Santa Fe for Sale

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico may not literally be for sale, but it sure seems as if everything else in town is. The downtown Plaza, listed as a National Historic Landmark, struck us as a giant adobe shopping mall. Street front stores sell everything from tourist memorabilia to art. Nearby passageways open to larger interior malls with even more retail options. Outside, street merchants pedal crafts and Native American jewelry. Santa Fe is a shopper’s paradise. Fortunately for us, though, there is plenty more to see and do in New Mexico’s state capitol.

Santa Fe ShoppingWith at least nine different museums to its credit, we had no shortage of cultural activities to explore. A short walk from the Plaza shops took us to the only museum in the world dedicated to an internationally known American woman artist. The Georgia O’Keeffe museum displays over 1,100 of her works, making it the largest collection in the world. What better way to introduce ourselves to Northern New Mexico than through the eyes of one of the region’s most celebrated artists?

Even the capitol building is an art museum. On our travels we’ve found various state capitols to be worthy tourist stops owing to both their price (free) and their often fantastic architecture. But it wasn’t the capitol’s unique round design, constructed to represent a Zia Sun Symbol, that drew us this time, it was the over 600 contemporary works by New Mexico artists that line its halls.

Down the road, the Romanesque Revival architecture of Saint Francis Cathedral stands in dramatic contrast to the rounded adobe structures that dominate Santa Fe.

Saint Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe New Mexico

Equally impressive is the “miraculous staircase” of nearby Loretto Chapel. Upon construction of the church the builders discovered that they didn’t design enough room for a normal staircase to reach the second story choir loft. The sisters didn’t feel comfortable using ladders so, according to legend, the nuns prayed for nine straight days for a better solution. At the conclusion of their novena, a stranger appeared promising to build a staircase, but requested complete privacy. With only rudimentary tools, and no observed shipments of supplies, the carpenter mysteriously disappeared after three months; leaving behind a magnificent spiral staircase, rising 20 feet and making two complete revolutions with no apparent means of support. The Sisters of St. Loretto believe the staircase was built by St. Joseph because of its miraculous design and circumstances of construction.

Loretto Chapel, miraculous staircase

A day of spiritual and cultural fulfillment can leave you hungry. After all, man can not live on faith alone. So we jumped in the car and took a short drive to the state’s largest farmer’s market. We’re suckers for farmer’s markets even though they rarely meet our expectations. Santa Fe is one that delivered. Its 150+ venders sold everything from crafts . . .

Santa Fe Farmers Market

To baked goods;

Santa Fe Farmers Market 2

an abundance of fresh produce . . .

Santa Fe Farmers Market 3

and even fire roasted peppers.

Santa Fe Farmers Market

A delightful surprise: Second Street Brewery adjoins the farmer’s market. Here we discovered a refreshingly different batch of craft beer, many brewed in traditional German style. The bittersweet, caramelized flavor of their altbier blew me away. It was absolutely the perfect way to end a glorious day.

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12 Comments on “Santa Fe for Sale”

  1. jmeyersforeman January 13, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    it sounds like you had a great time in Santa Fe,

    Like

  2. ailsapm January 13, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Fantastic photos, thanks for sharing!

    Like

  3. Rev. Paul McKay January 13, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I love a beautiful spiral staircase and that’s one to behold! Looks like a beautiful church but New Mexico has a lot of them.

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    • Brian January 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      Yeah, there are quite a few. Fortunately the ones in Santa Fe are open to the public. I’m always disapointed when we see these beautiful cathedrals around the country with their doors locked up tight.

      Like

  4. Jim January 13, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    Very Nice Brian. Your photos and your discripiton of your sight seeing make me feel that I am right with you. Keep up the good work.

    Like

    • Brian January 13, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

      That’s what we’re shooting for. Thanks!

      Like

  5. hobopals January 13, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Enjoyed a trip back through Santa Fe through your blog. It is a fascinating place. Thanks for sharing. The staircase is amazing.

    Like

  6. Kristina January 16, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    What a wonderful place to visit, the architecture is so unusual and cute 🙂

    Like

    • Brian January 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      Yeah, the adobe architecture is pretty neat. You can tell that some of the shops and restaurants around the area were originally homes. They still have rooms with adobe stoves in them. Really very cool.

      Like

  7. earthriderjudyberman January 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Brian … Congratulations? It’s official. I’ve nominated your blog with the Versatile Blogger award. I’ve enjoyed your photo essay of your travels.
    Here’s the link for more details: http://earth-rider.com/2012/01/16/the-envelope-please/

    Like

    • Brian January 17, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      Thank you Judy. We’re very honored.

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Free San Antonio | Everywhere Once - February 3, 2012

    […] crowd the mansion’s walls and garden. We even found works by our newly discovered favorite, Georgia O’Keeffe. It’s a fabulous little museum, made even better by the affordable price of zero dollars every […]

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