Monthly Archives: May 2010

36 Hours in Santa Fe, The New York Times, May 23, 2010

By Fred A. Bernstein
Published: May 23, 2010
This article was syndicated from The New York Times, click here for the original article.

THE Plaza, the heart of old Santa Fe, hasn’t changed much since the Spanish settled here 400 years ago. But surrounding the Plaza is an increasingly cosmopolitan city. Sure, it’s possible to focus entirely just on the historic center, where Native American handicrafts are for sale on every corner.

A Weekend in Santa Fe

But the rest of Santa Fe now offers groovy contemporary art spaces, hot Asian restaurants and a park by a pair of trailblazing architects. Accept that Santa Fe isn’t just tacos and turquoise anymore, and you’ll find yourself loving the New Mexico capital not for what it was, but what it is.


5 p.m.

For a beautifully curated introduction to Santa Fe, visit the New Mexico History Museum (113 Lincoln Avenue; 505-476-5200; which opened in 2009 and includes a gripping display about Los Alamos, where the Manhattan Project was conducted in secret during World War II. A large courtyard with ancient walls and shady trees separates the museum from the Palace of the Governors, the Spanish seat of government in the early 1600s and now a small museum of Colonial and Native American history. The two-museum complex is free on Fridays from 5 to 8 p.m.

7 p.m.

You’d have to be crazy to pay for a glass of white wine on Fridays. Canyon Road, which angles up from the center of town, has more than 100 galleries, and there are openings every Friday night. According to, the largest category is contemporary representational (think brightly colored paintings of the desert). Check out Eight Modern (231 Delgado Street; 505-995-0231; where you’ll find the geometric scrap-metal constructions of the Santa Fe artist Ted Larsen. The backyard sculpture garden is a great place to marvel at New Mexico’s amazingly clear sky and savor its piñon-infused air before heading to dinner.

9 p.m.

Martín Rios is a hometown boy made good: Born in Mexico and raised in Santa Fe, he apprenticed at the Eldorado Hotel and the Inn of the Anasazi — two local stalwarts — and made a brief appearance on “Iron Chef” before opening his own place, Restaurant Martín (526 Galisteo Street; 505-820-0919)  in 2009. The main draw is the food — dishes like ahi tuna tartare ($14) and duck breast with smoked bacon polenta and Marcona almonds ($25) offer hints of the Southwest, with a dash of global aspiration. But the homey décor makes you want to stick around even after finishing the bittersweet chocolate truffle cake ($8).


10 a.m.

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market (1607 Paseo de Peralta; 505-983-4098; dates back a half-century, but it stepped up a notch when it moved to a permanent building in 2008. Everything sold here, including dried chilies, yogurt and grass-fed meats, is produced in northern New Mexico. The market is part of a bustling district that includes the new Railyard Park by the architect Frederic Schwartz and the landscape architect Ken Smith, both Manhattanites whose taste is anything but quaint. As you wander around, be on the lookout for the Rail Runner, a gleaming new passenger train scheduled to pull in from Albuquerque at 11:08 a.m.


Santa Fe residents — as you learned roaming the Farmers’ Market — care where their food comes from. No wonder Vinaigrette (709 Don Cubero Alley; 505-820-9205) was an immediate hit when it opened in 2008. The brightly colored cafe has a menu based on organic greens grown in the nearby town of Nambé. Choose a base — Caesar, Cobb and Greek are possibilities (around $10) — then add diver scallops or hibiscus-cured duck confit ($7) for a satisfying meal. Wines by the glass start at a very friendly $6.

2 p.m.

Thanks to Santa Fe’s sometimes depressing sprawl, it’s getting harder and harder to find wide-open spaces. But drive (or bike) to the corner of Galisteo Street and West Rodeo Road, where there’s a small parking lot — then begin pedaling due south, in the direction of Lamy (about 12 miles away). What starts as an asphalt path morphs into a dirt bike trail that swerves around a 19th-century rail spur. There are some pretty steep hills, but they’re short, and the momentum from a downhill is usually enough to handle the next uphill. (If only life were like that!) The scenery is always gorgeous, especially in late afternoon, when the sun is low in the sky. Mellow Velo (638 Old Santa Fe Trail; 505-995-8356; rents mountain bikes starting at $35 a day.

7 p.m.

La Boca (72 West Marcy Street; 505-982-3433) is one of downtown Santa Fe’s most popular new restaurants — thanks to its contemporary tapas, plus larger dishes like cannelloni filled with crab, scallop and Manchego ($11). You’ll find yourself sharing tips on what to order — and even forkfuls of delicious eats — with strangers.

10 p.m.

Santa Fe isn’t a night-life town, but Milagro 139 (139 West San Francisco Street; 505-995-0139) is helping to change that. A building that had housed a coffee shop was recently converted to a restaurant that becomes a club on Friday and Saturday nights. There’s no cover, and the drinks, including a house margarita called Beginner’s Luck ($5), are delicious. A recent visit coincided with performances by Rubixzu, a local band that performed a blend of reggae and Latin hip-hop to a diverse crowd, aged 9 to 90. For a trendier vibe, head to Meow Wolf (1800 Second Street; 505-204-4651) an alternative art space, or check its Web site for other parties hosted by Meow Wolf artists.


10 a.m.

For a big breakfast and an early start, drive south on Cerrillos Road about 10 miles past the Interstate, until you see a handwritten cardboard sign that reads, “Pine wood stove pellets sold here.” You’ve arrived at the San Marcos Café (3877 State Road 14; 505-471-9298). Dozens of peacocks, turkeys and hens roam the property (which also houses a feed store), providing an Old McDonald-like backdrop for crowd-pleasers like eggs San Marcos, a cheese omelet in a bath of guacamole, beans and salsa ($12).


If you ever thought that item you found at a roadside stand was one of a kind, Jackalope (2820 Cerrillos Road; 505-471-8539) a sprawling, indoor-outdoor flea market, will disabuse you of that notion. There are hundreds of everything, including punched-copper switch plates and tote bags that depict Michelle Obama smiling on a swing. If you need to shake off the kitsch, head to SITE Santa Fe (1606 Paseo De Peralta; 505-989-1199) a contemporary art space where the 2010 biennale, focused on moving image technologies in contemporary art, will run from June 20 to Jan. 2, 2011.

1 p.m.

It’s difficult to spend time in Santa Fe without thinking about buying a home (or second home) here. So check out Zocalo (Avenida Rincon; 505-986-0667) a striking development by the Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. He is known for crisp geometry and super-bright colors — a welcome sight in this city of browns and terra cottas. Consider it real estate voyeurism, combined with a crash course in contemporary architecture.


Santa Fe has a tiny airport, which offers nonstop service to and from Dallas and Los Angeles on American Eagle. Most visitors fly into the larger Albuquerque airport, about an hour south. A recent Web search found round-trip fares from Kennedy Airport on Delta, from about $260 for travel in June. Sadly, the Rail Runner doesn’t run to the Albuquerque airport.

The Hotel St. Francis (210 Don Gaspar Avenue; 505-983-5700) billed as the oldest hotel in Santa Fe, completed a top-to-bottom renovation in 2009, and it looks spectacular. Doubles from $120.

The El Rey Inn (1862 Cerrillos Road, 505-982-1931) is a retro-chic 1930s-style motel, with nicely furnished rooms and beautifully landscaped grounds to go along with the kitschy Native American-themed architecture. Doubles from $99.

Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort & Spa (30 Buffalo Thunder Trail; 505-455-5555) is part of a new casino complex, about 15 minutes north of town. Doubles from $159. Hilton also built a less-expensive Homewood Suites nearby (10 Buffalo Thunder Trail; 505-455-9100), with doubles from $109.

The 19th Annual Eldorado Studio Tour is May 15 and 16, 2010

The Eldorado Arts and Crafts Association is holding its annual Artist Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday, May 15-16, 2010 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.The 2010 Eldorado Studio Tour will feature 117 artists exhibiting their work in 83 studios.  Open studios will be showing fine art, ceramics, jewelry, photography, sculpture, metalwork, woodwork, fiber arts and glass.

Stop by the Preview Gallery at the El Dorado Community School where work by each artist will be displayed.  Follow the signs from US 285 to the corner of Avenida Vista Grande and Avenida Torreon.  The Gallery is open Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.   Pick up a comprehensive brochure with contact information for each artist and a map to the studios.

Directions to Studio Tour Preview Gallery

Eldorado is located southeast of Santa Fe.  Take I-25 North to exit 290.  Exit onto US 285 South (toward Lamy).  Go to second traffic light and turn right on Avenida Vista Grande.  Go about a mile to Avenida Torreon and turn left to the El Dorado Community School.  Flags and signs will mark the route.  Handicap parking is located in front of the Preview Gallery that is open Saturday and Sunday May 15 – 16 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.


The Perfect Pecos Mountain Retreat

MLS #201002175  Price $549,000
 28 Vista De Dios Pass, Pecos, New Mexico

Spacious Pecos Mountain Retreat

Built in 2006.  Beautiful custom built home.

3 bedroom, 3 bath. Two garages with 4 spaces total. Quiet and secluded. 1 Fireplace. Separate large office room. Hardwood floors.
Air conditioning.
Close to the Pecos River and the Pecos National Monument.  Less than 30 minutes from Santa Fe.
Co-broker, Tom Trujillo, 505-699-4954.

Gourmet kitchen with custom maple cabinets, tiled counters and eat-in dining


• 4 acres of pine forest

• Gourmet kitchen, formal dining room and butler pantry

• Large master bedroom with sitting area

• Two walk in closets off master bedroom

• Two sinks and make up counter in master bath

• Separate large office room ,could be a 4th bedroom

• Air conditioning

• High ceilings and hardwood floors

• 3 plus 1 car garages

Formal dining room easily accommodates large parties

Adjacent to the kitchen is the den with room for your flat screen plus speaker wire already in place for your surround sound or home theater system.
Sunlight sparkles throughout this well mantained home.  The formal dining room has a butler pantry in the foreground and plenty of room for your hutch or china cabinet.

Large master bedroom with sitting area and two walk-in closets leading to master bath

The master bedroom is designed for a king size bed and features two walk-in closets.  There is a sitting area with space for a television to the right of the bed as well as  a large bay window.  The wall to wall carpeting in master bedroom and master closets provides comfort and warmth.

Master bathroom

The master bathroom has a deep tub and a separate shower.  Enjoy two separate sinks and a make up counter.

Immaculate attention to detail.  Clean and bright!

Enjoy your morning coffee or dinner surrounded by the peace and tranquility of the forest!

The patio is enclosed on three sides to protect from the mountain elements.  Experience the pleasure of outdoor dining at its best.

Terraced, open back patio

Spacious back patio surrounded by forest terrain. The flagstone patio is waiting for your next party or barbeque




Detached outbuilding

There is also a detached outbuilding that is completely insulated and allows space for the fourth car. It could be converted to an artist studio or guest casita.

Front of outbuilding

Front of outbuilding.  Endless opportunities.

28 Vista De Dios Pass, Pecos, New Mexico