Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nueva Mexico

There are mornings when I wake up thinking that I'm in California. Most mornings, actually. I go through my morning routine and don't realize that I'm in New Mexico until I walk out the door to go to my car. Then, the blueness of the sky hits me. The mountains, just east of my apartment, look down at me. And I remember all over again that I'm in a different state.

The architecture here (well, mostly downtown, since that's where I spend most of my waking hours) is really very pretty. Even with the drab colors (lots of beige here!), the shapes hold my eye.

The train station. This photo was taken around 8:00 p.m., and the sky was still that relentless blue. I haven't been inside the train station, but I hear that it's really pretty and very well done. I have an aversion to public transportation, so I doubt I'll be taking the train anytime soon. Still, the building's nice!

Now for (crappy iPhone) pictures from my Saturday in Santa Fe, an hour north of Albuquerque:

These enormous dandelions lined the parking lot of the Santa Fe Complex, where there was a Siggraph event last Saturday. Okay, I doubt that these are actually dandelions, but they sure looked like big ol' fluffy dandelions. I love these worn wooden fences that are everywhere.

This is the Santa Fe Complex, with my car in front of it. (It's a rental car- that's a whole other story.) The windows had black-out curtains and it was cool and dark inside, like a cave. The walls are incredibly thick, keeping the heat out and the cool in. It was an interesting Siggraph day.

After the Siggraph event, a friend and I walked about a mile to the Historic Plaza in Santa Fe, where all the tourist-y things are, like shops and restaurants and an entire building lined with people selling jewelry. On the way, we spotted some amazing houses. I love this turquoise color that's predominant here, and these shutters were just adorable.

The door to match the shutters. The house itself looked a bit like something out of the Flintstones, but the turquoise-painted wood took the place out of the cave and into eclectic art. Everything looks handmade here- not in a bad way, in a charming, quaint way.

Santa Fe has a lot of churches. Here was the first one we passed- pretty modern, nothing too out-of-the-ordinary...

But it shares a campus with this other church (maybe it's the same church, different buildings?) that looks distinctly different. I loved this church, lumpy walls and all. It reminded me of San Juan Capistrano.

The sign for the lumpy church- of course it's for Guadalupe. I rather liked this sign, with the chipping paint and the scroll work. The roses were nice, too- it's pretty rare for me to see roses around here.

The lumpy church from a different angle- we'd walked around it by now, to the front of the building. I love that earth color against the blue sky.

From the front of the church, looking back. It looks like a movie set, with the perfect puffy clouds, but it's real! I didn't have much desire to actually go into the church, but I did go into the front courtyard, where there were statues:

Guadalupe? The Virgin Mary? I don't know, I'm not up to snuff on Catholic saints. Either way, iconic.

Jesus. A bit gruesome, really. This marble cross was placed just in front of Mary/Guadalupe, so she is forever looking down on the crucified Christ.

After the brief detour into Catholicism, we wove our way through the shops lining the part of Santa Fe that's filled with tourists. I loved this light fixture, and the fact that there were still Christmas lights, though it's the middle of June.

I also loved this clock, because it looks like what I imagine old-timey pocketwatches look like. What Sherlock Holmes would have pulled from his waistcoat pocket to check the time during a stake-out.

The train station (second photo) in Albuquerque leads to the train station in Santa Fe, funnily enough. Who knew??

The train station has a giant water tower (made of wood, seems inadvisable) just near it, which I found quite pretty.

Another view of the water tower. In the back of the shot is the Second Street Brewery, where I had yummy green chili soup.

아빠를 위해서:

A welded burro! Just relaxing in a small side street. I wanted to take him home with me, but I had to walk a mile back to my car ... in heels. So I could not, unfortunately, unbolt Fuzzy Ears (that's his name!) and take him along. Boooo.

The day in Santa Fe was fun, but no one warned me about sandstorms! It was windy. Wind + desert = flying sand. That part? Not fun. Walking a mile to Second Street Brewery after the wind had picked up was like a workout and an exfoliation in one- I think I lost around three layers of skin.

I've been a bad blogger of late. I tweaked my back and I've been hobbling around like a creaky old lady, and that's been exhausting. Plus work is picking up, and it's all just leading to slacking off on the personal part of my life, which includes this wee blog.

On the plus side, I've found a couple Korean markets, a few more organic places, and an international store (they sell rice by the 20 pound bag- that's when I felt like I was home), where I promptly bought blocks of Japanese curry roux, garam masala, cumin, curry powder, and all kinds of other ingredients to make myself some Asian food. I've been on an odd curry kick, having had Japanese curry last week and Indian curry this week (though the coconut milk I bought was so strong that I had to keep adding tomato paste). I had chicken pho for lunch today, with plenty of jalapenos and Sriracha sauce, and felt a pang for Orange County.

So, all in all, life is chugging along as usual.