Santa Fe Opera

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The Santa Fe Opera has been around for the same amount of time as Wendy Kapp, owner of Two Casitas! Since 1957, The Opera house has been  providing tens of thousands of audience members a year with an absolutely unique opera experience. Beyond the consistently excellent content that The Opera House offers, its construction and location perfectly showcases New Mexico’s natural beauty along with its historical architecture. People from all over the planet consistently flock to Santa Fe, and take the short drive North in order to experience this timeless art form in one of its most acclaimed settings. It has consistently helped to fuel New Mexico’s tourism industry by motivating fans of art of all kinds to experience Opera in a setting that they never have before.

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Of course, the setting of The Opera is only part of the experience. It serves to enhance the experience of the art form itself. The Opera House has dedicated itself to the innovation and enhancement of the operatic arts while still preserving many of its traditions. They combine new, old, classic and obscure performances under a single roof in order to appeal to as many fans as possible. Anyone can enjoy an opera in any language because each seat has a screen with subtitles that are meticulously synced to each performance. This is a consistent and exciting challenge for all of the staff and performers, as they have to keep up with the wide variety of demands that all of the productions make of them. Because of this, people who work at The Opera House have an incredibly vast knowledge of all forms of opera. Over 140 separate operas have been performed an average of ten times each, and there have been forty American premieres, among them Lulu, The Cunning Little Vixen, Capriccio, and Daphne. Recent premieres include the world premiere of Madame Mao, commissioned from Bright Sheng, in 2003, the premiere of the revised version of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, in 2005, the American premiere of Thomas Ades’s The Tempest, in 2006, and the American premiere of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul in 2007. The 2008 season included the American premiere of Adriana Mater by Kaija Saariaho, whose L’amour de loinreceived its American premiere here in 2002. In 2009, the world premiere of The Letter by Paul Moravec was performed here.

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The unique setting and reputation of The Santa Fe Opera has not only drawn audiences, but many world class staff workers and performers. People in nearly every department come from countries all over the world, so they help to bring a truly international and worldly flavor to the pieces performed there. They are able to bring a deeper understanding to foreign-language pieces due to their intimate understanding of those cultures. Local Santa Fe singers such as  Susan Graham, Patricia Racette, Joyce DiDonato, William Burden, Kristine Jepson, Michelle DeYoung, and Charles Castronovo have also started their international careers in Santa Fe, which is further proof of its place in the worldwide opera scene.

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The Opera House has been dedicated to developing artists since its foundation. New Mexico was chosen as a location by John Crosby from New York in order to provide ample time, space, and training for singers who were transitioning from the academic world into professional circles. This has provided an opportunity for over 1,500 singers and almost all of them have moved on to become either professional singers, teachers at universities, or private opera coaches. The program was quickly extended to include training systems for technicians, set-designers, and any profession that is useful in the opera production community.

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Since the turn of the millenium, Richard Gaddes took over direction of The Opera House after leaving a similar position at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. He has contributed to The Opera House’s rich and diverse culture by providing a venue for many local productions during the off-season. He also has broadened the audience by live-streaming to parks in Albuquerque and Downtown Santa Fe. The Pueblo Opera Program also has reached out to Native American communities and introduced the art form to another facet of New Mexico’s local culture. The Santa Fe Opera House’s commitment to providing its art to as many people as possible has widened the popularity of Opera in The Southwest and has ensured that it will stay around for quite some time.

 

By Two Casitas

The Lensic

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The Lensic is one of Santa Fe’s oldest theatres, and has long been the centerpiece of downtown’s performance art scene. An extremely versatile venue, The Lensic has been host to films, theatre, all genres of music, lectures, burlesque shows, ballet, and just about any other form of expression that a theatre can house. Like nearly every building in Santa Fe, The Lensic has a long and colorful history with plenty of ups and downs. It has survived through it all, and it continues to thrive and contribute to Santa Fe’s cultural history and heritage.

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The Lensic’s origins are rooted in an accident. Nathan Salmon was a traveling salesman who immigrated to New York who made a modest living by selling various goods out of a wagon. He would travel throughout The Southwest selling a variety of products. He was passing through Santa Fe on his way to Durango, Colorado when a snowstorm impeded his travel. He had only a quarter to his name and had no way to survive the hostile winter. He pawned his watch and asked his friend in New York to wire him some money. He was able to get his business back up and running, and began to do quite well in Santa Fe. He eventually decided to abandon the wagon (which he was often ridiculed for doing business out of), and bought a dried goods store on San Francisco St. Rumour has it that he was able to complete the down payment with the winnings from a pool game.

As his business expanded, Salmon began to develop a passion for buying valuable plots of land and converting them into theatres. He was clever enough to anticipate the need for entertainment during the devastation of the great depression. His son-in-law E. John Greer assisted him in building the new Lensic Theatre (an acronym derived from the initials of his grandchildren). It’s doors opened in 1931. It was extremely luxurious and well-equipped for the time and it quickly became one of the finest and most attended theatres and dance halls in The Southwest.

By the time the 1950’s rolled around, Santa Fe began growing in size, and the need for more entertainment grew with it. Drive-In movie theatres, other performing arts spaces, multiplex theatres and the rise of home-entertainment began to eat away at The Lensic’s place as the central hub for entertainment in The Southwest. It managed to survive the decades with several renovations, and was managed by United Artists throughout the 1990’s as a first-run movie theatre. However, it struggled to remain profitable and was shut down by the end of that decade.

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Santa Feans are very attached to their town’s history and the failure of The Lensic was not easily accepted. In an interesting twist of fate, Bill and Nancy Zeckendorf, who were also from New York, moved to Santa Fe and decided that downtown Santa Fe still needed The Lensic as a performance space. They were able to raise nine-million dollars to re-open, re-purpose and renovate it. It was also designated a historic landmark by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

 

The renovations were painstakingly envisioned from original blueprints, and many of the components used are exact replicas of original parts of the theatre using period-correct materials. The hall’s functionality as a performance space was vastly improved with the advent of additional performance space, an orchestra pit, a crystal chandelier from New York’s Roxy Theatre, and updated sound-projection equipment. A system was installed throughout the theatre that could actively and dynamically control the theatre’s acoustic properties. Because of this, The Lensic is ideal for nearly any kind of performance. Having seen many performances there myself, I can attest to the fact that that the sound is perfect almost every time I’ve attended.

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The Lensic is a classic “Santa Fe” story. It began in the beginning of the century as a shining cultural beacon that struggled to keep up with America’s, and therefore Santa Fe’s, growing needs and modernization. However because it is such a strong archetype of Southwestern culture, it has been preserved and revered throughout the decades as another example of exactly what makes “The City Different” so different. It is a fine example of how the magic of the past has been updated and modernized to enhance and serve the culture while still preserving the building’s original intentions.

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By Two Casitas

Tent Rocks

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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument represents a lot of what I love about the Southwestern United States. Each state (area) has its own geological signature, and some of the most unique, surreal and fascinating geological formations are scattered throughout. It gives you a visual appreciation of the fact that the Earth is constantly changing all around you. I think it’s important to realise the long-term nature of the existence of The Earth, and that everything that exists here is the result of hundreds of millions of years of continuous change with no plans to stop any time soon. Tent Rocks (and these other monuments) exist because of the unrelenting power of our planet and they will not always exist for the exact same reason. When you take your Santa Fe day trip and decide to visit this national monument, you are witnessing an important moment in time that never was before, and never will be again. It is unique, and you are very lucky to be able to see it while it is in such a beautiful state. The effects of man and nature have created a living sculpture across the landscape, and it truly is a sight to behold.

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I think that’s enough philosophical banter. Understanding the nuts and bolts of how this amazing place came to be is equally fascinating. It goes back to the surprising fact that New Mexico is a highly volcanic state. These aren’t the kind of volcanoes that you might be picturing when you hear the word. Most volcanoes, such as the “classic” Mt. St. Helens, are the result of friction beneath continental subduction zones. In other words, when the ocean floor moves beneath a landmass, it gets hot enough to melt rock. This molten magma rises to the surface and bursts through in the form of a volcano. Obviously the Southwestern United States are nowhere near the ocean, so this process cannot happen. New Mexico’s volcanoes are of  an entirely different nature. They form as a result of what are called “hot spots.” For reasons that are not entirely understood, magma from the mantle will rise to the surface. An easy way to picture this is by picturing the rising wax in a lava lamp. The magma in these hot spots is very thick, and can therefore build up quite a lot of pressure (I’ve included a diagram below). When the bubble bursts, the explosions are beyond the scale of any normal volcano. They can send debris for miles around and cause true devastation. Luckily for us, they take an incredibly long amount of time to build up. These eruptions usually only occur in million year cycles. However, when they do occur, they can drastically change the landscape. Tent Rocks is a result of one of these eruptions several million years ago. A flow of ash, lava, and volcanic rocks (known as a pyroclastic flow) covered the area with a layer of soft and porous volcanic rock. After that, a harder rock layer was formed on top. Eventually, wind, rain and other erosive forces were able to work their way into the softer rock below and began to wear it away. the hard rock above remained intact for longer, and therefore created the bizarre structures that we see today. Unfortunately, this is continuous process, and the hard caps are beginning to wear away as well. This means that the tent rocks will continue to erode until they are gone.

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Tent Rocks is also well known for its history with the people of the Cochiti Pueblo. Its proximity to the Bandelier National Monument means that it shares a similar history. Evidence points to a human occupation lasting approximately 4,000 years. One of the most interesting things about visiting Tent Rocks are the trails that have been left by the people that once lived there. Their footprints carved deep trenches in the ground from walking along the same path over the centuries. It’s a humbling feeling to walk in their footprints. One of the main resources that those people drew on were the pinkish flowers produced by the evergreen manzanita shrub. They were believed to have a variety of medicinal purposes.

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Tent Rocks was established as a national monument in 2001 by President Clinton, and continuous efforts are made to preserve and study all aspects of its history.

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By Two Casitas

Santa Fe Architecture

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I feel like we say this on almost every blog. Travel to Santa Fe often feels like you’re being transported to a completely different world. Perhaps the same world at a different time. A lot of that effect is due to Santa Fe’s unique architectural style. Buildings in Santa Fe don’t look like buildings anywhere else. This feature is clearly important to the City Of Santa Fe, as they have passed legislation to ensure that our town’s unique style is not diminished with the passage of time. Sometimes the buildings look like they have grown right out of the ground, and in fact, the designs that inspire all modern Santa Fe buildings were originally constructed from all-natural materials. This maintains Santa Fe’s connection to its environment, and helps us feel that we are still living in the natural world despite the fact that we are in the middle of a cultural epicenter. From the adobe buildings’ soft curves that echo the area’s mountains, to the deep history that is embodies by spanish and native american styles, our town lets its identity flourish to a degree that is seldom found in American cities.

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It all started with what is called the “Pueblo Style.” These designs are inspired by the original dwellings built by Native Americans that were discovered by conquistadors in the 16th century. Those structures were comprised of mud, earth, and straw, and were usually fairly large. Wooden vigas supported multiple floors. They were usually large designs that were comprised of several housing areas surrounding a communal plaza. Spanish colonists improved the process by creating adobe brick molds in order to build more stable and consistent structures. This cheap and efficient building style provided excellent weather protection. Through the centuries, building techniques have modernized, but the aesthetic of this simple tradition has been deliberately preserved, and has contributed to Santa Fe’s architectural style significantly.

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When the Santa Fe Trail was opened in 1821, a new group of American settlers began to settle down in Santa Fe. The area’s style was already firmly established, and this influx of new influences was the first change that had come about in hundreds of years. The trade routes brought new building materials, and new aesthetics that were never considered before. Exemplified by wood columns painted white, front porches, pitched roofs, brick copings and double hung windows with divided sashes, this architectural style, known as Greek Revival, became popular across the country in the mid-1800s.

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Santa Fe’s connection to the larger world via railroad in the late 1800’s brought more new ideas faster than ever. Brick, glass, and metal accompanied new builders with European and Eastern American aesthetics. They exerted their influence in the world of commerce, and many of Santa Fe’s new business buildings were built in the style that they brought with them. 

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As with any new movement, there is often a counter-movement. The influx of tourism that came with the railroads were fascinated by Santa Fe’s original style. The look of the original adobe buildings was largely stimulated with stucco, and the best of both worlds was often achieved. History and practicality were combined to create a timeless look that carries Santa Fe’s architecture to this day.

By Two Casitas

Golfing in New Mexico Pt. 2

Header.jpgGolfing in Santa Fe is back! Believe it or not, there are more golf courses in Santa Fe than we were able to cover in last week’s blog. The more I think about it, the more I believe that this is an important feature of New Mexico to a large demographic of people. Santa Fe is not known as a sporting town, so what we have to offer in that arena (pardon the pun) is often overlooked. However, Santa Fe is often used as a training ground for Olympic athletes due to its high altitude and quality public facilities. Golfing, in particular, truly does bring people from all over the world, as it is a completely unique experience to golf in Santa Fe. The high altitude environment and sophisticated course design provides great exercise, and our unique geography is on display, giving our visitors a full dose of New Mexico’s greatest features. Our second edition in this golfing series will likely be our last for a while, and it won’t cover every course available, but wewill try to highlight the most popular courses. We are also focusing on Northern New Mexico golfing, but please note that there are popular courses throughout New Mexico.

Black Mesa Golf Club

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http://www.blackmesagolfclub.com/

 

This course deserves its own article. It offers some of the most diverse layouts of any course in the state. It is specifically designed around the area’s unique geography. The courses wrap around distinctive rock formations and arroyos, and they are incorporated as hazards or simply for visual flare. Golfing here feels like nothing less than an adventure through New Mexico’s wilderness. The course is known for being very cerebral, and requires a level of strategy that is will continue to challenge repeat visitors. On top of all of that, it is affordable to play, and really shouldn’t be missed by any golfer visiting New Mexico.

 

Angel Fire Resort Golf Course

Angel-Fire

http://www.angelfireresort.com/

 

People visit Angel Fire Resort for much more than its golf course. However, that doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked. Angel Fire is a high-altitude destination, and that aesthetic lends itself well to this course’s challenging 18 holes. The signature hole, #6, places the golfer on the tee box 200 vertical feet above the green, 239 yards away, surrounded by groves of aspen trees and towering pine. As a bonus, the resort offers abundant amenities, and this is a great place to visit for those interested in fitness activities in New Mexico of all kinds.

 

Piñon Hills Golf Course

Pinon Hills

http://www.fmtn.org/pinonhills

 

Piñon Hills is located in Farmington, and has been rated by Golf Digest to be the best public golf course in all of America! As with all of these offerings, the views are spectacular, and it is well integrated into the surrounding landscape. There are offerings for all skill levels, and it is almost impossible for prospective golfers to be disappointed with the course. For a public course, it is often applauded for having the aesthetic of a luxurious private course. It is often host to tournaments, and is therefore great for spectators and competitors alike.

 

Riverview Golf Course

River View

http://www.riverviewgolfnm.com/

 

Riverview is located in the Northwest area of our state, and is a great stop for golfers interested in visiting Four Corners. It is often called a “Jewel of the desert” as it is a rare patch of green in a largely barren (yet still beautiful) environment. It is famous for its bent grasses. Originally built as a community course for gas company employees, its first nine holes are considered to be aimed at beginners, however an additional nine holes were later added to provide more advanced players with an additional challenge. This brings a wide array of players to this course, and can be an appealing addition when you visit Four Corners!

By Two Casitas

Golf in Santa Fe

1The reason that Two Casitas puts out this Santa Fe travel blog is to help our guests in creating their own Santa Fe trip planner. So far, we have concentrated on things that are essentially Santa Fe themed activities. There are so many features of our town that are completely unique, and it is often easy for us to forget to talk about the fact that Santa Fe has a lot of more traditional travel activities to offer as well. However, even these more conventional activities tend to include a bit of Santa Fe flair. Golfing in Santa Fe is a perfect example of this. Golfing is an activity that people enjoy all around the country, and isn’t one that is commonly associated with desert environments, however Santa fe offers a surprising abundance of courses. Because of the fact that golfing is an outdoor activity in Santa Fe, you can enjoy it while taking in the beautiful scenery that our state has to offer. In this blog, we’re going to provide you with some basic information about all of Santa Fe’s courses and what sets them apart.

 

Quail Run:

http://www.qrrealtyllc.com/amenities/golf/

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Quail Run is a private golf-course, so if you are just visiting, this might not be the place for you. However, you can get access to this course if you are interested in renting a condo in the community. Many people have part-time homes in Quail Run, and the golf course is a big reason for their choice. The course is PGA-rated, has nine holes and is a par 32. The course offers something interesting for every skill level, as the courses have a tight and challenging layout combined with some par 3 holes. There is also usually a relaxed pace at Quail Run, so you don’t have to worry about feeling pressured to move quickly.

Towa Golf Club at Buffalo Thunder:

http://buffalothunderresort.com/golf/

Welcome to Santa Fe

Buffalo Thunder is one of Santa Fe’s newest casinos and resorts, and its golf course is already attracting a lot of attention for being one of the most entertaining places to play golf in town. It was designed by twenty-time PGA titlist Hale Irwin and William Phillips who has designed many courses across the country. One of the resort’s most noted features is that it offers a driving range that is angled in such a way that the sun will never be in your eyes no matter the time of day. Access to this range is included in access to the regular courses.

The course uses a variety of native grasses and is situated in a very geographically diverse area that provides this course with spectacular scenery that is quintessentially New Mexico. The course includes holes with dramatic elevation changes and stunning scenery in all directions.

There is also a great clubhouse with a private dining room and and sports shop. It can be rented for any private event, and will ensure that you can have everything you need for a long day of golfing!

Marty Sanchez Links Municipal Golf Course:

http://www.linksdesantafe.com/

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Marty Sanchez Links Municipal Golf Course has been around since 1998 and is generally the go-to public course in Santa Fe. It is fairly close to town, open all year, and sports 18 holes, a 35-station driving range, practice greens, a par 3 course, and practice greens. While it may not have the same quality of surroundings as Buffalo Thunder, it sports great views of the mountains that surround Santa Fe. All in all, Marty Sanchez provides excellent bang for your buck, and you may be surprised at its quality despite its lack of exclusivity.

The Club at Las Campanas:

http://www.theclubatlascampanas.com/club/scripts/section/section.asp?NS=PG

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The Club at Las Campanas is another mostly exclusive course, so if you are interested in playing there, you have to own a home in Las Campanas or know someone who can bring you in as a guest. There are two 18-hole courses available that are both designed by Jack Nicklaus. They are highly rated by Golf Digest and are often praised for their creative layout and integration of the natural beauty of the New Mexico countryside.  Las Campanas also has a 19-acre practice facility that offers fantastic instructors and practice space.

 

By Two Casitas

Making a Case for Vacation Rentals

n016223_2021mar05_santa-fe-hotel-outside_900x360Santa Fe is a wholly unique place for people to visit. There is a reason that we mention that fact in every blog. Anyone who has been here can and will testify to the fact that visiting Santa Fe feels like a trip to another time and place. The tri-cultural background, distinct culinary palate, historical significance, beautiful vistas, wilderness and ruins to explore provide Santa Fe with a level of depth, universality, and immersion that no other place in the country can truly offer. This is something we are insistently passionate about here at Two Casitas, and in fact, it is the reason that we started the business in the first place. We wanted to provide visitors to our town with the most authentic and immersive experience, because we know that doing so would encourage and spread the love of Santa Fe with everyone who stayed in our homes. before I discuss the reasons that I believe that vacation rentals are the ultimate way to stay in Santa Fe, I am going to run through all of the alternative options that Santa Fe has to offer, and try to provide some quick pros and cons.

 

Hotels:

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Hotels are the old standby, and they have their obvious advantages. Places like La Fonda, Inn at the Alameda, and The Eldorado Hotel have been in Santa Fe for years, and have amassed a strong reputation, and a considerable influence over our city’s tourism industry. Santa Fe is filled with both high and low-end hotels, and for the most part, you generally get what you pay for as far as amenities and luxury are concerned. No matter which price range you go with, you will always get consistency, and that is the best things that hotels have to offer. Unfortunately, while hotels offer a certain level of security and will guarantee to meet your expectations, even the nicest suites can often feel sterile and uninspired. Some people prefer that feeling, but if you want to get the full Santa Fe experience, it is easy to feel detached.

 

Bed and Breakfasts:

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Bed and Breakfasts are somewhat of a middle-ground between a hotel and a vacation rental. They often exist in smaller compounds, and have the huge bonus of providing meals to their guests. Places like Inn of the Turquoise Bear, Four Kachinas, and El Farolito have been filling a niche market in Santa Fe for some time, and they do provide a level of pampering and intimacy that is harder to get in hotels. While they generally feel homier than a hotel, they still can feel like a contained environment. Because you pay for it, you will also feel obligated to take advantage of the food services provided in-house, which may limit your exploration into the full diversity of our local cuisine. However, I can attest to the fact that the food that they serve is usually excellent and convenient.

 

Vacation Rentals:

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Because you are reading this on a vacation rental blog, you are probably detecting a certain bias towards vacation rentals, and that is absolutely true! We started this business because we believe that Santa Fe tourism is best experienced when staying at a vacation rental. When you stay with Two Casitas, specifically, our goal is to make you feel 100% at home. Our homes are regular houses in regular Santa Fe neighborhoods, so you can truly feel like a local. Santa Fe’s unique layout means that we can offer this feeling along with proximity to The Plaza, The Railyard, and Canyon Road. All of our homes also feature a fully equipped kitchen, so you have the option to make home-cooked meals. We can also hire you a private chef that will cook in your home, and give you an intimate and personalized Santa Fe culinary experience. We feature free laundry in most of our homes as well. We ensure that staying in Santa Fe with Two Casitas will leave you wanting nothing. Many of our homes are authentic old adobes, and will make you feel like you’re living in another time and place. Our homes are professionally cleaned, and we keep the highests standards of maintenance and quality furnishings.

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At the end of the day, coming to Santa Fe will always be a wonderful experience. However, experienced travelers know that lodging makes a big difference in your overall comfort and immersion, and Two Casitas provides the best lodgings that Santa Fe has to offer.

By Two Casitas

Wine and Chile Festival

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When Wendy started Two Casitas, she was simply renting her guest house to travellers in order to supplement her income. Our home had two small guest houses, and the property provided a perfect opportunity for doing just that. Eventually, the opportunity to manage more homes meant that Wendy was able to turn Two Casitas into a full-scale business, and she began the process of becoming an expert at filling the new homes. Wendy knew that she loved Santa Fe, but she also had to learn what attracted all sorts of people to visit. She found that, while Santa Fe has a wide variety of cultural, historical and wildlife activities that bring people to our city, there is one common thread that makes Santa Fe an exciting destination for almost anyone: Food! Santa Fe’s unique cuisine remains difficult to replicate, and it embodies so much of what is special about our town. History, culture, agriculture and economics created the unique blend of flavors that can only be found in The Land Of Enchantment. Because of this, it is no surprise that many events and festivals in Santa Fe revolve around our local food in an attempt to attract even more attention to Santa Fe’s culinary prowess. One of the most notable examples of this is our annual Wine and Chile Festival, which celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in 2015. This year, it will occur from September 21st to September 25th. Make sure to book your dates with Two Casitas soon, as we get filled up for this time of year very quickly!

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The Wine and Chile Fiesta is an absolute must for anyone interested in food, and it is widely regarded by even the most discerning foodies. During the festival, local restaurants provide you with the absolute best that they have to offer, you can taste the best wines from over ninety wineries around the country, enticing cooking demonstrations and educational seminars are abundant. Santa Fe’s restaurants also participate by hosting wine dinners during the festival that are sure to be a hit with people who love pairing wine with different foods. The festival culminates at the Santa Fe Opera where those ninety wineries and seventy-five of Santa Fe’s best restaurants convene to host one of the highest qualities and most varied sampling of foods that you will ever experience. This level of immersion in food and wine can seem overwhelming, but we can guarantee that you will be hard pressed to experience a higher concentration of quality food and drink. It will almost convince you to move to Santa Fe!

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Santa Fe’s passion for its own culture may come off as a little bit self-indulgent at times, however if you visit this festival, you will understand why people love to live here. Long after you learn everything you can about Santa Fe’s history, culture and wildlife, our town’s food will keep you enticed and entertained for as long as you live here. I’ve been eating this food for my whole life, and not a single day goes by where I don’t crave green chile or a specialty New Mexico dish. That is why I find this festival, and others that Santa Fe has to offer, a crucial activity for anyone who wants to experience what our town truly has to offer. There is a reason that our rooms book so far in advance for this festival, and we hope you’ll be among our guests this year! Come experience the best that Santa Fe has to offer!

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By Two Casitas

Wine in Santa Fe

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When we opened Two Casitas, the Vacation Rental industry was almost non-existent in Santa Fe. In order to truly set ourselves apart from the already established hotel industry. We realized that visitors to Santa Fe were looking for an authentic and non-generic travel experience. Santa Fe is special because of the unique feeling that arose from the preservation of its history, and that feeling can be immensely dulled by a standard hotel experience. We wanted our guests to feel like they were locals, and that they belonged in our city. Our selection of homes was essential to this goal, along with our choices of furnishings and decorations. We took a further step to welcome our guests by providing a free bottle of wine with every stay. While New Mexico isn’t particularly famous for its wine, it is actually a fairly substantial industry, and represents an important part of local culture. It is extremely important to us that our guests feel welcome, so we consider this to be a unique staple of our business, and an important reason that our guests want to return to Two Casitas. Because our business philosophy is intertwined with the wine that we provide, we have partnered with New Mexico Wine Tours in an effort to showcase one of New Mexico’s lesser-known, yet important cultural features. In this blog, we’re also going to feature some recommendations for getting great wine in Santa Fe. No matter how much wine factors into your trip, know that your free bottle will always be there when you book with us.

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New Mexico Wine Tours appreciates New Mexico’s scenery, and knows that any tour of our state would be foolish to not take advantage of its beauty. That is why there is an emphasis on scenery when exploring New Mexico’s wine industry. Though New Mexico isn’t widely known as a wine producing state, it is actually the oldest wine producing state in the country. The tours are extremely flexible and often contain visitors and locals alike. They are offered 7 days a week, and to any custom-sized party. Go solo, bring a friend, a group of friends, or your family whenever you please! In order to give their customers a more expansive experience, they also offer a half day of rafting or a cooking class followed by the standard wine tour. Whether you are celebrating a birthday, bachelorette/bachelor party, reunion, anniversary, first date, retirement or girl’s/guy’s day out, they really do offer something for everyone. They also will coordinate transportation to all your favorite events, festivals, night out on the town & airport transportation. Packages start at $99, so you won’t have to break the bank to go on one of these awesome adventures! MAKE SURE to check them out at newmexicowinetours.org.

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For true wine enthusiasts, we also want to mention a few of Santa Fe’s best wine spots. Even though they are our competition, we cannot recommend the wine list at the Four Seasons highly enough! This luxury resort offers some of the most high-end wine offerings that Santa Fe can provide. Check them out at http://www.fourseasons.com/santafe/landing_3/?KW_ID=s266fOPG4_dc%7Cpcrid%7C83914392853&gclid=Cj0KEQiAq920BRC8-efn57XrotYBEiQAlVlMQ6FFLVbrnEFMUUIlZooECTsLjDLL6SAc_dxs-LklqsgaApnb8P8HAQ&source=gaw12santafe01

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Another fantastic wine list is to be found at Restaurant 315 http://www.315santafe.com/ Located within walking distance to The Plaza, and to most of our casitas, this restaurant has been home to Chef Louis Moskow’s wonderful cooking and one of Santa Fe’s most famous wine lists for years. This place is a must visit for those coming to Santa Fe for a fine dining experience

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Some of you may be wondering if I am going to mention Santa Fe’s famous Wine and Chile festival, but that is a topic all its own, and will definitely be covered in next week’s blog! Until then, we hope this got you excited for your trip, and we’ll see you in Santa Fe!

By Two Casitas

Canyon Road

1Most people who come to Santa Fe for the first time rightfully spend their time at the Santa Fe Plaza. However, Santa Fe has another major cultural attraction that adds a separate and unique element to Santa Fe’s experience. Canyon Road is one of the most concentrated centers of art galleries in the country, and there are very few places in the world where you will find such an abundance of quality art, dining, history, and charm as you will encounter at Canyon Rd. It is located on the East side of town, in the foothills of the Sangre De Christo Mountains, which is arguable a work of scenic art regardless of human intervention. There is no part of town that could be more suited to housing an arts district. Walking down Canyon Road is a truly immersive experience where you will find bountiful and varied art, some of Santa Fe’s finest restaurants, and a one-of-a-kind cultural experience that will add a deeper level of appreciation for anyone who visits our fine town.

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Canyon Road features over one hundred galleries with content ranging from Native American art and antiquities, traditional and modern Hispanic art, regional contemporary art, international folk art and international contemporary art and more. It is truly amazing that this kind of variety is collected on this small stretch of road that only takes twenty minutes to walk down.

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Canyon Road wasn’t always Santa Fe’s arts district. It began as a residential area where people built homes in Pueblo Revival style. They used authentic adobe construction methods, and rooms were added on and expanded upon as needed as opposed to building the entire structure simultaneously. Many of the galleries that exist here today are built inside of these same old homes. This authentic, rustic quality is what drew many artists to this already picturesque part of town as a source of inspiration. They began to live on Canyon Road, and eventually began selling their work from their homes. This grew organically into a collective of art galleries and studios that were owned and managed by artists. Much of that tradition survives to this day. Eventually, Canyon Road blossomed into the tourist mecca that it is today.

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If you are in Santa Fe during Christmas Eve, we cannot recommend attending Canyon Road’s farolito walk enough! This tradition began many years ago, and has become a staple of Santa Fe’s holiday culture. Farolitos (Spanish for paper lantern) are small candles placed at the bottom of paper bags filled with sand, and they are put out in droves along the road and the buildings. They adorn the entire town with a warm glow that can only be found in Santa Fe! On Canyon Road, Christmas Carols are sung, bonfires are lit, and christmas decorations light up every home and gallery as far as the eye can see. It’s a magnificent and celebratory spectacle that makes Christmas Eve feel more like a special event than just about anywhere else in the country! Anyone is welcome to join the festivities at no cost, and we hope that you take advantage of that wonderful opportunity.

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On a personal note, Wendy’s (Owner of Two Casitas) mother has owned and operated Waxlander gallery on Canyon Road for well over thirty years, and we always refer our guests to her gallery for their art shopping needs.

Check out the video she did for PBS:

We also strongly suggest that you check out this complete list of establishments on Canyon Road so that you can better plan out your trip! Whether you are buying art, jewelry, or simply eating out, make sure you know where you want to go!

 

Galleries:

Abbate Fine Art

Acosta Strong Fine Art

Adobe Gallery

Alexandra Stevens Fine Art

Art of Russia Gallery

Barbara Meikle Fine Art

Bellas Artes Gallery

Bill Hester Fine Art

Bill Hester Fine Art

Brad Smith Gallery

Canyon Road Contemporary Art

Carole LaRoche Gallery

Catenary Art Gallery

Chalk Farm Gallery

Charles Azbell Gallery

Chiaroscuro Contemporary Art

Dark Bird Studio

Elysee Fine Art & Jewelry

Ernesto Mayans Gallery

Fine Judaic Art by Sara M. Novenson

Frank Howell Gallery

Gallery 822

Gallery 901

Gaugy Gallery

Gebert Contemporary

GF Contemporary

Giacobbe-Fritz Fine Art

Greenberg Fine Art

GVG Contemporary

Hunter Kirkland Gallery

InArt Santa Fe Gallery

Janine Contemporary

Karan Ruhlen Gallery

La Mesa of Santa Fe

Last Gallery on the Right

Manitou Galleries

Marigold Arts

Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery
Jewlers/Designers:

Dancing Ladies de Santa Fe

Desert Son of Santa Fe

Elysee Fine Art & Jewelry

Glenys & Felice

Jacqueline’s Place

Jewel Mark

Karen Melfi Collection

Leslie Flynt

Nambe

Nathalie & Nathalie Home

Santa Kilim

Shangri-La at Project Tibet

Silver Sun

Tresa Vorenberg Goldsmiths
Restaurants:

Café des Artistes

Caffe Greco

Compound Restaurant

El Farol

Geronimo Restaurant

The Tea House

Mark White Fine Art

Matthews Gallery

McLarry Fine Art

McLarry Modern

Meyer East Gallery

Meyer Gallery

Michael Henington Fine Art Gallery

Michael Smith Gallery

Morning Star Gallery

Nambe

Nathalie & Nathalie Home

Nordwall Gallery and Studio

Nüart Gallery

Pachamama

Patricia Carlisle Fine Art

Pippin Contemporary

Reflection Gallery

Ronnie Layden Fine Art

Roybal – Fine Art SF

S. R. Brennen Gallery

Sage Creek Gallery

Scarlett’s Antique Shop & Gallery

Selby Fleetwood Gallery

Studio Vaillancourt

Tansey Contemporary

Teresa Neptune Studio/Gallery

The Hollander Gallery

The Longworth Gallery

The William and Joseph Gallery

Tom Ross Gallery

Turner Carroll Gallery

Ventana Fine Art

Vivo Contemporary

Waxlander Gallery

Wiford Gallery

Winterowd Fine Art

Zaplin Lampert Gallery

By Two Casitas