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2/27/23, Santa Fe

While the multi-colored 45 minute sunset behind the wall of mountains was beautiful last night, what really took my breath away was seeing lentil soup at Whole Foods. A heart-healthy option and a place that serves something other than meat cooked in one way or another. Such relief, but disappointment at the familiar as well, knowing where everything would be, doing the self checkout. While there was no joy in taking a walk on the Route 40 Frontage Road in Amarillo past Volcano Korean Barbecue, Lin's Grand Buffet, Chuy's Mexican, Logan's Roadhouse, Saltgrass Steakhouse, Longhorn Steakhouse (I'm not making this up), Kabuki Romanza, Jimmy John's and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, it was unfamiliar and like so much of what I've experienced, it shook me out of my world and have gained an appreciation for that. So Beemers in the parking lot, chiseled faces of people who work out too much, impatience - so much impatience, and there had been such politeness before, all made me feel like the party was winding down and it was almost time to go home.

My friend's sister, who has a pretty little house in a quiet neighborhood south of Santa Fe downtown, as mentioned previously, is an Intimacy Coordinator. Turns out she didn't look into my eyes and call me a failure, but told me about her very interesting job which is advocating for actors when they are pressured by producers to, well, produce goods that aren't in their contract. A result of #metoo, she is hoping that people in her position will become part of SAG, but of course the producers are fighting this. She is also supposed to choreograph sex scenes so that there's no awkwardness, but the directors are unlikely to allow anyone else input. Anyway, she's lovely and has the sweetest little room and it's been so nice to be here that I've decided to stay two nights.

I went to the laundromat this morning, had been a while, but sadly, the technology is little changed though the prices have gone up. It was clean and shiny and required all kinds of ministrations with changing big bills into small bills and then small bills into a laundry card and a patient woman who worked there essentially holding my hand and talking loudly to me because I was just not getting it. It was an interesting exercise that I don't hope to repeat soon.

It's cold here, it was 20 when I was at the laundromat, and there's good downhill skiing right near by, the mountain has been dumped this winter, and within the last few days. Had I know, I MAY have rented as it was a bluebird day. But instead I went to visit Camel Rock and what was the Big Tesuque Campground, where we camped 30 something years ago. It has become Native American property and exists no longer as a campground. A casino grew nearby in the meantime.

7900 feet in altitude? Totally forgot about the old breathing thang. Yeesh.

Santa Fe is the most "crowded" of any downtown I've visited. It was even a quasi-challenge to find a parking space. The most special thing was going into San Miguel Chapel, which is apparently the oldest church in the US. Having recently re-read Death Comes to the Archbishop, I was able to imagine the French Archbishop and his sidekick doing their converting thing, and actually, there were some images that looked like European royalty, which seems absurd in a place like this. The outside bell had a lovely tinny sound that was so genuine and let you know it was small, and inside, there was a bell with many silver amulets on it.

Dinner out of the back of the car or Whole Foods? Agh.

Church of Humility where the young Spanish speaking girl showed me around with kindness and patience.

Chilaquiles at The Pantry, where everyone goes to see and be seen. A meal on a plate is exciting

View to the west from just north of Santa Fe

Those mountains are like sentries

Camel Rock, close to where my friend and I camped 30 years ago.

Santa Fe dude

The Downtown Crossing of Santa Fe

Oldest Chapel, San Miguel, exterior

San Miguel, Interior. So so sweet.

San Miguel, close up, interior

San Miguel, Interior

San Miguel, interior. Amulets and a very old bell


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