Youtube: Longmire - Season 4. New trailer.
September 10. Can’t wait.
The Atlantic: U.S. Housing: An Economic Bright Spot After a Wobbly Week.
“Unlike with the stock market, economists agree that the housing market can probably withstand an interest rate hike ...” You wonder if policy-makers or journalists ever look beyond the statistics and check actual conditions on the ground. Real estate is but thinly recovering here. A hike would immolate that progress.
NPR: FDA Says Cigarettes Can’t Be Marketed As ‘Natural’.
American Spirit is, of course, based here in Santa Fe. Time to call the graphic artists.
LA Daily Post: New Santa Fe Institute Director David Krakauer Has No Plans To Keep A Low Profile.
“Krakauer is a charming academic with a playful otter-like intellect and restless energy. An avid reader and futurist, he alluded to several science fiction authors and novels, including Kim Stanley Robinson (of the Mars trilogy and most recently Aurora) and Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon and most recently Seveneves), who will be visiting the institute soon.” Written by my friend Roger Snodgrass, this sounds like a new chapter for Santa Fe, much less SFI.
NY Times: Native American Artists Display Works in Santa Fe.
This weekend is Santa Fe’s biggest. I may poke my nose in. When you live here, a certain amount of complacency settles in ...
DiscoverMag: Wildfire Smoke Drifts Across 1,000 Miles of the West.
GlobalPost: It’s official. Earth just had its hottest month ever recorded.
Well, with El Niño, it was quite wet and mild here in Santa Fe. No 100+ degree sweltering-nights weeks. I should be thankful for small favors in the midst of ecopocalypse.
Albuquerque Journal: Blue Cross pullout would mean new doctors for some customers.
“Plans that Presbyterian, Christus and Molina offer through the exchange for 2016 restrict those insured to a specified network of providers, which would mean anyone switching from a different carrier likely would have to change doctors.”
Slate: Death with dignity & gay marriage - Liberty arguments support physician-assisted suicide.
“Aja Riggs doesn’t want the state of New Mexico to dictate how she’ll die. Riggs suffers from uterine cancer — currently in remission, but likely to return — and fears it will leave her in excruciating pain during her final days. To avoid so much torment, Riggs wants to be sure her doctor can ease her into death through a painless overdose if she so chooses. But New Mexico law prohibits physician-assisted suicide.” Read more.
MeFi discovers Zozobra.
Lordy, what an FPP. It’s like the NM State Historian wrote it. The burning of Zozo’s great ... the dancing? Not so much. The drinking at the event, however, is spectacular ...
NPR: Are Americans Indifferent To Art?
Comparing the audience of ‘Tut’ to ‘Motorcycle’ is a bit lame. I would posit very different audiences.
The ‘experience’ observation is a true one, I deem. Folks come to Santa Fe in droves for the periodic special markets (Folk Art Market, Spanish Market, Indian Market), and remain a steady stream for the ‘regular’ tourist sights and sounds. We are a Southwestern Disneyworld, with no rides and a background of colorful and expensive artworks ... but history and differing cultures come to life during our markets. Those are the real ‘experience’ times, and prove to be increasingly popular.
I’ve told the story about ‘art appreciation’ before; affluent retirees come here in their huge RVs, pull on the walking shorts, knee-high socks, official Reebok ‘walking sneakers’ ... and set out to ‘do Canyon Road.’ They then proceed to walk through every gallery as fast as they possibly can, looking at every piece of art for a couple of seconds. This is not ‘doing’ Canyon, nor is this taking in any art, except by osmosis. There are so many styles, so many eras ... this osmosis cannot do more than color one’s grey matter for a day, or at most a week, and then it is gone. All that is left is the memory of the slog up one-way Canyon, in the heat of the day, looking for public bathrooms the City should have provided decades ago.
Then there are the affluent retirees who have second homes here, who are merely looking for something to color-coordinate with their other furnishings, and impress summer or winter guests with. The ladies dig in the shops, the men stand outside and fiddle with their smartphones. You see men in gaggles all over town, bored spitless. Or hunchback with camera in hand, pack containing tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, taking the same shots a million others have taken ... with their Nikon D810’s set on “Program Auto”.
Finally, the 1%. The true art collectors and art lovers. They pass through the schools of tourists like sharks, finding that one piece, and then suddenly biting hard to get the best price.
What of the young? They’re struggling to find a foothold in this town. Our new mayor has made them a marketing target, but Santa Fe has some issues. Little nightlife; most of our sidewalks roll up at 9PM, even on weekends. Our Catholic Hispanic population is deeply uneasy over the hedonistic practices of the modern young. Our outdoors pursuits require above-average physical fitness (we’re at 7500 feet, most trails start at 9,000, even young visitors need a couple of days to acclimate). Young families find very few things for small children to do [try selling history and fine art to an 8-year-old], and restaurants tend to be child-unfriendly. Kids need to run around.
New Mexico has been pushing outdoor beauties hard, but the fitness thing is the biggest hurdle. I remember a young couple on the Aspen Vista trail, not more than a half-mile from the trailhead, lying on a bank with two rental MTBs, panting, emptying their [only] water bottles, worn out from altitude and lack of fitness. I think Angel Fire’s done the best. They’ve put in various summer downhill sports on their ski slopes, and run the ski lift (so visitors don’t have to hike uphill). But again, that approaches Disneyworld/Amusement Park sort of lengths.
Much as I don’t want the quaint nature of town to change, if we want more tourism, if we want our amazing selection of art to be appreciated (and purchased), we need to address our ‘experience’ deficit. A little mud on the walls is no longer enough. For children, for the 20-somethings, for the grossly obese who are becoming more and more common (we are a town of very narrow sidewalks and doorways).
Santa Fe, throughout history, has always been a bit slow at adapting, but eventually arrives in style. We’ll manage these new challenges later than sooner ... successfully.
SFI: Santa Fe Institute’s main building named after legendary scientist Murray Gell-Mann.
Gell-Mann helped found the Institute. It’s a vibrant community of thinkers.
NY Times: El Niño May Bring Record Heat, and Rain for California.
“The federal forecasters announced a greater than 90 percent chance that El Niño would continue through the winter of 2015-2016 for the Northern Hemisphere. The likelihood that the effects will last into early spring 2016 is 85 percent, up from last month’s prediction of 80 percent.” Yep, time to start saving for that snowblower ...
The Nation: The Apache vs. Rio Tinto.
“Altaha spoke briefly in Apache before explaining her opposition to the mine, and her fears about the effects a mine would have on the sacred site, the area’s water supply, and on the safety of Apache women.” Wise woman. It’s not just the mine itself, but the consequences of mining. The tailing ponds (Animas River, anyone?), the exploitative labor practices, the increased need for law enforcement, the degradation of infrastructure (roads, water, etc.).
SciAm: Wastewater Spill from Colorado Gold Mine Triples in Volume.
“The discharge, containing high concentrations of heavy metals such as arsenic, mercury and lead, was continuing to flow at the rate of 500 gallons per minute on Sunday, four days after the spill began at the Gold King Mine, the EPA said.” Local news is saying, “Only some iron and zinc. No worries.” It is passing into Navajo tribal water sources right now.
NY Times Review: Santa Fe Opera Offers ‘The Daughter of the Regiment,’ More.
“This was my first visit, and while I’m told it can turn cold and rainy, I’m inclined — after an uninterrupted succession of warm, dry days and mild nights — to think that’s a lie.” It’s only had a roof since ‘98. The first operas I saw there, no roof, they’d sell these little vinyl hood-and-capes for ladies to protect their hair, as the monsoon season rains inevitably came. And boy ... thunder and lightning add immense staging to an opera. For the right production - wowzer, you’ve never seen the like.
Tired of flippant as ‘fresh’ in reviews. Same guy who savaged “Cold Mountain.” Many up-and-comers build their chops here. Dump the flippancy and give them some encouragement, hmmm? NYC’s offerings would be nowhere near as nice, without us.
SF New Mexican: Tommy Lee Jones seen on Canyon Road, N.M. writers win awards for good bad writing.
Time: A Massive Waste Spill Turned This River in Colorado Orange.
Oh no, Durango! Mine waste heading for their trout fishery. Noone seems to be saying what’s in it other than “heavy metals and sediments”. Betcha there’s more than that, but few journos seem to be on the ball anymore.
Atlas Obscura: Pecos Pueblo.
I suppose this is the best a daily-posting travel blog can do. Pecos is amazing, but you have to appreciate all you can no longer really see. The pueblo is largely unexcavated (wisely; much to discover and newer techniques will be all the better). There’s a huge meadow on the NE side, where the Plains tribes would pitch their teepees and trade with the Pueblo. The small museum contains some amazing artifacts. Spanish spurs the size of your hand, sharp as razors. In these photos, you can see the second Catholic church, built after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt that destroyed the first church. The staggered stone foundation you see underneath the old church is the foundation of the original - over twice as large. You can still occasionally kick up a musket ball from the 1680 revolt (must have been mayhem).
Surprised they missed an opportunity of hooking Hollywood to their article. Pecos Pueblo was purchased as part of the ‘Forked Lightning Ranch”, which sold to starlet Greer Garson in ‘49. She narrates the film in the Visitor Center. The original ranch house is still able to be visited periodically in the park, with special tours.
Discover: As El Niño Gets Even Stronger, He’s Not Really Looking Like a Child Any Longer.
“In fact, conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are looking a bit more intense right now than they did at this point in the summer of 1997, when a true monster of an El Niño was brewing.” I may need to consider that snowblower.
SF New Mexican: Long-time priest at Santuario de Chimayó dies.
Rest in eternal peace, good sir.
NPR: ‘Cold Mountain’ Takes Civil War Odyssey To The Opera Stage.
Locally, I hear nothing but great things about this new opera.
Day later: And the Times savages it. No mercy for the Confederates.
New Statesman: In search of authenticity - what’s the difference between a traveller and a tourist?
“And, remember, to the locals, especially in countries that are less well off, there will be no doubt as to your status as a visitor – for a Greek or Portuguese person getting by on €700 a month, you are a tourist above all else, your pretensions to greater awareness notwithstanding.”
I think that’s what galls the most. More tourists these days seem to believe - whether you’re a gallery clerk or a resident - that you exist purely for their own pleasure and convenience. As if every tourist location were a Carnival cruise or a Disney experience. Respect, manners are missing. Even tourist-to-tourist contact is fractious and rude ... pushing past one another to check out, more. Busy market days here can turn into anarchic free-for-alls.
Not trying to chase folks away from Santa Fe - not at all. Come. But be respectful and polite when you do! You will be rewarded beyond the effort taken. Most of us love to show off our town, when asked nicely.
KOAT: Explosive devices detonated at 2 churches.
SF New Mexican: After nearly four decades, iconic Jackalope headed to auction.
So sad. One of those must-visit-regularly joints in Santa Fe; their wares grace so many homes in this area.