The Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forest Cross-Country is one of those places—one of those experiences of place—that not only lives up to its seemingly outdated name (in an age of manufactured forests that are neither enchanted nor enchanting) but offers what forests have been offering up for eons in fable after fable after myth after play after fantasy after epic, from Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Harry Potter: the possibility of liminality and transformation, wonder and awe. And downright fun. Continue reading

Some Enchanted Evening

The Friday night art walk is a Santa Fe institution, a tradition with a nostalgic quality harkening back to times when simple pleasures and quiet camaraderie reigned. It is a ritual pervaded by an air of celebration reminiscent of 19th-century promenades in European cities. The Canyon Road historic neighborhood’s human scale, combined with an inclusive atmosphere, revives a sense of community that is all but lost in modern America. (They don’t call Santa Fe the City Different for nothing.) It is romantic, to be sure. But the romance is not just for couples. Friends enjoying a girls’ night out amble companionably. Single women and men mingle with ease as they browse the galleries. Locals mingle freely with tourists. Continue reading

Marcy Street 2011

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!”

Design Warehouse

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

Fly Fishing on the Rio Grande

A Note from the Editor:

Localflavor is thrilled to have the father-son team of Taylor and Nick Streit sharing their expertise with us this month. The Taos-based Streits are world-class anglers with a combined total of forty-five years of teaching and guiding under their belts. Taylor has authored several fly fishingbooks, and both he and Nick have traveled to countless rivers worldwide in search of the perfect catch. But (lucky for us) there’s no place they’d rather be than fishing Northern New Mexico’s own Rio Grande.

We have been fortunate to travel to some of the world’s best fly-fishing destinations, from Alaska to Argentina, and  people often ask us where our top place to fish is.  The answer usually surprises them, because although other rivers and lakes in far-off lands have produced more and bigger trout, the Rio Grande—when it is fishing well—is still our favorite place. The lonely river offers more than just the fishing.  A truly wild world lies between its banks, where the angler is surrounded by nature in its rawest form, from the quiet to the chaotic. There are times when the water seems to leap around you; at others, it glides peacefully by. And, let’s not forget, you might just have a have a huge trout or pike attack your fly at any time, too! Continue reading