Saturday, August 30, 2008

Santa Fe Indian Market Part 5

Finally, the last post about the Indian Market. I'm including so many posts because we had such a wonderful time.

It's been interesting, talking with locals about the event. Apparently, once again, we lucked out and this year was different from all the others. While probably not great for those selling, there were markedly less people attending, bad for them, good for us. The crowds were in attendance but not to such a degree as to make for a bad experience for those attending (like us!).

The weather was beautiful and it was an exciting introduction to the downtown Plaza of Santa Fe. I took LOTS of pictures, but will only share a few with you.

As with all parts of New Mexico, the skies here are beautiful. I can't seem to keep my camera pointing down, of its own volition it seems to keep pointing up!

We've heard that up until five years ago, if you built in Santa Fe, it HAD to be adobe. While these rules have been relaxed lately, it certainly gives the city a particular charm.Here's a shot heading down the Market towards St Francis Cathedral. This is the site of the original mission that was burnt during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. As you walk down the avenue, it dominates the horizon.

Here's a closer shot of the Cathedral. This was the site of the Mayan dances we posted a few days ago.

The Cathedral is beautiful inside, and while photography is allowed, they are refreshing the interior for an upcoming celebration. There's scaffolding everywhere and lots of work in progress, so I couldn't get a lot of photos.

I did get this shot of some of the hand painted trim. The extends around this huge cathedral and is quite beautiful.

I was also able to get one shot of these stained glass windows. Unfortunately I had to shoot through glass, so the photo isn't quite sharp. That said, I thought the sun coming through the glass was so ethereal, I wanted to include it here. I also liked the shadows of the hanging lamps.

This is a shot that intrigued me. It's one of those old pull down metal staircases attached to the side of a building. I thought the clouds and sky through the slats was so lovely. remember to click on any image for a larger view.

Santa Fe is teeming with public art, it is literally everywhere, I have hopes of shooting more, but it seems and unending task. This is the front of a gallery on the Plaza. The piece stands about eight feet high.

Downtown Santa Fe reminds me of Sausalito or Carmel. That's both a good thing and not so good, but in this climate at this time of year, it's delightful.

The picture above is Burro Alley, usually full of outdoor cafe tables, During Indian Market, there were potters set up in this spot.

The next picture is the entrance to Burro Alley.

And here's a closeup of the "street sign". Again, the public art is everywhere.

As we were walking along, we saw this entrance to an older drug store. This style of old tile work always attracts me. This reminded me of downtown Cheyenne, Wyoming, where so much of this vintage tile work still exists.

Now I want you to take a good look at the pictures above, the beautiful blue skies and the white puffy clouds.

It was a lovely day and suddenly the skies opened up and within ten minutes, it looked like this.

You may not be able to tell in this picture, but these gutters were more than ankle deep. Within a few minutes, it was overflowing onto the sidewalks, causing most of the vendors to close up shop.

It also pretty much cleared out the foot traffic. We stayed for a bit, got completely drenched and finally packed it in.

In New Mexico, they say if you don't like the weather, just wait a while and it will change.

And it does, but we love it!

Life is good, and so was the Indian Market on the Plaza in Santa Fe!

Santa Fe Indian Market Part 4

One of the things we really enjoyed at the Indian Market was all the entertainment. Not only did we get to see an array of varied art and artists, but there was quality entertainment around every corner.

My favorite was a Pueblo dancer named Marcos Saiz, who was accompanied by the Enchanted Lands Singers. For starters, his costume was stunning, but it was his dancing that really attracted the crowds.

There were lots of people around, so I apologize for some of these photos, the conditions were far from ideal.

I included this because it shows the detail of his amazing head dress. Make sure to click to enlarge so you can see all the detail.

In addition to the colorful outfit, the makeup was beautiful.

I wanted to include this shot because it shows just a bit of the performers personality.

We so enjoyed the Indian Market, I have one more series of photos of the Market, then I'll put up some other shots of Santa Fe.

Life is really good, we're having a ball.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Santa Fe Indian Market Part 3

I'm going to continue my entries on the Indian Market with a selection of some of my favorite artwork from the show.

The selections were so varied, it was overwhelming. In looking at my photos, I realized that I didn't take any pictures of baskets, so forgive me.

That said, here's a minor representation of the thousands of pieces we saw.

I couldn't decide whether to start or finish with this piece. Just let me say that pictures will not in any way do it justice.

This is a doeskin dress, decorated with a combination of seed beads, porcupine quills and Swarovski crystals. I did my best to get a good photo, but make sure you click for a larger version. The bead work is exquisite.

Here's one more piece by the same artist. I sorry to say I can't find my notes to give her name, (I have a severe case of CRS). Her bead work was far and away superior to anything else we saw.

These next three were taken from the car window as we were looking for a parking space! I'm not sure if these were meant to be permanent displays or were just there for Indian Market. As you can see, they were on the back of trucks, but what you can't see is that they are all mobile.

I think the elephant was y favorite,his ears moved ever so slightly in the wind.

The buffalo was so solid looking, we saw no movement from him. The way they had him secured made him look ike a pack animal.

Ah, the jewelry, my true downfall. I loved the inlaid work. The quality at the market was superb.
The pottery was, of course outstanding. This little pot with the spotted frogs was my very favorite. We were told a story of these frogs, that they come out at a certain time in the potters village in Mexico. Look closely and you'll see they have brown and green spots.

Another inlaid piece. The precision of this work is so beautiful.

Thus piece of marble was a knockout. The Artist encouraged you to touch it. Truly a Master Carver. I love the idea of him looking at a block of marble and seeing this.

And that's it for now.

Like I say, these are just a tiny representation of what we saw. It was a unique event and one we hope to attend again in the future.

More to follow . . .

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Santa Fe Indian Market Part 2

This first set features the Mayan dancers. This was a troupe of three dancers, one man and two women. It was only after I got home and looked at the shots that I realized I had failed to photograph one of the dancers!

As always, remember to click on any image for a larger version.

I admit, I was fascinated by this costume. The intricacy was so beautiful in the sunlight.

This shot shows the lady dancers head dress from the back.

I've included this shot so you can get some idea of the movement.

Another shot of the head dresses. These dances took place in front of a cathedral in the heart of Santa Fe. A beautiful sculpture garden surrounds the church. We hope to go back later and take some more shots of the statuary.

I liked the juxtaposition of the waving head dress and the stoic statue.

One more shot of the back of these intricate head dresses.

It was interesting to see these dancers as opposed to the Native American dancers. Similar yet completely unique, it was quite stirring.

I LOVE the Indian Market.

More to follow . . .

Santa Fe Indian Market Part 1

We decided to come to Santa Fe because we heard that the annual Indian Market was this weekend. To fully enjoy it, we went both yesterday and today.

WOW, what an experience.

First let me say that we have pretty much avoided large crowded venues for the last three years, so we were just a bit nervous that this might be a bit too much.

To our delight, the weather yesterday was just perfect, about 78 degrees. While it was crowded, it was never shoulder to shoulder. We were always able to see everything we wished. It was perfect.

Today, it was a bit clouded over. After a bit the heavens opened up with a true New Mexico gullywasher, but you know what? We didn't mind a bit, we just got wet. While others were huddling in doorways and under canopies, we just walked and enjoyed ourselves. The only problem we encountered was how squeaky my shoes got when they were wet. If you wear Crocs, be aware, when completely soaked, you'll sound like a duck walking down the road. If that's the worst problem I encounter, how lucky am I?

I have a lot of pictures to share which I'll put up in the next couple of blogs. Not much text, mostly images, and far too many for one blog entry. For now, I'll just give you a shot of the trees above the plaza in Santa Fe. Be sure to click for a larger image.

More to follow. . .

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Change of Plans (revised)

I received the following comment about my most recent post.

"I know you're not fussy about spelling, but when your blog refers to "Villa Nueva" (a municipality in Guatemala) or "Villa Nuevo" (a resort in Mexico), your readers who might be interested in going to the state park won't have much luck finding it, or finding out about it. You might want to correct it to "Villanueva," which is the name of the New Mexico state park shown on maps and websites."

I have corrected my errors in the revised post (below) and would like to offer full apologies to my readers.

I will certainly try to be more careful in the future. After all, I wouldn't want anyone to drive all the way to Guatemala to find us, only to learn that we're actually in New Mexico. . .

No sooner did we decide to take off for Villanueva State Park than I got an email from the New Mexico Tourism Board that the world's largest Santa Fe Indian Market would be taking place this weekend.

Well, since we have no schedule, we decided that Santa Fe it would be!

We have friends who pastor a small church in Santa Fe and they have extended an open invitation, so we gave them a call, and here we are! The parking lot is large and manicured in such a way that there's plenty of room for us and we have this glorious view.

What a lovely property, who would have guessed?

Here's the view out our window, and more will follow.

Life is Good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

a Change of Plans

No sooner did we decide to take off for Villa Nuevo State Park than I got an email from the New Mexico Tourism Board that the world's largest Santa Fe Indian Market would be taking place this weekend.

Well, since we have no schedule, we decided that Santa Fe it would be!

We have friends who pastor a small church in Santa Fe and they have extended an open invitation, so we gave them a call, and here we are! The parking lot is large and manicured in such a way that there's plenty of room for us and we have this glorious view.

What a lovely property, who would have guessed?

Here's the view out our window, and more will follow.

Life is Good.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just One Picture

I have a lot of pictures to upload, but I have this one that I just love and wanted to put up before I forget . . .

PLEASE, click to enlarge, and maybe you'll understand why we love New Mexico so much.

Life is Good

Thursday, August 14, 2008


We had the most amazing hailstorm the other day. It was falling from the sky, the size of large marbles.

The sound on the roof was deafening, we couldn't hear each other it was so loud.

The just as quick as it started, it was over.

Once again the sky was blue, the grass was green and the air was so sweet smelling, heaven.

We were enjoying the entire experience when a group (gaggle?) of geese came walking down the road, proud as can be. (Remember to click on any image for a larger view.)

This fellow seemed to be in charge. As they were marching along, he seemed to be shouting "Follow Me, Boys"!

We took a walk around teh park and a good fifteen minutes after the hailstorm, there were still stones scattered in the grass.

The weather was mild, it wasn't cold at all, but they just weren't melting.

The weather here is a never ending source of pleasure, as are the skies. It seems that we always have the choice of different weather patterns to watch, depending on the direction you gaze.

This is the lake just minutes after the storm, while behind us it was still all dark and gloomy.

One final shot of the geese. It seems the rain and hail had unearthed a bounty of rare treasures for them to dine on. They were there for perhaps an hour, meandering around and grazing, then they just flew away.

Life is good, and quite lovely.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spicy Corn Chowder

We've had access to lots of fresh veggies lately so I've been cooking even more than usual.

With all this bounty available, one thing I just can't resist is fresh corn. We've been eating a lot of it lately, not so much that we're actually bored with it, but enough that I started looking for different ways to serve it.

I came across a recipe for fresh corn chowder and decided to give it a try. The first time, it was good, but not great, then I started playing with it and I'm happy to say that now it's just about perfect, so I thought I'd share.

You start with six to eight ears of fresh corn. Now I guess you could use frozen corn, but it's really not the same. You want that milk that comes out of the cob when it's fresh to get the really good flavor.

The idea is to get the corn off the cob, along with all the liquid you can. I put a small bowl in the center of a large bowl, place the cob firmly on the small bowl and, using a sharp knife, just strip the corn down into the bowl. After you're gotten the first of the corn off, dig in a bit harder to get all the milk from the cob. Save the cobs, you'll use them later. I need to mention that I saw this corn stripping method on the Food Channel, and if I could remember the show, I'd give credit, but sadly, my memory fails me again!

After you have all the corn cleaned, chop up an onion and some garlic. I like a lot of garlic so I usually use four or five cloves, but do as you like.

Now take a large pan and heat up some oil to get the onions and garlic all nice and soft. At this point, I like to take one Chipotle Pepper and chop it up fine and dump it in, along with about two teaspoons of the Chipotle juice. Stir it all up till mixed well and add the corn.

A note on Chipotle Chilis. I buy them canned and then put them in a special little resealable container and always have them in the fridge. I always use the same resealable container, because the chilis are quite strong, so by using the same container, I don't ruin a bunch of them. Depending on how often you use them, they should last a month or better. When I want some nice smoky heat, I always go with Chipotle Chilis, they're just so flavorful!

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

So now you have a big pot of onions, garlic, chili and corn. Crank the heat up and using a wooden spoon, stir till the whole mixture is warmed through. Now add about 6 cups or so of chicken or vegetable broth.

At this point, I like to season the whole pot, so take a sip and see what it needs. I add kosher salt, black pepper and usually a hit or two of Cholula Hot Sauce or Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning. Sometimes I use both! Just get a bit of heat going. You want it to taste like a sweet rich corn soup with a teensy after bite on your lips.

Now you want to add the corn cobs (I usually break them into several pieces) and bring the whole pot up to a boil. Now cut the heat so you have a good simmer and let it go for thirty minutes or so.

Now pull the corn cobs out and discard them. They should have released any hidden flavor by this time. Again, check your seasonings. Now, get out your stick blender (you do have a stick blender, don't you?) and mix the whole thing up till it's smooth and creamy. If, by some oversight, you don't have a stick blender, you can put it in a blender, but really, the stick blender is so much easier! Anyhow, one way or another, you want to get it smooth.

Now some folks like to strain their corn chowder, but I like all that roughage, so I don't strain, but that's a personal choice.

Now add anywhere from one half to a whole cup of heavy cream. Yeah, I know, but it really makes a difference in the finished taste and texture. I also like to add about one half cup to one cup sour cream, you can use fat free if you like. Once again, check those seasonings and warm the whole pot through.

Now you can sit down and prepare to be transported!

I like to serve this with a bit of chopped red pepper on top, or with some red pepper puree, but really, it's yummy all by itself.

We had it tonight with a loaf of fresh baked bread and we are Happy Campers.

Life is Good.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Photos from Las Vegas

I just thought I'd post a few of the pictures we've been taking from around this area.

This is the view out our big picture windows, taken at sunset. As I've mentioned before, there's just something about the light here.

And I'm bad, but I can't remember the exact name of this old Hotel, but it's a beauty. It sits right next to the Train Station, which now does double duty as a Train Station AND the Visitors Center for the city.

I liked the tree framing this shot, just one of the many old beautiful buildings here in Las Vegas.

You can see a lot of different building materials here. I really like it when you see these beautiful old brick walls combined with the native rock. Remember you can always click on any photo for a larger version.

Here's some of the vintage ironwork from the Train Station. Not a great photo, but I liked the curlicues.

Another beautiful old building.

I couldn't resist including this flower, I LOVE the pink against the blue sky.

This is just a bit of architectural detail from the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas. The plaza here is lovely, old buildings, a tree shrouded park, it's like an old movie set.

More from the plaza.

Here's the bandstand that sits in the center of the plaza.

This is one of the very old buildings on the plaza, it now houses a store.

This detail from the above store. So many of this kind of adornment has either been removed or fallen into disrepair, it was kind of like being back in the thirties to see it.

All of the following shots were taken at Storrie lake, most from our campsite. I REALLY like it here.

That light again.

And the skies . . .

I've looked these guys up in my books, and the best I can find is that they're some kind of a tiny squirrel. There's a lot of them around here, we see them scampering everywhere. We also keep lights on under the rig so they don't decide to take up residence in Cholula Red!

And one more shot of the lake and skies. Pretty wonderful, huh

We like it here, and boy, is Life ever Good.