This story appeared in a spring 2011 issue.
It’s no secret that present-day Marcy Street evolved from residential origins. Lined with majestic trees, wide sidewalks and gracious homes with welcoming front porches, it’s clearly a neighborhood. A block from the Plaza, Marcy Street is anchored on the east by a park celebrating painter Tommy Macione, local everyman of creativity, and on the west by the newly renovated convention center. Among shops, galleries, restaurants and a view of the Cross of the Martyrs are such staples as the public library, two local newspaper offices, City Hall, banks and law offices. It’s a vital, bustling neighborhood with lively foot traffic. Case in point: One summer’s afternoon a line of young girls in Girls Inc. t-shirts headed back to day camp passing a group of teenagers from Minnesota, exuberant in their balloon hats from the Plaza.
Il Piatto’s owner/chef, Matt Yohalem, calls Marcy Street “a taste of SoHo in the heart of Santa Fe.” Business over the weekends is usually brisk, he says; Mondays bring back to work City Hall workers and other locals, “who fan out to patronize all the area businesses right outside their offices.” Merchants, chefs and shopkeepers patronize and support each other. And, as a result, says Matt, “we’ve built a local, sustainable micro-economy. It works!”
101 West Marcy Street 505.988.1555, designwarehousesantafe.com
The lure to let your inner child out to play in Design Warehouse is irresistible. “How do you create joy in a house?” asks owner Larry Keller. The answers are everywhere you look in this playhouse of a store: suave, sophisticated furniture; ingenious kitchenware items; whimsically clever lamps. There’s nowhere else like it.
Larry opened 30 years ago this November. “I want to show people the beauty in the utilitarian. And really,” he confides, “good retail is a part of the entertainment industry.” He gestures to the current window installation: the Puppy, à la Jeff Koons, constructed from 996 red balls by local artist Brian Chen (you may remember his December window display Gaga for the Holiday!, the iconic Lady made of straws).
“So few cities have vital downtowns any more.” Enthusing about its explosion of new class restaurants, galleries and shops, Larry’s excited about Marcy Street’s transformation. “We think we’re Santa Fe’s mecca!” Continue reading