Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico

I am late with my blog again.  It’s been a very full day.  I had a very nice continental breakfast this morning at the Silver Saddle.  The owners are very friendly and a lot of the travellers were in and out and there was lots of conversation.

The day started out fairly cool and I was able to drive downtown and find a parking space close to the “old Santa Fe” area.  I was very close to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum but couldn’t find it.  Everyone I asked was also a tourist — from Texas, Colorado, France — so I looked in a lot of stores as I worked my way to the Information Center.  There was an art festival in the park and a lot of interesting architecture. I found the O’Keefe Museum (which only had 3 galleries open as they were getting new exhibits ready) and was able to see several short films about her life and her work.

After a great time covering the whole plaza, it was time to try to find my car!!  I had a map and was pretty sure which street it was on so it was just a question of orienting myself and — there it was.  Free parking on the weekend, too.

So I set my GPS for Taos, NM.  It was a long drive with a very winding road for about 35 miles so I decided right there I would have to head back to Santa Fe by 6:30 so I wouldn’t be driving that road back in the dark.  I arrived in Taos and parked right away on Kit Carson Rd. across from the downtown plaza.  The lady in the parking booth told me the arts and crafts festival was up the blue line in Kit Carson Park.  It’s funny because in one of my stops in Colorado I saw a DVD for sale that quite villified Kit Carson but in Taos, he is very much honoured.  He is buried there and his house is a museum.  Many homes in the area are either original or copied adobe construction and there were a lot of churches on the main drag as well as a building for Jewish life.

I went through the Taos Art Museum and Fechin House.  Fechin was a Russian who settled in Taos when coming to America.  He learned how to craft wood from his father and then, later, from the Imperial Art Academy in St. Petersburg.  He bought 7 acres of land with a house, an outbuilding, and a small studio.  He renovated the studio and rebuilt the  house, enlarging it by 3 times.  He completely hand carved his wood and created all the doors and cabinets in the house.  Most of the art hanging in the house is from other artists, including a current one.  I have pictures of the studio and the woodwork from the house.

Fechin studio panorama

Fechin studio panorama

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You can see a little bit of how Fechin incorporated Russian, Spanish, and Pueblo architectural styles in his house and studio.

After the museum, I browsed through more stores, making my way back to the plaza near where I had parked.  I purchased a Taos hooded sweatshirt with the sun label on it that is the official emblem of New Mexico and a T-shirt.  Then I had dinner at The Gorge Restaurant (which has absolutely no view of the Rio Grande Gorge) and drove back to the motel.

Tomorrow, I’ll browse in a modern plaza near my motel (it has a Hobby Lobby and a clothing store I’ve never heard of before –  Cato, I think) before heading off to Amarillo, Texas.  I’ll be losing an hour tomorrow but I’ll try to get my blog done a bit earlier.  Ms. M on the road to Texas!

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About mysm2000

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I've developed a myriad of interests based on literature I've read and music I've heard. I've followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.
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