Downtown Santa Fe is…. not what I expected.
It’s a complex network of markets in narrow buildings. You could say shops, but that would be disingenuous to what’s really going on – even the indoor retailers have more a feel of an open air stall. Meandering through the eateries and booths had a feel of a European city or at the very least a little of the Mexico boarder town to it.
That’s not it though.
Frankly the prices are higher than a boarder town.
It’s a little like Ashville, NC – where hippies spend too much on designer hippie clothing with “hush-hush” money given them to actually be quiet. Or to keep playing, some of those hippies really knew their way around the bongo.
On a week day, there really wasn’t much traffic or as many stalls as there would be normally. In fact the whole downtown Santa Fe Plaza around which everything seems to occur held only a small part of what I imagine on the weekends would be an impassible crowd.
There apparently is actual governing going on here. I’m not sure what the residents think of all this hoi polloi…. Wait that might be backwards. Either way the capital building is the most unremarkable capital building I’ve seen.
It was round and a little charming, but I think they’ve proven that southwest architecture should be more carefully merged with the jeffersonian. Someone somewhere can achieve figure it out.
It did have a beautiful view, but we happened upon it really more by accident. Until I saw the building I had forgotten that Santa Fe was the capital.
Unfortunately, shopping wasn’t really my main goal, and while I enjoyed meandering down cracks between buildings and seeing parts of Santa Fe – we ended up only buying a book for our daughters.
I got in a hurry I guess. I wish I had snapped more pictures. I wish I had headed inside the capital building – it may have been prettier in there. I wish I had found more interesting things among the bric a brac, but I didn’t. The idea city center market that is truly amazing got sickled over by the pale cast of venerable buildings housing the sacred.
In other words: the prospect of old cathedrals and basilicas enticed me on.