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Is your mom progressive? Does she love bohemian turquoise jewelry made in an ambiguously ethnic style? Does she like rugs? Does she shop at Coldwater Creek? Is she interested in art galleries that sell weird paintings of horses in the wind?
If you answered yes to even one of these, your mom should move to Santa Fe. She would love it here. This isn’t to say that Santa Fe is lame. Because that is false – Santa Fe is awesome. I would so live in this fun and beautiful city. More to the point, I would retire here. You see, parts of the city cater well to a certain demographic. And that demographic is everywhere: consulting hotel maps, confusedly walking into the streets, and drinking too many margaritas at the rooftop bar. Oh, and wandering into weirdo art galleries with paintings of wind-swept horses in the window.
By city ordinance, all the buildings in Santa Fe must conform to the adobe architecture favored by the Pueblo or the Spanish Mission style favored by lecherous Hollywood movie producers from the 1940s. This gives the city a real precision of design. It is also oppressively tasteful. It’s hard to tell where you are when every house is built with cute little wooden beams peeking out from the roof.
A curious thing about New Mexico is that the towns die around 7:30 PM. The sun sets early compared to the North Country that I came from, so you mistakenly believe it is after midnight when it is still dinner time. Although your mom might like this about the city, there are rumors of a certain licentious and famous Governor who went on a no-holds-barred intemperate rampage with staffers, lobbyists, and bodyguards. This certain nationally known Governor apparently ended up in a car driven by an inebriated lobbyist. That night, the car killed someone in a hit-and-run. This is all innuendo, however, and the Governor, who during a run for Higher Office was accused of hugging young ladies a little too vigorously, was never implicated. Unforunately, I did not see any of this kind of awesome behavior in Santa Fe.
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