Santa Fe, New Mexico
Русская версия This time we will tell about the unusual city in New Mexico state, where Nastya was lucky to travel for a conference. New Mexico became approximately 27th US state, however, very different from the rest. At first, it seems to be a usual American town.
And then it turns out to be quite outstanding. Santa Fe once was the part of New Spain and Mexico; this part of history influenced its architecture, population, and even modern businesses.
According to Wikipedia, Santa Fe is now populated by:
• whites — 46,2 % (in 1970 — 98,2 %)
• latinos — 48,7 %
• Native Americans — 2,1 %
• Asians — 1,4 %
In Santa Fe, Nastya stayed in the Motel 6 in the center. When we had been living and travelling around the US, Vitya always wanted to stay in a motel, as in the real American movie, but we never did. Nastya made this dream come true, without Vitya though. It was an authentic experience, indeed. This is an example of a motel construction
Photo from google.com
The rooms smell with tobacco (although smoking is not allowed), the walls are very thin (while the visitors often do not sleep at nights), people are sometimes weird. Once, at 4 am a crazy guy was trying to break into the next room, demanding his 400 bucks back from the „whore“. The police arrived. But, in general, Nastya did not regret about her stay. By the way, the motel is conveniently situated in the city center.
The small town of Santa Fe has a lot of tourists coming not only to enjoy its unusual architecture and atmosphere, but also to buy the objects of art. Santa Fe has lots of shops selling the art created by different groups of Indians; for instance, one of them, Keshi, is dedicated to the jewelry, ceramics, and amulets made by Zuni – local tribe once very well described by anthropologist Ruth Benedict. Benedict classified the tribal societies to benevolent, aggressive, and destructive, placing Zunis into the category of benevolent tribes. Hostility and violence along with the institutes of repression were the least represented here: there were almost no crimes, punishments, and wars initiated by Zunis. Children were grown up in the friendly atmosphere here; men and women were and are equals. No wonder that it was easy to organize business for Zuni, although the shop turned out to be rather expensive.
Santa Fe has lots of shops like this, selling items made by different tribes as well as Russian, Polish art, or, for instance, comics. Most of them are quite expensive, but also great just to watch as in the museum. There are whole galleries dedicated to the art of one person, like this one:
Most of the shops are grouped around Plaza:
But Santa Fe has lots of other attractions. For example, occasional churches:
The Canyon Road of Contemporary Art, about a kilometer away from the center is full of the galleries and decorated with multiple sculptures:
Here one can also find the Kakawa Café offering more than 10 kinds of hot chocolate.
Not far from the town, there is a Museum Hill with an incredibly excellent Museum of Folk Art. Even though its name sounds traditional and boring, the displays of the naïve art from different countries (including Russia) are very unusual.
There are even more attractions outside of the town. First, the landscape of the desert situated 7000 feets above the sea level is quite unique.
Second, here one can find not only natural wonders, but also Indian settlements, very different in their languages and traditions. Next time we will tell about one of the most well-known pueblos – Taos – the oldest continuously inhabited community in the US (link).