Now is the cold and quiet time in Santa Fe, when we stoke our fireplaces with piñon and cedar wood, and reflect on our lives with grounded energy as bare branches shudder outside. Santa Fe often goes its own way. So far we’ve escaped the polar vortex. It’s mostly in the teens and 20s when our days start and we’ve had some snow. We relish our 325 days a year of sunshine now, parking where sunlight streams into our vehicles. In January, town tends to be lightly occupied, mostly with locals in puffy jackets, some skiers, and business-suited legislators here for the session. The opulent Texans and Oklahomans in their sheepskin coats who contribute greatly to our economy were living it up during the holidays, but now they're gone. It's just us, reading new books like Cindy Chupack’s witty The Longest Date, glued to the new season of “Downton Abbey,” and taking comfort among ourselves.
We've got two new restaurants to do that at. At the high end is Joseph’s Culinary Pub (www.josephsofsantafe.com), with rustic fare like the Pumpkin, Kale, Corn, and Local Porcini Enchiladas ($22) and Crispy Duck ($28). Affordable to all is chef/owner Brian Knox’s new Shake Foundation, with a soft opening underway for its green chile cheeseburgers, starting at $3.95. Knox usually veers towards more highbrow establishments, like his legendary Café Escalera, Aqua Santa, and Standard Market, and everything he does is quality (his friend Bruce Nauman designed the logo for Standard Market; yes, that Bruce Nauman). Myself, I’ve developed a jones for the Field of Greens drink custom-blended at La Montanita Co-op (http://lamontanita.coop/). Only movie craft service key Ernie Montoya makes a better green drink. On the horizon is Santa Fe Souper Bowl XX on February 1, with more than 25 restaurants competing with a hot cuppa something imaginative.
Above: My mustang Ryo in Tesuque, NM. Our barn owner in Malibu described him as Ghandi-esque because Ryo didn't fight for the best feed bin like the other horses. When Ryo died in Tesuque, I turned on my car radio to hear John Lennon singing "Imagine"... that was Ryo "living life in peace."
PHOTOS BY WOLF SCHNEIDER