Category Archives: What Other People Are Saying

What Other People Are Saying About Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a world class destination market.  With a rich culture history, fanstastic art museums and galleries, abundant natural beauty, an internationally renowned opera and some of the best and most unique dining available anywhere, there’s something for everyone to experience and enjoy.  Read more about what makes Santa Fe, the City Different, so special and start planning your next visit today. Maybe like so many other visitors, you’ll also fall in love with this unique city and decide to make it your next home!

What other people are saying about Santa Fe:




American Lung Association Reports Santa Fe Air Ranks Among the Country’s Cleanest

By Staci Matlock | The New Mexican
Posted: Sunday, April 22, 2012  To read the original article in its entirety.

Breathe deeply, Santa Feans.

The City Different and Santa Fe County has some of the cleanest air in America, according to the American Lung Association.

That’s excellent news for children, elderly and people with asthma, cardiovascular disease and emphysema who are most at risk of health problems when they breath polluted air. An estimated third of Santa Fe County’s population falls into one of those categories.

The association analyzed data from 2007 to 2010 related to ozone and particles emitted from vehicle tailpipes, power generating stations, mining, manufacturing and more. The association has analyzed air quality in U.S. cities for the last dozen years and published the results in annual State of the Air reports.

The reports rank cities based on levels of ozone, short-term particle pollution and long-term particle pollution. Santa Fe joined Honolulu as the only cities who were on the association’s “cleanest air” list in all three categories from 2007-2010, the period for which data was analyzed.

Santa Fe earned an A for low ozone and 24-hour particle pollution, and it passed the annual particle pollution category.

Particles are mixtures of chemicals and materials floating around in air. Some are so tiny they can’t be seen without an electron microscope. Some are thinner than a strand of hair.

Smoke, dust, pollen and gas fumes are just a few of the particles launched into the air by wind, plants, power generation and wildfires. People inhale the particles with air. People cough out the larger particles, but smaller particles can get trapped in lung tissue, causing illness.

Ozone, another dangerous lung irritant analyzed by the American Lung Association, also comes from a mixture of gases produced by cars, smokestacks and burning coal. The gases — nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds — when combined with sunlight and warmth, produce harmful ozone in the lower atmosphere.

Children, people older than 65, those who like to exercise outdoors and people who have existing lung problems such as asthma are more susceptible to the ill effects of elevated ozone levels. People exposed to high levels of ozone can suffer wheezing, chest pain, asthma attacks and respiratory infections.

The American Lung Association report notes that while air quality has improved overall around the country, 1 in 17 Americans (18.5 million total) live around unhealthy levels of ozone and particles.

The City Different, Houston Chronicle, October 2, 2011

By MELISSA WARD AGUILAR, Houston Chronicle, published 12:01 a.m., Sunday, October 2, 2011

I spent my childhood summer vacations in Colorado. The long, hot drive to get there through Texas and New Mexico was utter chaos, with nine of us packed into an old Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon. We fought over who got the very back seat, where you could look out at where you had been instead of where you were going. We’d dangle our feet out the rear window. Did I mention there was no air conditioning?

Back then, I thought the scenery was pretty boring — until you got past Albuquerque. Somewhere along the highway to Santa Fe, or ”The City Different” as it’s known to visitors, the desert took on a magical glow. Silvery sagebrush dotted the pink landscape. Purple mountains rose in the background. Lonely abandoned adobe structures looked like props from a movie set.

Dad never wanted to stop along the way. It was a pretty expensive proposition to let seven kids loose in a Running Indian roadside store. He hated driving through Santa Fe; the highway routed you right through town. We would watch the shops and restaurants pass by, beckoning. The town looked like something from the past. It begged to be explored.   I vowed that when I grew up, I’d stop at every one of those spots.

I’ve been working on it. With nearly 300 galleries and 200 restaurants, it’s hard to distill the perfect itinerary. But if I were showing you around the Santa Fe area, here’s where we’d go:


Leroy Garcia has assembled a vibrant collection of contemporary American Indian artwork at Blue Rain, including work by his wife.  Tammy Garcia’s clay pots are amazing for their stature and beauty.  Schooled by her mother and grandmother at Santa Clara Pueblo, Garcia has forged a contemporary style in clay and bronze that honors her Indian heritage and challenges tradition, too.  The gallery also shows the intricate works of glass artist Preston Singletary, who has collaborated with bead and glass artist Marcus Amerman, both of whom are American Indians.

Nedra Matteucci Galleries is a beautiful place.  The rooms are filled with important historical and regional works from artists like E. Irving Crouse, Henry Balink and Gustave Baumann.  The sculpture garden, with pieces by Glenda Goodacre and Dan Ostermiller, includes a koi pond and waterfall.

Gerald Peters Gallery’s expansive pueblo houses a museum-quality collection of American masters. For the best of Southwest pottery, check out Andrea Fisher Gallery, which has works by the legendary Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo and Nancy Youngblood, who carries on the Tafoya tradition.


I always try to visit my favorite flower painting, “Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur” (1930) at the graceful Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, devoted to the artist whose studio is in Abiquiu, north of Santa Fe.

Gustave Baumann’s woodcut prints, on display through December, at the New Mexico Museum of Art aren’t to be missed either.  His landscapes include yellow aspens, lilac trees and mountain scenes in vivid colors.  The museum shop sells affordable posters of his very expensive prints.

The Poeh Museum at Pojaque Pueblo north of Santa Fe is devoted to the works of the Pueblo people, including artist Roxanne Swentzell.  Her expressive, whimsical sculptures illustrate the pueblo way of life. Swentzell’s work is for sale next door at the Tower Gallery.


Sure, the historical plaza is filled with tourists, but, face it:  That’s what we are.  It’s fun to window-shop at the upscale Packard’s on the Plaza.  But if I’m buying jewelry, I head to the Rainbow Man, which sells vintage and pawn turquoise as well as contemporary pieces. Be sure to ask what mine the stones are from. This is also the place to buy historical Edward S. Curtis photos.

Keshi, a co-op for arts and crafts from the Zuni Pueblo, has a vast menagerie of collectible carved animal fetishes, as well as artist Effie Calavaza’s snake pendants and rings.

It’s a mighty big brag, but Back at the Ranch boasts the world’s largest collection of handmade boots, made in El Paso.


The 3-mile trail at Kasha-Katwe Tent Rocks National Monument is home to fanciful volcanic rock formations and ribbons of narrow canyons. Climb to the top of the Canyon Trail for a view of the Rio Grande Valley and the Sangre de Cristo, Jemez and Sandia mountain ranges.  It’s on the Pueblo de Cochiti, 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe.

Back in Santa Fe, the half-mile hike up Canyon Road is enough exercise for some.  (Going in and out of the 100-plus galleries adds mileage.)  You’ll see everything from historical works and American Indian pieces to contemporary paintings and sculpture, folk art, jewelry and, of course, junk. Lots of restaurants line the stretch.  A favorite is the Garden at El Zaguan.  The Victorian cottage garden, tended by the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, is shady and inviting.

Bandelier National Monument is one of my favorite hiking spots. (Fire damage has temporarily closed most of the trails.)


For breakfast, Tia Sophia is delicious and reasonably priced.  Order your ”huevos rancheros” “Christmas” so you can try both red and green chiles.

For lunch, there’s El Ferol, Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant and saloon.  Sitting on the patio overlooking Canyon Road with a glass of Chilean wine and a crispy avocado, bacon and tomato ”bocadillo” is a pleasant respite from a day of gallery hopping.  Make reservations for the restaurant’s flamenco evening.

Another lunch favorite is Cafe Pasqual‘s, with its signature turquoise screen door facing the corner of Don Gaspar and Water streets.  Try the grilled chicken breast sandwich with manchego cheese on toasted chile bread. It’s Santa Fe comfort food.

For dinner, splurge at the Compound, Santa Fe’s most elegant restaurant.  James Beard Award-winning chef/owner Churches

The exquisite Loretto Chapel at the end of the Santa Fe trail is famous for its miraculous staircase, which makes two 360-degree turns and has no nails. Built in 1878, the chapel is now a private museum and concert venue.

Santuario de Guadalupe, built in 1781, houses the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s collection of ”santos” — painted and carved images of saints — as well as a large oil painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Jose de Alzibar, one of Mexico’s 18th-century master painters, and the iconic 12-foot sculpture “La Virgen” by Mexican artist Georgina “Gogy” Farias.

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi towers over the historic district. Its Romanesque Revival style contrasts with this adobe city.

San Miguel Chapel, built between 1610 and 1626, is said to be the oldest church in the United States. It is currently undergoing restoration.

If you go

Andrea Fisher Gallery: 100 W. San Francisco, (505) 986-1234

Back at the Ranch: 209 E. Marcy, (888) 962-6687

The Compound: 653 Canyon Road, (505) 982-4353

El Farol: 808 Canyon Road, (505) 983-9912

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: 217 Johnson St., (505) 946-1000

Gerald Peters Gallery: 1011 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 954-5700

Tent Rocks National Monument: 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe off
Interstate 25. Open year-round. No camping. Admission: $5 per car; (505)

Loretto Chapel: 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 982-0092

Nedra Matteucci Galleries: 1075 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 982-4631

New Mexico Museum of Art: 107 W. Palace, (505) 476-5041

Poeh Museum and Tower Gallery: 78 Cities of Gold Road, Pojaque, (505) 455-3334

Rainbow Man: 107 E. Palace, (505) 982-8706

St. Francis Cathedral: 131 Cathedral Place, (505) 982-5619

San Miguel Chapel: 401 Old Santa Fe Trail, (505) 983-3974

Santuario de Guadalupe: 100 N. Guadalupe, (505) 955-6200

Tia Sophia: 210 W. San Francisco, (505) 983-9880

Lamb the Conquistadors Would Recognize

By Julia Moskin, The New York Times, April 19, 2011.  This article is syndicated from The New York Times, click here for a copy of the original article.

Antonio Manzanares and flock by Mark Holm of The New York Times

Antonio Manzanares and flock by Mark Holm of The New York Times

ANTONIO MANZANARES was not supposed to be a rancher. Growing up here in the Chama River Valley in the 1960s, the goal for his generation of rural New Mexicans was education: enough, his parents hoped, for him to avoid the hard work of raising animals.

In this high, empty country — green with pasture and mostly populated by pine, aspen and juniper trees — many families like the Manzanareses are descended from Spanish settlers who began ranching here in the 1600s. Even the characteristic sheep of the region, the light-boned, longhaired Navajo-Churros, are said to have arrived here with the forces of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who claimed this region for the Spanish crown in 1540 on a doomed sweep through the Southwest looking for the Seven Cities of Gold.

“People here still consider themselves ranchers, but they can’t make a living at it,” Mr. Manzanares said at his 200-acre ranch, overlooked by the Tusas Mountains.

Mr. Manzanares and his wife, Molly, 51, are trying to change that. They “run a band” — the local term for raising a flock —of about 900 ewes, both the Navajo-Churros and the fatter Rambouillet breed. Under the label “Shepherd’s Lamb,” the Manzanareses are the only producers of certified-organic lamb in New Mexico, and among the only ranchers in the United States who still graze sheep on wild land, moving from low country to mountains and back to pasture according to the season.

Navajo/Churro Sheep by Mark Holm of The New York Times

Navajo/Churro Sheep by Mark Holm of The New York Times

Last week all the sheep had to be sheared, and the lambs needed vaccinations. Almost all the ewes are heavily pregnant, and are expected to give birth to about 1,100 lambs that will be raised for four to nine months, until they reach about 110 pounds. The lambing will begin the day after Easter, though a few little outliers have already been born.

“Easter always seems to come at a difficult time for us,” said Mr. Manzanares, 59.

He grew up here, went south to the desert flats of Albuquerque for college and graduated from the University of New Mexico with a master’s degree in psychology in 1973. But when he came back to figure out the rest of his life, he met his wife whose family has been ranching cattle in the area since the early 1900s.

Using a combination of education, love for animals and the land, and sheer bullheadedness, the Manzanareses have spent the last 30 years trying to figure out what a modern, sustainable family ranch might look like. Of their four children, the one who may be likeliest to come back to ranching is their daughter Luisa, 23, who is in her second year of veterinary school at Colorado State University.

Although far-flung, the family is very close. (“It might have something to do with how we threw away the TV set when they were little,” Mr. Manzanares said.) Their son Agustin, 28, is stationed with his Army unit in nearby Fort Carson, Colo.; Lara, 27, is in San Francisco, studying for a master’s degree in design. One afternoon last month, Raquel, 25, called from her dorm in Greenwich Village, where she attends New York University Law School, disappointed because she couldn’t get a decent bowl of pinto beans anywhere in New York City. Mrs. Manzanares talked her through making a pot in a slow cooker, reminding her that the family trick, a good one, is to add two tablespoons of vinegar to the soaking water.

Costillitas or Lamb Ribs, Mark Holm for The New York Times

Costillitas or Lamb Ribs, Mark Holm for The New York Times

Most of the extended family will gather for Easter dinner, with at least one leg of lamb as the centerpiece of the meal. But costillitas, the small ribs that form the breast, are the family’s favorite cut. They will be roasted slowly so the fat renders out and bathes the meat in succulence. “I like to cook them almost forever,” Mrs. Manzanares said.

Dessert will be the province of Antonio’s mother, Natividad, an excellent and prolific baker. She is also the president of the local V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary (Antonio’s father, Tony, served in the Philippines in World War II) and a pillar of the local Catholic church, St. Joseph’s. Using lard for baking, as has long been traditional here, she will make melting, anise-scented bizcochitos; pastelitos, a traditional slab pie filled with dried fruit; and likely arroz dulce, a traditional Easter dessert of rice pudding lightened with beaten egg whites.

At 79, Natividad Manzanares remembers when many Catholic fiestas in Los Ojos included the ritual slaughter of a lamb, and the town would feast on sangrecita, lamb’s blood mixed with onions, oregano, lard and chile caribe, the crunchy, toasty local chili powder. When she was growing up, it was her daily task to turn whole dried chilies into a smooth brick-red sauce. “I would roast and soak and mix them until my eyes and hands burned,” she said recently, sitting at her kitchen table in Los Ojos.

She observes Lent every year, abstaining from meat on Fridays in favor of the vegetarian dishes she grew up with: panocha, a pudding made from sprouted wheat flour and brown sugar; egg patties in red chili sauce; and chicos, roasted corn kernels. In New Mexican tradition, chicos are roasted on the cob in hornos, ubiquitous beehive-shaped mud-brick outdoor ovens.

Mr. Manzanares that he saves some of his less marketable cuts for the local Navajo. Over centuries, the tribe have incorporated the Churro sheep into their theology and their daily life, using the long, soft belly fibers for blankets. The meat is especially flavorful and lean, he said.

At this time of year, he also does a brisk trade in lamb shank bones.

“I guess people celebrating Passover want the best organic lamb bones for the Seder plate,” he said. Many Christian churches in the area, as well as the small Jewish community in Santa Fe, now hold annual Seders, he said.

Tending the flock by Mark Holm of The New York Times

Tending the flock by Mark Holm of The New York Times

Like his ancestors, Mr. Manzanares tends his sheep daily, breeds them annually and worries about them constantly. The long views are spectacular, but close up, at 7,200 feet above sea level, Los Ojos is a hard place: once a robust agricultural town, now lined with sagging porches and fallow fields. The logs that Mr. Manzanares’s grandfather split to build the barn (you can still see the ax marks) are falling in on themselves behind the small house.

He and Mrs. Manzanares tend the sheep themselves all the way from birth to slaughter, and as organic farmers, their options for healing a sick sheep or feeding a hungry one in winter aren’t much different from those of their grandparents: no antibiotics, careful nursing and a little organic grain.

The ewes are bred in the fall and give birth in spring, in time for their mothers to begin eating the new grass and buds. (Any “spring lamb” in butcher shops now was most likely born last spring.)

To eke out a profit from them, Mr. Manzanares also spends much time on the road and online: driving to farmers’ markets in Los Alamos and Santa Fe, delivering shoulders and shanks to restaurants, doing paperwork for organic certification and nagging his Web masters to streamline the ordering system.

At one time, says local lore, this county shipped more lamb than anywhere else in the world, along a narrow-gauge railway nicknamed the Chili Line that ran up the Chama to Denver with animals, beans, corn, wheat and chilies. (It is now the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.)

These days the flocks in the Chama are counted in the hundreds rather than the thousands, and New Mexico is only the sixth-largest producer of lamb in the United States. In January, the United States Department of Agriculture released figures showing that domestic lamb production is at an all-time low, down 13 percent over just one year. On the ranch and on the plate, beef cattle are elbowing out sheep by a little more each year. The average American now eats over 60 pounds of beef annually, but consumption of lamb is just over 1 pound per person.

The competition to supply that lamb is stiff, especially from Australia and New Zealand, where inexpensive lamb racks are essentially a byproduct of the vast and profitable wool industry. The lambs are slaughtered young so that the flavor of the meat does not get too strong, but many cooks find the texture limp and the fat too wet to roast. Typically wet-aged in Cryovac on its journey to American markets, the lamb tends to be soft and spongy.

“We will never be able to compete with them on price,” said Brent Walter, an owner of Fox Fire Farm who raises about 2,000 lambs each year on a family-run ranch just across the border in Ignacio, Colo.

The taste of pasture-grazed lamb is clean and meaty, with a firm texture. The fat of a healthy, mature lamb is white and crystalline when raw, light-textured and delicious when grilled or roasted. In many parts of the world, lambs are bred with an eye to getting the most fat loaded onto their tails, considered the most sublime morsel of all.

Brian Knox, the chef and owner of Aqua Santa in Santa Fe, cures the lamb he buys from Mr. Manzanares overnight in salt, juniper and cumin before braising it for six hours and mixing the big chunks of shoulder with wilted rapini, chicken stock and crisp leeks. Smaller nuggets go into a concentrated ragù with lamb broth and fresh chanterelles, all tossed with whole-wheat spaghetti and a dusting of pecorino, aged sheep’s milk cheese. Mr. Knox said that only this meat matches an ideal for lamb that he carries around in his mind: herbal, earthy yet ethereal. “The terroir of what the animal eats really comes through in this meat,” he said.

In the spring, the Manzanareses’ sheep eat shoots of wheat, grass and sand dropseed. Later, on the summer range, the lambs eat plumajillo (yarrow), palo rosario (snowberry), Arizona fescue and mountain mahogany. They are browsers, not grazers: not only grass but also buds and many leaves, especially aspen, are tasty to them. All the shrubs around the ranch are nibbled down to chin height.

Next week, the Manzanareses will escort the bred ewes, horses, dogs and assorted equipment to the lambing grounds west of Taos. During June, the ewes and lambs make their way about 30 miles cross country to summer pasture in the mountains above Canjilon, part of Carson National Forest, where they live all summer with guard dogs and a full-time shepherd, who stays in a small trailer.

At the end of the summer, the whole band is trailed back to low country, where the lambs are weaned. After a couple of months the ewes are bred, and the cycle begins again.

“I just hope we can keep it going, you know?” Mr. Manzanares said.

By Julia Moskin, April 19, 2011, The New York Times.

Try Molly Manzanares’ lamb rib recipe, and if you can, use Shepherd’s lamb.  For the past 2 years, I have ordered a whole lamb from Shepherd’s Lamb.  It is the most delicious lamb I have ever tasted.  For a description of what I received when I ordered my first lamb, click on the link to my Santa Fe Railyard article.  Most Saturday mornings Antonio and Molly Manzanares can be found selling their wonderful produce at the Santa Fe Railyard.