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Several times last spring, I was approached by friends and strangers wanting to know if “it was too late to vote.” Being the dullard that I am, I would then dutifully launch into a recitation of all the various deadlines for the primary elections... Of course, folks weren’t asking about that. They were asking about SFR’s annual Best of Santa Fe Readers’ Poll.by None
Each year, SFR publishes an annual gift guide to kick off the holiday season. We do it after Black Friday—because, as it turns out, Black Friday isn’t about gifts. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, approximately 60 percent of Black Friday shoppers planned to spend money on “non-gift items”—to the tune of $140. So, now that we’ve treated ourselves to those “non-gift” flatscreens, iPads, pea coats and platforms, it’s time to think about others. In this year’s gift guide, we’ve grouped presents by category—food, drink, books, games, toys and so on. There’s something for everyone in here, and we’ve tried to focus as much as possible on local retailers and suppliers. Sure, it’s easy to find everything your new puppy might need at Petco, but a couple of local shops do it better, with eco-friendly beds, organic treats and high-quality jackets to keep him warm. Read about much more in the ensuing pages—and then get out there and support your local economy! And, of course, happy holiday wishes from your favorite local alt-weekly! Disclaimer: Prices may vary for the items listed; SFR has ensured their accuracy to the best of our ability.by SFR
In Santa Fe, summer has a sort of springlike effect on the arts scene. As soon as May loses its last vestige of winter, every corner of the city suddenly bursts with art. The galleries and museums blossom with new exhibits; the Plaza hums with the reverberations of the popular, twice-daily Bandstand music festival; the Railyard plays host to outdoor movies and concerts; the opera attracts aficionados from all over the globe; the libraries and bookstores and parks and summer camps offer various artistic outlets for hordes of children blissfully free of classes and homework.
In fact, Santa Fe’s summer arts scene is so extensive that we found it necessary to dedicate an entire special issue to helping you navigate the season’s festivities. In these pages, you’ll find local arts leaders’ recommendations for don’t-miss events, and you’ll gain some perspective on the work it takes to bring those events to Santa Fe. We don’t mind if you rip out the festival calendar on page 22; you may need it to keep track of all the major festivals slated to hit our city this year. Parents, we haven’t forgotten about you (or your children)—on page 21, find a rundown of all the great activities that let Santa Fe’s kids express themselves, artistically and otherwise. And if your idea of a perfect summer afternoon involves lolling in De Vargas Park, just within earshot of the Cowgirl’s band du jour, that’s fine, too.
Recently—although it now seems impossibly remote—I was lounging on the back of a boat in the Pacific. A friend from New Mexico, now a boat captain in Hawaii, leaned over and said in a low, rapt voice, “I think they’re going to let us do a blue-water swim.” I’ve spent many years of my life in coastal places, but I’m sure I looked back at her with utter confusion. “The water is so clear—there’s no pollution, no algae, nothing—that it’s perfectly blue,” she explained. “You can open your eyes underwater, and it doesn’t hurt at all.” Sure enough, the captain, a friend of hers, stopped the boat. We were out in the middle of the ocean, bobbing in a way that made our high-powered craft seem tiny. My friend and I dove in before he could finish explaining (to the paying customers) what a blue-water swim was. I just wanted to see that ocean: pure, perfect blue, just as my friend had described it. I dove—eyes open—as deep as I could into the seemingly endless abyss of color. It was silent and magical.by SFR
Yes, it’s that time of year again—when we at SFR go out and research the foreign world of healthy living. Journalists are notorious for crouching nervously by their desks all day, overindulging in whiskey when the stress becomes too much. But, as we all learned during this issue, it needn’t be so! Santa Fe is full of fresh air, mountains, healers, teachers and general mindfulness—provided you know where to look. So, this year, we’ve expanded our fitness guide to include not only tips for the happy and healthy, but also some good ideas for those of us who aren’t quite so healthy—who, in fact, may need to heal before we even start the path to wholesome living. So here it is, Santa Fe: the road map to a whole new you. —Alexa Schirtzingerby SFR
This year’s Winter Guide comes right on time. The days are shorter, the air is chillier and, as of the time of this writing, snow was finally in the forecast. Those of you who long for the pure, piney solitude of first tracks on the Taos steeps can use our updated, improved ski grid to branch out to other locations (Sipapu usually opens first!) or explore some of the top local destinations for great snowshoeing. If you’re less thrilled about traipsing around in the cold, at least learn how to bundle up —or just cozy up at one of Santa Fe’s welcoming bars for some inner-warming libations. Finally, if you do nothing else, read Anicca Cox’s soaring tribute to winter in northern New Mexico —an homage to the truly incomparable magic of a Santa Fe winter.by SFR