Center Stage – Performance Buzz October 2017

Teatro Paraguas offers up a gem in Sotto Voce by Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics), a play that personalizes the 1939 “Voyage of the Damned,” when Cuba, the U.S. and Canada turned away Jewish émigrés, sending nearly half of them back to their deaths in Europe. Bernadette, a German-born novelist, and Saquiel, a young Jewish-Cuban man, correspond by phone and email until she gives up her story to him, and perhaps her heart.

Here is insight into a certain scene, from impresario Argos MacCallum: “Stage left is the writer’s apartment; Saquiel is stage right, on the street. Lucila (Bernadette’s maid, an immigrant from Colombia) is a go-between. Saquiel invites Lucila to a dance class. As they dance, they transform into Ariel Strauss (Bernadette’s old lover) and Ariel’s sister Nina on board the S.S. St. Louis.” It’s haunting. Continue reading

Chef2Chef with Jennifer James and Nelle Bauer  

DSC_1857What happens when a shy girl from the heart of the Midwest meets a fast-talking Texan? You get frenchish, the current restaurant project of Jennifer James and Nelle Bauer. What you also get are two very generous and affable women who aren’t afraid to tell it like it is or hide who they are. We enjoyed a delightful afternoon of deviled eggs and rabbit terrine as Nelle and Jennifer, dressed for work in their chef’s whites and Crocs, shared a few memories and their vision for the future. I asked a few questions and tried to stay out of the way. We got to talking.

Mark Oppenheimer: I heard a chef once say, “In the end, it isn’t only about eating; it’s about discovering.”

Jennifer James: To me, it’s more about nostalgia than discovering. Food creates these memories of, “Oh my gosh, my mom used to make this!” Or, “This tastes like this memory from my childhood.”

To Nelle Bauer: You’re kinda young to have a whole lot of memories.

Nelle: And you’re so old, you have so many…. [Everyone laughs.] Continue reading

Flights of Fancy

ChiliLineBrewing-Beer_DSC3846Northern New Mexico has an astounding number of craft breweries, and more are opening all the time—far too many to discuss here. While the sheer volume of breweries can be overwhelming for consumers, competition can brew creativity. To stand out from the crowd, breweries here will often specialize in and excel at a specific style of beer, or a particular method of brewing.

Two new breweries in particular are carving out a niche for themselves in the diverse New Mexico brewing landscape: Alexander Pertusini’s Chili Line Brewing Co. in Santa Fe and Shyla Sheppard’s Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. in Albuquerque.

As the son of restaurateur Lino Pertusini, Alexander grew up in the restaurant industry. By contrast, Shyla is blazing a new path as the country’s only female Native American brewery owner. Chili Line is one of the smallest breweries in New Mexico, both in terms of brewing system and its classically compact Santa Fe building, while Bow and Arrow is housed in a spacious Wells Park warehouse in Albuquerque. At first glance it would seem these two breweries could not be more different, and they do each have a distinctive personality. But scratch the surface, and the similarities are striking. Both owners draw inspiration from the past, and their beers are deeply influenced by personal heritage and historical perspective. Continue reading

Float Fishing the Rio – October 2017 Fishing Report

Taylor Streit Fly FishingIn Colorado, the Rio Grande is an excellent river to float-fish––it has a lot of the medium-speed, even currents that suits the style of fishing and there are roads paralleling the river and numerous places for put in/take outs. This all-important ease of access is not the case once the Rio enters New Mexico, because except for a short portion above Pilar the river runs through a roadless canyon.

We have 50 miles of exceedingly wild river that requires considerable effort to drift  and much of it is simply too rowdy to drift fish. But as the saying goes “if it was easy everybody would be doing it.” It’s highly unlikely that you’ll see another fisherman in this country—let alone one that’s in a boat. So if it’s solitude and a lack of competition that you’re looking for, this is it. Continue reading

Santa Ana Vineyard

GRUET_119_klCommuters along I-25 may have noticed that acreage just north of Bernalillo has been more lush than usual the past few years as some 30 acres of grape vines take root in the high-desert foothills. The Pueblo of Santa Ana owns and manages the vineyard, making it one of only a handful of Native American tribes across the U.S. to grow grapes commercially. Tribes in California and Arizona have purchased existing vineyards, but Santa Ana is unique in growing grapes from the ground up. This year marks the second successful harvest and the release of the first wine made with the Pueblo-grown grapes—a still Rosé by New Mexico top-shelf vintner Gruet Winery.

Agriculture has been a staple of the Santa Ana people’s lifestyle for hundreds of years and their business enterprises since the 1980s. The Tamayame (the name of the Santa Ana people in their Keres language) have lived along the Rio Grande, 16 miles north of Albuquerque, since at least the 1500s. In this fertile valley, they’ve raised crops like blue corn—a treasured grain among Pueblo tribes—and their religious ceremonies are closely tied to agricultural seasons. In the 1980s, the people of Santa Ana began growing corn commercially and processing it in its own grain mill. Later, they expanded to grow plants native to the Rio Grande Valley, selling via both wholesale and retail operations.

Of course, the Pueblo’s ventures also include Santa Ana Golf Club, Santa Ana Casino and Hotel, and the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa. Joseph Bronk, the Pueblo of Santa Ana director of agriculture, places the vineyard under the umbrella of these public-facing enterprises. “Opinions on Indian gaming vary, but this has been a really complimentary facet of what the Pueblo is doing,” he says. Continue reading

Photograph the Balloon Fiesta Like a Pro

Balloon Fiesta, photo by Rick Allred

photo by Rick Allred

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is renowned as the most photographed event in the world, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a dazzling spectacle of bright colors, distinctive shapes and incredible magnitude. On the ground, the action and flames are exhilarating; once aloft, hot air balloons appear suspended, almost by magic. The wonder and the awe of the Balloon Fiesta is something we want to hold on to by capturing it with our cameras.

Just up the hill in The City Different, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops has been dedicated to the craft of photography and to photographers for more than 25 years. So who better to ask about photographing the Balloon Fiesta? We sought advice from two of Santa Fe Workshops’ world-class instructors, Nevada Wier and Rick Allred, on how to successfully make images at Balloon Fiesta. Nevada Wier is an acclaimed travel photographer and world adventurer who has gone to the Fiesta about a half-dozen times, primarily in her role leading advanced-level workshops. Rick Allred has also been many times over the years, beginning in the late ’80s. He frequently teaches introductory classes at Santa Fe Workshops, where he excels at making photography fun and accessible for beginners. Here’s what the two of them have to say. Continue reading