enchilada and one, blue corn taco with chicken or beef.  The Chicken Enchilada Verde, with roasted chicken, is also quite good.  Carne Adovada with its deep red chile flavor is a popular item. The chile–especially, the red, is hot. If your palate or stomach favors milder fare, try the excellent Grilled Chicken, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad, or the mushroom soup– light, creamy and nicely textured with bits of fresh mushroom.  Garlic bread is a surprisingly but pleasant side. Posole is regretably bland.  Expect a wait of at least 40 minutes for dinner, a little less for lunch, but don’t let that deter you from trying what is arguably Santa Fe’s best New Mexican restaurant. * Lunch: 11:00-2:30; Dinner: 5:30-9:00 RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED * 113 1/2 E. Palace Ave. * 982.9030

Marias: Famous for its 100+ margaritas, Maria’s  takes the crown for the best local posole: full flavored, not too spicy, graced with chunks of braised pork and slivers of menudo.  We like the open faced tacos with beef and chicken as well as the enchiladas. The fajitas, served on a sizzling iron platter, have bright, deep flavor, and come with sides of tasty guacamole, fresh pico de gallo, and house made flour tortillas. The Garlic Butter New York (steak) also gets high marks.  Vegetarians have a few options, including cheese enchiladas, bean burritos and guacamole tacos.  Re: margaritas: Maria’s consistently wins polls for best margarita,  even earning the moniker “The Motherlode of Margaritas” from the Seattle Times. The range and variety of offerings bedazzle, like the flashing legs of a chorus line, but it’s the quality of ingredients that really brings home the accolades.  Maria’s only uses “real” tequila (made with at least 51% agave juice, although I’ve never had a Maria’s marg made with less than 100%) distilled and produced in Mexico and shuns mixes and flavorings in preference for freshly squeezed lemon juice and triple sec, etc. To avoid watering down the final product, the margaritas are shaken, not blended.  Denizen’s of lower altitudes, be forewarned, Maria’s margaritas are strong. Drink with restraint and respect.   555 W. Cordova Rd. *983.7929

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