Friday, April 18, 2008

The Land not so Enchanted

So I just finished spending another week in the heart of New Mexico...Santa Fe. When I think of Santa Fe, I think of the things that I learned in history class when I was a teenager. Santa Fe was established over 10 years prior to the Plymouth Colony. This was to be the centre for the Spanish Empire north of the Rio Grande. Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in North America and the oldest European community west of the Mississippi. The 'square' in the heart of town is very similar to what it would have been over 150 years ago. The streets are narrow and cobbled, and the buildings are made of adobe. Santa Fe has a height ordinance in effect that restricts structures to 2 stories of 15 feet each. The ordinance limits the height of structures so that the surrounding vistas may be enjoyed by all those in the area and not just those who can afford to build higher. The county is strict in enforcing the code and exceptions are not made. Even McDonald's is required to limit the size of the 'golden arches' and plant them on the ground. I have to say that it is nice to see some trees and not just buildings when driving by on the highway. You can almost pass the area by without noticing the city. But all of these things aside, I don't find the attraction. The town is very 'old school' in the ways that things are handled and bureaucracy is king. I am not a fan of southwestern art, so the shops filled with hand crafted rugs, turquoise jewelry, and endless paintings of a desert sunset do nothing for me. As Santa Fe is a tourist destination, everything is expensive. I even got the shaft a Subway shop in the downtown area that charged me nearly 9 dollars for a foot-long roast beef sandwich. I was not impressed. I lived in New Mexico for 9 months in 2006 and drove around most of the state. I don't have anything against the people that live there, but it's not for me. I probably won't visit the city outside of business trips. If you have the time and money to take a vacation and the choice of where to go, I would pick somewhere else and just browse the pictures that others have posted on the Internet.

1 comment:

Juan said...

Noted. I had no plans of visiting Santa Fe anyway, but now that you have broke it down for me, I'm already over it!