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Alternative Transportation

How to party hardy and get home without breaking your body (or anyone else's)

April 25, 2012, 12:00 am

 Once, in a college sociology class, my professor told the class that alcohol doesn’t affect your ability to make decisions; it affects your ability to care about the outcome. Since then, every time I go out, before I partake in libations, I make my decision on how I’m getting home and throw away the key (sometimes almost literally).


WALKING

Glass half full: It’s something you were born with; it’s free; and the city has put more effort into walking paths in recent years. And instead of having a beer belly, you’ll have a healthy physique.

Glass half empty: Just because you’re not schlepping around in a steel carriage doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind. Stumbling into oncoming traffic is no joke.

The reality: Even on nice, well-lit sidewalks and trails, it’s best to take a buddy with you, especially after dark.


BIKE RIDING
Glass half full: Oh, you treehugger, you. Don’t think we forgot you and your fixie bike, saving the world one carless day at a time. Biking is a great way to get around Santa Fe, especially as the city continues to expand its bike paths.

Glass half empty: There’s no engine on your aluminum mode of transportation, true, but you’re still operating machinery. Santa Fe is a labyrinth of curving roads, potholes and train tracks, and you need to remain vigilant in order to avoid the drivers and pedestrians who always seem to not be paying attention. Bikes have the right to use the road because they are legally defined as vehicles—which means you could very well get a DUI for operating your vehicle while intoxicated. (Bummer, right?!)

The reality: If you’re planning to bicycle to bars, remember to have visible, operable lights on the front and rear of your, er, vehicle. And don’t forget to wear a helmet—preferably one without a beer strapped to each side.


DRIVING
There is no glass half full or empty on this one. Think of it this way: You enable this object much bigger than you—made of tons of metal, glass and plastic—to hurtle through space. You could do incredible damage in a matter of seconds. Many people have.


BUS
Glass half full: Oh, the Santa Fe public transit system. Well…at least we have one. In an ideal world, it would be the best way to get your reckless on and still be safe and sane.

Glass half empty: City buses stop running at 10 pm on the weekdays (including Friday) and 8 pm on Saturdays.

The reality: The bus is a great way to get to the sweetest spots, but if you stay out late enough to catch a movie that isn’t full of screaming kids, you’ll have to figure out a different way home. If your version of getting jiggy involves being in bed by sundown, however, this is your golden ticket.


TAXI
Glass half full: It’s late. You’ve had a few. It’s time to catch a cab! Unfortunately, Santa Fe doesn’t have Cash Cab, but the city does offer a few different cab companies for your late-night ventures home. Capital City Cab (438-000) is one good option; the cabbies usually prowl the bar scene at closing time, but it’s still a good idea to call and secure your ride ahead of time (think 40 minutes). Santa Fe County’s CADDy program also subsidizes rides on Fridays and Saturdays between 5:30 pm-2:30 am: Cab rides for one or two people cost a flat fee of $5, and rides for three or more are $10.

Glass Half Empty: It’s not. This is a pretty sweet deal.

The Reality: To use CADDy, call 995-9528 (and don’t forget to tip your driver).


PEDICAB
Glass half full: Pedicabs are by far the snazziest way to bar-hop. They often hang out downtown, are usually staffed by friendly locals and let you enjoy the feeling of the breeze on your face without making you sweat for it.

Glass half empty: The farthest they’ll cart you is to the Railyard (who could blame them?) and with a two-person limit, you may be stuck leaving the rest of your crew behind.

The Reality: If you live close by, pedicabs are a good option. To make a reservation, call 577-5056. Don’t forget to tip your pedicab operator!


DESIGNATED DRIVER
Glass half full: We’ve struck gold here, people. The designated driver is, hands-down, the best invention in human safety since kneepads. If you’re lucky enough to be the designated driver, you can witness the hilarious debauchery your drunk-ass friends get themselves into, advise them against doing things like hooking up with their exes or peeing in the street, document their activities for possible future blackmail and, best of all, pat yourself on the back for maybe saving a couple of lives. Should you prefer to play the part of drunk-ass friend, you can get what many call “shwasted” (we don’t know how it differs from being “wasted,” but this level of drunkenness seems to hold more promise of wild shenanigans) while still arriving home safely.

Glass half empty? No, my friends, the glass is completely full.

The reality: You have succeeded in your mission of getting funky—and doing it safely. All in all, Santa Fe isn’t the most convenient city to maneuver late at night, but we’ve got to use what we have. Please, everyone, be smart and careful in the City Different.  

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