Being a Collector

From the latest Santa Fe trip:

Little Dancer

Oil painting from Raymond Nordwalll, whose art gallery I have always managed to miss because it is tucked in a little alley off Canyon Road.  I went back four times to look at her . . . .

She is just a little girl, dressed up for her first ceremonial dance, and she looks at us and says: “I’m smiling and is this all right?”  It is the perfect expression, the one that little kids have when they are about 4 or 5 and they are asked to smile for the camera and instead of smiling, they do that fixed show-all-the-teeth thing that is half-way between a grimace and a smile.

I hope Raymond Nordwall continues to paint children — he is a natural at it.  One of the reasons I love this painting is because she evokes history and culture and spirituality without insistence.  She is at the beginning, when all things are possible.


CSA Share Week 21:  garlic, spinach, collard greens, leeks (gave away), green onions (gave away), flat-leaf parsley, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, kohlrabi, eggs

Recipes:  roasted root vegetables, spinach with pesto capellini, rice and beans with collard greens


The Question of the Day

On Facebook (where else?), from one of The Teenager’s “friends”:

Where can I get a pedicure and simultaneously use wi-fi in this town?

Where, indeed?

As it turned out, it was not hard at all to find a salon where one could stay connected while a total stranger worked on one’s toe nails . . .   I am sure Henry James would have had something elegantly derisive to say about such a situation — had he only lived another hundred years or so.    How much does a pedicure cost, anyway?

Probably nowhere as much as this:

This beautiful 12 inch tile is by Polly Whitcomb, and is one of the last pieces from her La Sala Pottery studio in Ribera, New Mexico.  Polly Whitcomb has moved back to Vermont, and the Santa Fe gallery on Canyon Road that featured her work, Clay+Stone, is in the process of closing  its doors.  It had become a ritual for me:  tea and dessert at The Teahouse, then across the parking lot to what was originally the Canyon Road Pottery before it became Clay+Stone Gallery, then later a short stroll down the hill to Deborah Gold Gallery to see my favorite oil impressionist . . . .  Clay for life, marble for immortality: over the years I have collected bits of both from the same gallery.  And now,  I wish Josh and Stacey the best in their next big adventure.

Santa Fe: Road Trip 2011

The older I get, the more I like places I have been — and I return, year after year.  I love Santa Fe:

The places I stay at get nicer and nicer, too . . . .  as in, do I really need a Wolf range in my rental?  And Asko appliances?  And radiant floor heating?  Well, probably not — but it’s Santa Fe, and I like my comfort.  This trip I decided to stay on East Palace Avenue, pretending to myself that I could afford the neighborhood:

The old Palace Grocery, currently on the market for $900,000, in case anyone needed space for an art gallery (what else?), a restaurant, a coffee shop.  I suppose the possibilities could be endless.  Me?  I would love to live in it.

From my favorite stonemason and ceramic artist — Joshua Kalkstein and Stacy Guinan of Clay + Stone, on Canyon Road.

And on to Trinidad for a quick stop at the Safeway — and across the parking lot?  A church located in a quonset hut, of course.

South of Pueblo, a wind turbine . . . .

. . . . and the Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel “mini-mill,” owned by a Russian steel corporation.  The short story: Colorado Coal and Iron Company, a Bessemer steel plant, joined with Colorado Fuel Company to form Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I), the infamous company responsible for the Ludlow Massacre.  Part of the old plant site is now owned by the Bessemer Historical Society and houses the Steelworks Museum of Industry and Culture as well as the CF&I archives.

In Pueblo, we stayed at the Edgar Olin House Bed and Breakfast, where a wardrobe is not always what it appears to be :


Museum Hill, Santa Fe

Museum Hill, Santa Fe

The SUV turned into the half-empty parking lot, crept past the white Subaru, and then reversed two spaces before settling into the first stall next to the driveway. We sat in the sunlight and watched its maneuverings.

“What’s wrong with the other parking space?”

“Not close enough to the museum.”

They climbed out of the car, two retired couples on holiday. The shorter of the two men wore a baseball cap and bright white sneakers. They paused on the steps leading up to the plaza, eyes flitting over the stark landscape. In the quiet spring afternoon, their voices carried across the parking lot.

“So what’s up here?” White Sneakers asked.

“Archeology and anthropology museums,” one of the women answered, studying the direction signs.

“What’s archeology?”

“Something to do with digging up stuff, I think.”

“What’s anthropology then?” White Sneakers began to laugh.

No reply this time, but the same woman who had answered him before gestured vaguely at one of the buildings.

“Well, whatever it is, I guess we’ll have to go look at it.”

They slowly walked away.

“Indian things … we’re here anyway,” White Sneaker’s voice drifted back to us on a breeze. He was still laughing.