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Tidbits: Santa Fe Number 3 US travel destination, Harvest Festival and more

Fall is one of the best times all year is Santa Fe. Right now, the foliage is still beautiful, there’s snow and the mountain and the weather is warmish during the day and comfortably chilly at night. We had our first freeze a few days ago. It’s the perfect time for a visit. If you live here or are planning a visit, here’s some news and some upcoming events

The readers have spoken. Santa Fe is the third most popular destination in the US according to readers of Conde Nast’s Traveler’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards. First place went to Charlotte, NC and second to the other SF, the one by the bay. If you’ve never been here, find out what the magazine’s savvy travel readers are crowing about. Plan a visit. If you have been here, you know and we’d love to see you back.

Food and dining news:

Love food, Iron Chef-like cooking competitions, cooking classes and dining discounts? The first Santa Fe Harvest Festival, taking place November 5th through 23rd , offers all that and more. The festival kicks off with a Restaurant Relay around the Plaza at 11 a.m. on the 5th. Servers from local eateries will compete. A highlight of the event is the Chef Showdown a three event challenge with final judging at the Best of the Fest gala dinner & silent auction on November 13th at the Eldorado Hotel and Spa. Gold Passes for the event are $35 and Red Passes are $160. All proceeds benefit Cooking With Kids. More information can be found on the Festival’s website.

New restaurant Casa Chimayo

Santa Fe's newest New Mexican restaurant, Chimayo, photo/Steve Collins

Casa Chimayó, serving authentic New Mexican food opened last week. Located at 409 West Water Street, it occupies the space that formerly housed Los Mayas Mexican Restaurant. Casa Chimayó owner, Roberto Timoteo Cordova, says it was his family’s home. His grandfather built it in 1938. Cordova is a member of Chimayó Trujillo family known for their traditional weaving. They’ve been doing it for generations. Food is also a tradition in Northern New Mexico. “We are selling the food of our grandmothers (comidas de las abuelitas).” He adds, “This is a cultural restaurant. We are promoting the heritage of the founding families of northern New Mexico including Chimayó Santa Fe.” Cordova stresses that they use fresh and local ingredients whenever they can. Not surprisingly, the signature dish is Chimayo-style chile. You can pretty much have it served over anything and everything. But beware, it’s hot! Casa Chimayó serves lunch and dinner six days a week (closed Tuesdays). Hours are 11:30am to 2:30pm for lunch and 5:30 to 9:30pm for dinner. Except Sunday when they’re open from 10am to 10pm. And Cordova says they offer Flamenco performances on Friday and Saturday nights. For information or reservations, call (505) 428-0391.

Art, museums and books:

For the last thirteen years, calligraphers, artists and theologians around the world have been working on The Saint John’s Bible. This contemporary handwritten, illuminated Bible was created at a Scriptorium in Wales. The final home of this monumental work will be Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota. From October 23rd to December 31, 2019,, pages from two of the Bible’s currently unbound seven volumes will be exhibited at the New Mexico History Museum . Forty-four pages from both Wisdom Books and Prophets will be on view in the exhibit titled Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible. Other highlights of the exhibition are a page from the 550-year-old Gutenberg Bible and early editions of the King James Bible.

Ecclesiastes frontispiece

Ecclesiastes frontispiece from "Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible" exhibit at the NM History Museum, photo courtesy NM History Museum

Opening the same day and on view through April 7, 2019, Contemplative Landscape. The exhibit’s photographs explores how people have responded to and interacted with New Mexico’s landscape through art, architecture and sacred rituals. The exhibit features the work of photographer Tony O’Brien. His whose 1994-95 stay at a New Mexico monastery is the center of his new book, Light in the Desert: Photographs from the Monastery of Christ in the Desert (Museum of New Mexico Press).

The New Mexico History Museum is a busy place. On Sunday, October 16th they’re hosting a book signing for the new book The Plazas of New Mexico. Come out and meet Chris Wilson, author of the new book. He will be joined by Miguel Gandert the book’s photography editor and Jose Aelaya, the book’s drawing editor. They will talk about the book which documents Wilson calls “the rich heritage of New Mexico’s public plazas and the everyday life and community celebrations that help sustain them”. The book features the three distinctive plaza styles found in The Land of Enchantment. The earliest are the Native American ones found at the Pueblos. These have a center place with kiva and terraced residential blocks coming off them. The Hispanic plazas were the center of the towns the Spanish built. They often feature churches and courthouses. The Anglo plazas dating from 1846 when New Mexico became a US Territory contained courthouses and businesses. And today, the tradition goes on.  Some planned communities are including Plazas in their designs. The book event is from 2 to 3pm.

n NMDancers at Doña Ana plaza park dedication

Dancers at dedication of Doña Ana Plaza in 2006 from "The Plazas of New Mexico", photo/Miguel Gandert

Musical happenings:

Remember M*A*S*H*, the movie? Robert Altman’s quirky film about medics in Korea during that war is on my all-time favorite list. The cast is stupendous and the film, though about the ravages of war, is hysterical. The one and only Hotlips Houlihan (sorry Loretta Swit), Sally Kellerman has become a chanteuse in later life. She’s bringing her cabaret act to the Maria Benitez Theater at The Lodge at Santa /Fe this coming Saturday (October 15th).

Acclaimed fiddler Mark O’Connor will be at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on Monday, October 17th at 7pm. His work spans a wide range of musical forms including bluegrass, jazz and classical. O’Connor has been described as a “classical and multi genre violinist”. The eclectic musician has recorded with bluegrass/newgrass greats David Grisman and Sam Bush and classical cellist, YoYo Ma and many others.  The concert is a benefit for The Santa Fe Youth Symphony Orchestra. They will perform with him for part of the program. Come out and see what the versatile musician has in store for Santa Fe.

Sunday, October 30th at 4pm, the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra presents Bach on the Brain, a concert featuring the works of JS Bach, Hector Villa-Lobos, Paul Moravec and Benny Goodman.

Tickets for all three musical events can be purchased at the Lensic box office or on-line from TicketsSantaFe.

If you have any Santa Fe news to share with us, let us know.


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