Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Gallery of Conscience

Eric and I have designated Tuesday as our day to visit museums in the Santa Fe. Last Tuesday we spent several hours visiting the Museum of International Folk Art.

The Gallery of Conscience at the museum is an experimental space where the public may participate through interactive elements and facilitated dialogues. The current exhibition is called, "Between Two Worlds:  Folk Artists Reflect on the Immigrant Experience".  Folk artists from three continents, through their fiber arts, paintings, carvings and works on paper, tell stories about immigrants' challenges of traveling and transitioning to a new home.

I found one tableau in the gallery particular moving. It was a scene entitled "Fiesta on the Border" created by a Santa Fe artist Luis Tapia showing a home where a young immigrant woman was serving a wealthy man and woman.  Her male employer has his hand on a gate that was closed to the rest of the servant's family. The gate is the symbolic border crossing, "regardless of what nations or people that border separates."

"We’re the immigrants who stowed away on ships to reach these shores, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free – Holocaust survivors, Soviet defectors, the Lost Boys of Sudan.  We are the hopeful strivers who cross the Rio Grande because they want their kids to know a better life.  That’s how we came to be."  President Obama in his Selma Speech on March 7, 2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Tale of Two Concerts: Better Late Than Never

Exactly 18 years ago I came to Santa Fe with my mother to spend Christmas. We rented an adobe casita on Delgado Street in the historic upper East Side of the city.  I was going through a particular rough time in my life, and magical Santa Fe was the perfect place to find positive energy for myself and my mom.

One of the high lights of our visit was to attend the Christmas Eve concert at the beautiful Loretto Chapel near the main plaza in Santa Fe. I had purchased the tickets to hear the Santa Fe Pro Musica Baroque Ensemble long before we left on our trip.

On Christmas Eve we awoke to a snowstorm! By the end of the day, we had over two feet of snow on the ground. There was no way our dirt road was going to get plowed in time to go to the concert. Instead, we were invited by friendly neighbors to join them around their traditional outdoor Christmas Eve bonfire to drink mulled wine. Needless to say, a heart warming experience.

Last evening, Eric and I attended the Santa Fe Pro Musica "A Baroque Christmas" concert at the Loretto Chapel with the radiant Deborah Domanski, mezzo-soprano, singing Vivaldi and also traditional Carols. We both remarked later that it was a celestial experience.

After the concert, we walked to the Plaza to see the Holiday light display and then on to the historic La Fonda Hotel for dinner. A perfect end to a perfect evening.
Loretto Chapel

The Magic Chapel Stair Case

Lights on the Plaza

Window display at the La Fonda Hotel

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The God Machine

Eric and I decided to see the art work at  the Armory show at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. After parking the car at the site, we noticed a large metal sculpture adjacent to the parking lot. This would become one of the most fun, enjoyable experiences we have had in Santa Fe so far.

 A smiling, jovial, white haired man was standing next to the sculpture. He reminded me of "Oz" in the "Wizard of Oz".  He introduced himself as John Massee and was eager to show us his work of art, the Deus Machina or the god machine.

 Mr. Massee explained, "It became increasingly apparent and necessary that a Sculpture be built that would encompass all Human hopes, desires, dreams and History. 

As a result of great patience, certain insights and the overcoming of various obstacles I was able to evolve a great Machine capable of producing a sense of delight and joy."

Massee's sculpture had to satisfy certain criteria:
it must be virtually intriguing 
it must be intellectually engaging 
it must be life supporting
it must be joy producing
it must solve all problems

On the front of the sculpture near an open window, there were pockets containing paper cards. I chose a card that was labeled "happiness and joy". I gave my card to Mr. Massee, who placed it in a box to burn. I saw smoke rise above the sculpture to the blue sky - proof that my dream of "happiness and joy" would come true.

Deus Machina

Make a wish cards

John Massee


Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Best Paella I Have Ever Had!

Originally paella was a dish made in Valencia using chicken, rabbit, snails and three kinds of fresh beans. There is no right or wrong recipe, so the chef (in this case Eric) can be as creative as he wishes to be. We chose as our ingredients Bomba rice, chicken thighs, chorizo, shrimp, mussels, artichoke hearts, peas and white Spanish beans. Of course, it is important to drink wine while going through each step of the paella process. We had a nice Chateau de Flaugergues recommended by our friend Kat. Paella can be cooked on the stove top, in the oven or on a barbecue grill. In our case, we had the use of the wonderful Italian stove named "Francesco". The result was a melange of colors, textures, and aromatic spices to delight the taste buds!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Roadblock to Santa Fe

We feel frustrated, angry and helpless at a recent stumbling block to selling our home in Harrisburg, PA - the Federal Biggert/Waters Flood Insurance Act of 2012. Here is a link to an article in the Patriot News that featured our own personal story: FYI our home is one of ones under water in the photo at the top of the article page.

We thank our  friends in advance who will contact their Senators and Representatives in Congress and ask them to repeal the Act. The law will have catastrophic results to those living in newly mapped flood plains and also to the housing industry.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Posole and Farolitos

True to my blog's name "heart in Santa Fe", I miss the "City Different" and New Mexico most of all during the Holiday Season. It is at Christmas time that one experiences the true magic of Santa Fe. One year when I stayed in a casita on Canyon Road with my mother, we had a snow storm like no other on Christmas Eve. We had tickets to a chorale concert at the Loretto Chapel, but the roads were impassable to the Plaza. So we joined some neighbors around a back yard bonfire to sing Christmas Carols and drink hot cider.

The second Christmas in Santa Fe, I experimented with making Posole for my family on Christmas Eve. It is a stew with meat (traditionally pork) green chiles, hominy and vegetables. When researching the history of the stew, I learned that the early Aztecs served the stew on special occasions. To my horror, the meat used was sacrificial human flesh! The heart was a particular delicacy.

After our Christmas Eve supper, we all joined hundreds of revelers taking part in the annual Farolito Walk on snow covered Canyon Road. A farolito is a simple paper bag filled with sand and a candle. The little bags line adobe walls and roof tops on Canyon Road and all over the city. The origin of the farolitos dates back centuries to a trade relationship between Spain and China, when the Chinese lantern became the model for the New Mexican farolito. The Farolito Walk treats participants to a carnival like atmosphere of pinon bonfires on the street corners and hot drinks at galleries and businesses along the way.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

History Before My Eyes

When my mother passed away in 2005, she left a history in family photographs and memorabilia that was stored in two large crates (the large, 25 gallon size) and a copy paper box. Most of the photos were stored in the envelopes from the film developing companies.

The pressure was on me to review the contents of the crates before our pending move to New Mexico. I was also spurred on to sort the pictures, because the Groupon offer I purchased for transferring a thousand photos to a disc was about to expire.

So for the past 3 days, I have sorted hundreds of photos from the 1920's to 2005. My mother also kept a large stack of letters I had written to her on air mail paper on a weekly basis when I lived in Europe in the early '80's. The letters are a chronicle of events of daily life in a foreign land - travels, children's activities, coping with a foreign language, etc. (Do I see book in the offing here?) I also found a stack of Mother's Day cards I had sent to her over the years.

The thousand photos are now carefully packed in a 12x12x8 box ready to be shipped to California for scanning. Thanks for the all the wonderful memories, Mom