• 55°

Emily Ford column – Santa Fe: Old & new

I miss it.

As I write this, we’ve been home for 10 hours, but I already miss Santa Fe.

I rarely accompany my husband to conferences, but this one was in Santa Fe.

So we flew in my sister Laura from Portland, Ore., to watch the kids and critters for six days while we experienced one of the most enchanting places we’ve ever visited.

My sister has no children. My sister is not a morning person. My sister does not speak until her second cup of coffee.

However, my sister did such a good job that Clara didn’t ask for me until the last day of our trip, and Nellie cried when she left.

I wrote seven pages of instructions. When to feed the guinea pigs, directions to preschool and piano lessons and Dan Nicholas Park, how to hit the remote control to make it work. I handed them to her as soon as I picked her up from the airport.

She had them nearly memorized by the time we finished our sushi.

Confident that Laura was up to the challenge and armed with an insider’s guide to Santa Fe written by my sister Merilee, we set out.

Merilee, who sewed costumes for the Santa Fe Opera, included tips like “don’t be afraid of the peppers,” “Loretto Chapel — a must,” and “ask for croque madame, no meat — you will die.” She neglected to say “take a warm jacket or you will freeze your butt off.” So I was forced to buy one.

While my husband studied domestic violence and vicarious trauma, I studied museums, galleries, restaurants and shopping.

I thought Salisbury was old. Then I went to Santa Fe.

The oldest house in the country. The oldest church in the country (both adobe). Pueblo Indians settled in the area in 1000 B.C.

Here’s the cool thing. Santa Fe embraces the past but doesn’t get stuck in it. Somehow, Santa Fe, founded in 1607, felt old and new at the same time.

People browsed in a contemporary art gallery next door to a 400-year-old adobe. Fashions straight off the runways in Paris and New York hung across the street from 19th century leather moccasins and pottery crafted in ancient traditions.

“Santa Fe may wear the mantle of great age,” said a guidebook, “but because she also welcomes the new and exciting, she never grows old.”

This juxtaposition made Santa Fe fascinating and welcoming. You really get caught up in the lore and charm. I didn’t even like terra cotta and blue, and then I went to Santa Fe.

Four cultures converged there — Mexican, Native American, Spanish and the Old West — and you can see and feel (and taste!) their influences today. Choose between Mexican enchiladas, Indian tacos, Spanish tapas or western cheeseburgers.

Throw in Italian, French, Mediterranean, Cajun and east Indian, and Santa Fe has a restaurant to satisfy almost any palate. I think my husband and I ate our way around the world.

When we weren’t eating, we were celebrity watching. Our first night, we practically ran into Steven Seagal. I’m pretty sure we saw Andrea from “The Apprentice,” but we just missed Val Kilmer, who frequents a local bar (and frequently gets thrown out) and Robert Redford, who hangs out at a bike shop.

We fell in love with Santa Fe, although we saw only a fraction of what this special place has to offer. I guess we’ll have to go back.

Emily Ford is a freelance writer living in Salisbury.

Comments

Comments closed.

Education

RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years

News

Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet

Education

Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament

News

Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

News

House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs