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Morning Word: UNM Accreditation At Risk

Morning WordWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Matt Grubs

Wolf at the door
The financial problems with the University of New Mexico's Athletic Department have drawn the attention of the state auditor and the attorney general. Now, the Higher Learning Commission, which evaluates colleges and universities from Arizona to West Virginia, has told the university it is reviewing its regional accreditation. According to NM Fishbowl, the commission was told the special audit underway is looking at more than just the Athletics Department. If the HLC somehow pulls UNM's accreditation, it would be a massive hit to the school, as it could no longer receive federal financial aid and its degrees might not be recognized by other institutions.

SFPD sergeant on desk duty
Roughly six months after SFR uncovered incendiary Facebook posts by Santa Fe Police Department Sergeant Troy Baker, the police chief has parked Baker at a desk pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation. The department can't take more than 180 days to complete an IA inquiry, and there are just a few days left before that deadline. One of Baker's posts, a meme showing a car running over stick figures and titled "All Lives Splatter," drew ire after the Charlottesville incident that killed one woman and injured many more.

Doña Ana GOP chair resigns
Roman Jimenez, who posted a Facebook screed over the weekend bashing "violent, leftist protesters" and then claimed it had nothing to do with racially fueled violence in Charlottesville, has resigned from his position leading the county's Republican party. Jimenez made the announcement on Facebook.

Your (financial) fuel is low
New Mexico has been cruising through the last two budget years like your dad when the fuel light comes on: "I think we've got enough to make it to the next exit." That's more or less what a new review of states' financial health found. New Mexico could last barely one week if it had to rely on its reserves to completely fund government. Potentially more worrisome is the reliance of legislators and the governor on those reserves to fund recurring government costs. A new revenue estimate is due out today.

More Native lawsuits against Mormon Church 
Two more lawsuits have been filed by former Native foster children who were in a program run by the Mormon Church. The filings claim the church didn't do enough to protect children who were in the program and suffered abuse at the hands of some foster families. Seven Navajo lawsuits have been filed since 2016 and another filed in Washington state. The suits have echoes of the Catholic Church priest sex abuse scandal.

UNM regents approve first phase of hospital
In a unanimous vote, the University of New Mexico's Board of Regents gave the school's hospital the go-ahead to hire an architect to design the first phase of a new hospital facility. The project would cost $230 million dollars, which the hospital says it has in reserves that have been targeted toward the project. The construction would still have to get approval by the state Board of Finance, which has balked at the project with Gov. Susana Martinez voicing concern.

High and dry
This could be the first day in more than a month that some part of the state doesn't see a thunderstorm or lightning activity. So, you know, if you've been wanting to go outside and hoist a huge metal rod into the sky, today's probably your day. But don't do that. Because lawyers.

Thanks for reading! The Word fondly remembers being stuck on the side of the road near an Iowa corn field while our mother's dad drove out to bring my father an extra few gallons of gas.

Subscribe to the Morning Word at sfreporter.com/santafe/signup

Savage Love

Quickies

Savage LoveWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Dan Savage

I’ve been wondering: Since there are lesbians out there who occasionally crave cock, does the reverse also happen? Are there gay men who occassionally crave pussy?

-This Possible?

There are gay men who watch football—hell, I have it on good authority that some gay men play football, TP. So anything is possible. (Also, there are lots of lesbian-identified bisexual women out there, a smaller number of gay-identified bisexual men, and a tiny handful of bisexual-identified football fans.)


I’ve been seeing a lot of articles in the media about men “dropping out of the dating-and-marriage game,” and the conclusions always point to porn as the culprit. This seems like a simplistic explanation. Do you have an opinion on the effect of porn on men?

-Pondering Porn

I dropped out of the forming-opinions-about-porn game—far too busy consuming porn these days, PP. It’s the only way to keep myself sane here in Trumpsylvania.


I’m a 26-year-old woman. I started dating a fantastic guy a month ago, blah blah blah, we’ve already talked about marriage. The problem is that his dick isn’t up to par size-wise or staying-hard-wise. He was aware of this before I came along, and it made him an enthusiastic and skilled oral performer to make up for it. So for now everything’s great, plenty of orgasms, and we’re lovey-dovey. But eventually I’ll need that filled-up feeling and I’ll have to ask for some dildo/extender/strap-on action. The question is when to ask. He’s a secure guy, and we’ve both been honest about our flaws. If I wait too long to ask, it might make him think I’ve been faking the whole time. And if I ask too soon, I could scare him off or make his performance anxiety worse! How do I know when the right time is?

-Half Full

If you were talking about marriage after a month, HF, odds are good this relationship is doomed anyway. So go ahead and ask for dildo/extender/strap-on action now. Don’t say, “Circling back to your subpar dick, darling, I’m gonna need some compensatory dildo action soon.” Instead say, “I’m into penetration toys, and I’m looking forward to getting into them with you—getting them into me, getting them into you. Anything you want to put on the menu, darling?”


Two friends can hook up with a girl or two girls from a bar and have a threesome or a foursome. But can two brothers—with opposite sexual preferences—hook up with a girl and a guy from a bar? Would this be considered wrong? No touching between siblings would occur.

-Basic Bros

It would be considered wrong by some—but those people aren’t you, your brother, or the girl and guy you hope to pick up together. Personally, BB, I can barely get an erection if one of my siblings is in the same zip code; I can’t imagine getting one with a sibling in the same room. But if you’re comfortable doing opposite-sexual-preferencey things in close proximity to your brother, go for it.


I am a bisexual man and recently divorced my wife of 30 years. I am currently seeing a very beautiful lady. I satisfy my bisexual desires by going to sex clubs and I always practice safe. I don’t have an issue, I just wanted to tell you I remember one time when you had a column about two guys performing fellatio on another man at the same time. I found it to be such a turn-on and even fantasized I was doing it to you. Hope that doesn’t offend you.

-Loving Life

Um, thanks for sharing?


I’m having an extremely difficult time getting intimate with my boyfriend of four years. I’m in recovery for an eating disorder, and part of my treatment is Prozac. It’s working great and helping me make healthier choices. However, the Prozac is severely affecting my sex drive. I have little to no desire to have sex. And when we do have sex, I rarely orgasm. This is frustrating and, frankly, harmful to my recovery process. I’m already dealing with my shitty eating disorder telling me that I’m fat, ugly, and not good enough for anyone, anything, or even a decent meal. Now it’s taking sex away from me, too? I also feel terrible for my boyfriend, who is endlessly patient and understanding but wants to have sex. I’ve suggested opening up the relationship for his sake, but he doesn’t want to do that. I feel guilty and sad and frustrated. Any thoughts?

-Prozac Lover/Healer

If the benefits of Prozac (helping you make better choices and aiding your recovery process) are canceled out by the side effects (leaving you so sexually frustrated, it’s harming your recovery process), PLH, you should talk to your doctor about other options—other drugs you could try or a lower dose of Prozac. If you doctor dismisses your concerns about the sexual side effects of the drug they’ve got you on, get a new doctor.


I have only one concern about Donald Trump getting impeached: Do we get Mike Pence? Is he not just as bad? Or worse? On a more personal note: I don’t think I’ve gotten a good night’s sleep since Trump got elected. I wake up every morning next to an avid, Fox News–watching Trump supporter. I’m married long-term (35 years!) to a man who pulled a political one-eighty. This is about to make me crazy. Really. I’m not kidding. Do you have any suggestions for me? I don’t want to DTMFA. Although after a most nauseating discussion over dinner, I did actually give it some thought.

-Liberal Grandma

Mike Pence, as awful as he is, oscillates within a predictable band of Republican awfulness. The reason no one is getting any sleep these days—not even folks who don’t wake up next to Trump supporters—is because no one can predict what Trump will do next. Not even Trump. That’s what makes his presidency such an existential nightmare.

As for your husband, LG, your choices are binary and rather stark: Either you divorce his ass and spare yourself the grief of listening to his bullshit, or you stay put, learn to tune out his bullshit, and cancel out his vote in 2018 and 2020.


What’s the best dating site for a slightly cynical, tattooed, fortysomething woman looking for a guy?

-Tattooed Lady

It depends on the kind of guy you want. Closet case? ChristianMingle. Fuck boy? Tinder. Trump voter? Farmers Only. Compulsive masturbator? Craigslist. Unfuckable loser who is now and will always be a socially maladapted virgin? Return of Kings.



On the Lovecast, Dr. Samantha Joel on the psychology of ending relationships: savagelovecast.com

mail@savagelove.net
@fakedansavage on Twitter
ITMFA.org

3 Questions

with Douglas Miles

3 QuestionsWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Alex De Vore

Arizona-based Apache artist Douglas Miles is probably known to many Santa Feans interested in contemporary Native art—he’s shown in and around our fair city since his major solo debut at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in 2004. He’s been back to town a few times since, but with his upcoming appearance alongside fellow Native artist Jason Garcia at the Poeh Cultural Center (6 pm Thursday Aug. 17. Free. 78 Cities of Gold Road, Pojoaque, 455-5041), he uses skateboards, film, paintings and more for one badass explosion of art.

People expect a lot from Native artists. Does that make it hard to be “contemporary?”
Yes and no. It really depends on what market, what region, what city you’re in. If I take my paintings—which have a lot of street-isms and techniques, for lack of a better term—to Santa Fe, people will say, ‘Oh, that’s nice.’ but if I take them to Chicago or New York or San Francisco, they don’t think twice about it. They just say, ‘Oh, that’s dope. Where you from?’

I’ve heard this work was inspired by time you spent in San Francisco. Is that true?
I was awarded a fellowship at the de Young museum in San Francisco, so I lived and worked there for two months. You know, my work will go from one market to another, one city to another, and wherever I am, I feel like that city or town finds its way into the work.

And you don’t really tend to stick to one style or medium, right?
It used to be when I’d show, it got to a point where people would come and be like, ‘You’re the skateboard guy!’ And I started to feel like skateboards turned me into a gimmick. I didn’t want to keep rehashing skateboards. ... I do murals, paintings, I do photographs—many you can see on my Instagram, @dmiles1_apache. I work in found art; I was never trying to be cool or trendy. I was trying to do something that I thought was cool, that my son would like.


'Step' Review

Movie ReviewsWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Alex De Vore

Director Amanda Lipitz has come a long way from her days as producer for the Legally Blonde musical. Now she presents Step, a documentary examining the lives of young women juggling their step dance team and the pursuit of college acceptance during their final year at a Baltimore school for girls.

Lipitz zeroes in on three disparate and distinct voices: Cori, the over-achiever hoping for a full ride to Johns Hopkins University; Tayla, a relatively average student with an intense mother; and Blessin, the founder of the step team with a fiery personality that hides great sadness.

Lipitz sets the stage against the backdrop of the 2015 police murder of Freddie Grey, but other than some peripheral mentions of the tragedy and an emotionally flat field trip to Grey’s memorial with the step coach leading the way, the underlying theme is lost in the shuffle. We do, however, understand that as young black women living at or below the poverty line, the doc’s main subjects are at a decided disadvantage—but we’re left to simply know that, as Lipitz never digs much deeper into the matter than “They’ve got it hard; step dance is the escape, college the light at the end of the tunnel.”

It’s a bleak picture and an often-heavy experience as we come to know the young girls and root for both their step team during competitions and their potential successes as students. When 100 percent of their senior class graduated from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, the reaction feels exaggerated, but the college counselor and principal of the school care so much and try so hard that we can’t help but get swept up in their ethics and efforts.

It would have been nice to find out where the girls are today or even to have gotten a clearer idea of their home lives or trials and tribulations, and Step does come perilously close to emotionally manipulative. Still, there is an ultimate message of positivity and hard work that’s impossible to deny, and ample sentimental satisfaction that comes from knowing even those who struggle with intense adversity and systematic oppression can make their way and make their mark.



Step
Center for Contemporary Arts,
PG,
83 min


Markets and Music and Food, Oh My!

Clear your schedule, the Santa Fe Indian Market is here

PicksWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Lauren Thompson

It’s that time of year again: Indian Market has come to town, bringing the best Indigenous arts and programming to the city for five days of creativity and fun. The market, established by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts 96 years ago, draws together the best Native artists from around the United States to showcase paintings, pottery, jewelry, clothing and more—most of which are for sale.

Market week kicked off with the Native Cinema Showcase at the New Mexico History Museum, starting Aug. 15. The museum will continue to offer free screenings of films made by and about Native people and issues throughout the rest of the week (but seating is on a first-come, first-served basis). For those with kids, the Saturday film schedule is family-friendly and wraps up with a free screening of Moana at the Railyard Park.

If you’re looking for something a little more lively, catch My Soul Remainder on Thursday at 6 pm. The performance piece embraces the spirit of collaboration with original choreography, music and costumes by Native people of different tribes. Then, stick around for the opening reception of IM:EDGE, a new exhibit at the Convention Center that puts contemporary Native art in the spotlight. Tickets are limited, so if you want to go, get on it ASAP.

And of course, the crown jewel of the week is the Indian Market itself. Nearly 900 (yes, you read that right) Native artists take to the Plaza and surrounding streets for two days of art, camaraderie, food and general organized chaos. Aside from buying handcrafted goods, they’ve got music, fashion shows, book signings and more. The best part? The entire thing is free to the public.

That’s only a sampling of SWAIA’s programming for the market. Be sure to check out their other events and those around the city too. Local galleries and performance venues join the festivities as well. Honestly, there’s so much going on that it would be nearly impossible to miss out on the fun. Check our print calendar, and we’re always updating our online cal. So grab your best walking shoes and hit the town. You’ve got a lot to see. (Lauren Thompson)


Santa Fe Indian Market
Wednesday-Sunday, Aug. 16-20. Various times and prices.
Various locations.
983-5220, swaia.org, nmai.si.edu/ncs


Re-Joyce

Alex De Vore
If you haven’t been by the CCA for the current show from blacksmith/artist Tom Joyce, Everything at Hand, you’re really missing out. Joyce’s massive works are at once heavy and physically daunting, yet dreamlike—reminiscent, in a way, of space—think circular patterns and geometry among the textured metal pieces, video material and drawing. Joyce himself discusses his works and process during Conversations at Hand, an artist-led lecture aimed at filling out our understanding of the exhibit. (Alex De Vore)



Conversations at Hand: Tom Joyce:
6 pm Wednesday Aug. 16. Free.
Center for Contemporary Arts,
1050 Old Pecos Trail,
982-1338.


Montayne in the Membrane

George VK
Do y’all remember that viral video of the rapping Uber driver that made its way around the internet not so long ago? Turns out that was Dylan Montayne, a former Santa Fean (also a St. Mike’s and Warehouse 21 alum) who now lives in Denver and who totally blew those girls’ minds with his slick flow. Since then, it’s been a whirl of wind for young Montayne, with internet fame and musical opportunities coming out of the effing yin-yang. Thus, he struts his stuff from his debut album Déjà Vu alongside local rappists from the Outstanding Citizens Collective like SFR fave Benzo III. (ADV)



Dylan Montayne:
8:45 pm Saturday Aug. 19. $15-$20.
Meow Wolf,
1352 Rufina Circle,
395-6369.


Empty the Chamber

Carlin Ma
Once again, the annual Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival wowed crowds, converted noobs and broke ground on some weird stuff (that six-hour Flux Quartet performance, anyone?). But as is true with basically everything anyone likes, it must come to an end. For the season’s swan song, the festival goes with some biggies—namely, Haydn, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, courtesy of the Dover Quartet. If classical music’s your game, you’ll want to be at the Lensic, and remember that tickets start at just $10. So even if you think you can’t go, you probably can. (ADV)



Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival: Russian Giants:
6 pm Monday August 21. $10-$86.
Lensic Performing Arts Center,
211 W San Francisco St.,
988-1234.



Vocalizations

7th Wave Singers take song to the masses

Music FeaturesWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Alex De Vore

I accidentally park in front of the dispensary, rather than around back, and have to move my car. It’s here, tucked behind the Fruit of the Earth Organics cannabis dispensary and CBD outlet on Early Street, that lies what might just be one of Santa Fe’s best-kept, albeit new, secrets—Paradiso.

Quietly over the past two years, Fruit of the Earth’s founder and owner Lyra Barren has transformed the warehouse-like space into one of the most beautiful and enticing community venues in all of Santa Fe: a rich wood dance floor, a balcony, a piano and assorted instruments sitting on a stage; workshops and events have been hosted here fairly regularly of late, but there’s a catch: It’s not currently open to the public. Dispensary and CBD patients may attend events for free, everyone else must be invited and sometimes pay a fee.

According to Barren, Paradiso is named after the first cannabis club in Amsterdam, and its future use as a public space depends on the winds of legalization. For now, however, it’s still semi-functional on a private basis. Eclectic indie act Evarusnik recently debuted new songs here, and we can reportedly expect similar activities in the near future.

For now, though, Paradiso is most often home to the company 7th Wave Music and its 7th Wave Singers, a project of Hidden Whale’s Angela Gabriel and The Sticky’s Amy Elizah Lindquist, dedicated to empowerment through singing and vocalization. “The shortest version is to say we heal ourselves, our community and our world through singing,” Gabriel explains.

Every Thursday, the group meets at Paradiso; a rag-tag blend of pros like Lindquist and Gabriel (Gabriel’s husband Jim Goulden of The Gluey Brothers fame pops by from time to time as well), plus community members of all stripes, from everyday people to amateur actors and musicians.

During a recent evening session, Lindquist and Gabriel scurry about the club prior to the singing circle’s arrival, preparing for their pupils. They’ve been at this roughly three years. Though both come from fairly similar music teaching backgrounds, Lindquist is more of a vocalist, and Gabriel a percussionist and vocalist. “We jut had this similar feeling that we wanted to ignite musicality in everybody,” Lindquist says. “There’s a lot of trauma and shame around it—like, if you don’t open your mouth and sound amazing, you’re not a singer. Not so!”

But who among us doesn’t sing in the shower or create harmonies to songs we like while driving? For Gabriel, it’s a simple matter of what we feel is socially acceptable. “A lot of people feel they need permission to sing,” she says. “This is for people who want to sing, but don’t want the pressure of, ‘Do I sound good?’”

First off, this means a 7th Wave Singers session is judgment-free. Both teachers say there aren’t performances nor are there solos; it’s a group exercise meant to be fun. They’ve gathered in private homes and at protests like the Women’s March in January; they offer corporate team bonding sessions as well. As we chat, various participants begin to arrive. “There’s a core of people who’ve been with us for a long time,” Lindquist points out as she greets each one by name. “We set it up like a fun game,” Gabriel adds, “but it’s authentic music and expression.”

A longtime attendee named Teresa Tunick, who says she’s been coming since the start, sits with us. “A friend of mine told me about them, and I just thought I’d respond to it and get some juices going,” she says. “I’ve always sang very loudly in the car.”

With a drop-in fee of just $15 for anyone not already a patient at the dispensary, these impromptu “lessons” are also affordable. The room begins to fill out with men and women ready to sing. “When a group of people get together to sing, it creates a sense of community,” Tunick continues. “Our larger culture has forgotten the value of that sense of community.”

With everyone arrived, Lindquist and Gabriel kick things off with a vocal exercise they’ve designed to get people warmed up: a simple song written by Gabriel espousing the value of singing and music. It’s smiles all around and everyone is game for the silly nature of warmups. These participants know they are free to make mistakes here, and nobody has designs on Carnegie Hall. Rather, they’ve sought closeness and exchange through music, a sensible choice considering it’s about the only thing everyone on Earth has in common. In a single session they’ll touch on rounds, folk songs, spiritual and gospel numbers and chanting.

“It’s my job to give you all the crayons in a coloring box,” Lindquist says of her aspirations. “We want them to let go of their idea about what they can or can’t do.”

The voices echo through the beautiful space and spill out into the parking lot as I leave. It sounds happy inside.



7th Wave Singers
Thursday Night Song Class: 6 pm Thursdays. $15.
Paradiso,
901 Early St.,
7thwavesingers.com



Dead or Alive

Art initiative uses plant power to restore drylands

Art FeaturesWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Liz Brindley

Alternative facts say environmental degradation isn’t real. Alternative art initiative desert ArtLAB says it is—and there’s something real we can do about it.

April Bojorquez and Matt Garcia created desert ArtLAB, a public art project exploring the connections between ecology, technology and community, in 2010 in response to a sustainability initiative they attended as graduate students at Arizona State University. At first, the pair believed the new initiative sounded promising, but quickly realized Native voices were left out of the conversation.

Garcia describes speakers who traveled to Arizona from England and Italy to lecture about arid, low-rain regions known as drylands and “to tell us how to live our lives.” Throughout these presentations, Garcia thought, “You know, we actually know a lot about the desert. So [April and I] decided to have an ecologically centered Indigenous space focused on how we live in our changing environment.”

This space took shape through a mobile eco-studio, built in 2012, that travels to urban dryland environments to teach about Native plant and food traditions through workshops including performances and cooking lessons.

“The ecological practice is tied to our cultural and food practice,” Bojorquez explains. “It is our focus to explore Indigenous complex systems that include cultural systems.”

In 2016, the artists received a grant from New York nonprofit Creative Capital that planted the seed for their latest project, Ecologies of Resistance, on view at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. The installation records the transformation of a healthy-turned-neglected plot of land in Pueblo, Colorado (where Garcia grew up), which desert ArtLAB purchased last summer.

Garcia’s deep-rooted connection to the region is clear. “We’re staying. We’re not going anywhere,” he says resolutely. “This is our home. So how do we reconnect with where we are and make it better?”

The connection is documented in the MoCNA gallery through a series of artifacts: a crushed Coke can, an empty whiskey bottle and other littered memories of disregard for the Earth are scattered amidst framed amaranth and prints that command viewers to plant, grow, eat, love and, ultimately, decolonize. And while “decolonization” may be an important concept, even a buzzword in some communities, “it was important to articulate what the practice of decolonization actually is,” Bojorquez says. “We aim to share that and provide a constructive example of what the action looks like.”

The action looks like desert ArtLAB revitalizing the plot with native plants to create a healthy and edible landscape. Due to the neglected nature of the space, the artists first had to use a jackhammer to get into the ground and plant cholla cacti, which act as a natural tiller and survive intense living conditions. “Amaranth, cholla—these plants take so little,” Garcia shares with matter-of-fact exuberance. “They survive the most hostile environments and give so much back.”

The artist-ecologists do the same, using the initiative to challenge urban spaces that have disregarded dryland resources and Indigenous histories with opportunities for reciprocity and engagement. In the case of Ecologies, the artists employ college students in the Pueblo community to help restore the land.

Even with this support, the beginning of the project was met with waves of doubt. “The community would come around and tell us, ‘You’ll have to get soil; nothing is going to grow; the land is dead,’” Garcia explains.

But the artists persisted. Rather than adding soil, they started with the “dead” land, in recognition that the road to recovery takes an equal amount of time as the road to destruction.

“This is a time-based project,” Garcia tells SFR, “and that time frame is generations. It’s going to take a long time to realistically regrow and promote dryland beauty—it took a long time to get where it is now, and it is going to take a long time to grow it back.”

Now, a year into the project, Bojorquez shares that the growth has begun. The land is coming to life. Those who doubted now look on in amazement. The Ecologies of Resistance story unfolds with grace and rigid resilience, much like a cactus in bloom.

With amaranth and cholla as guides, desert ArtLAB’s artfully ecological approach withstands winds of change and threatening environments to continually grow into irrepressible beauty.



Ecologies of Resistance Artist Reception

5 pm Thursday Aug. 17. Free.


Mobile Eco-Studio Performance

1 pm Saturday Aug. 19. Free.

Both events: Museum of Contemporary Native Arts,
108 Cathedral Place,
983-8900


Iconik?

Now with dinner

Food WritingWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Michael J Wilson

In many cities, coffee shops tend to stick to the liquid realm, often venturing only as far as bagels, cookies and muffins. Caffeine peddlers here, however, have also been known to sell a variety of foods, from sandwiches to pie, and the trend in Santa Fe has moved ever closer to full-service restaurant in the last few years.

Iconik Coffee Roasters (1600 Lena St., 428-0996) is the latest café to head in this direction, quietly adding later hours and a dinner menu. The coffee roasters have always offered decent food: a nice mix of items from breakfast burritos to grilled cheese. But over the last year, they added foods to the menu with a pan-Asian flair as falafel and a Thai salad joined the more classic items.

The newly implemented full dinner menu, developed over the last few months by chef Mario Rascon, presses fully in this direction—lamb, Korean galbi steak, pani-puri (a fried puff pastry often consisting of mashed potatoes and tamarind) and ramen are now on their “Eat More” tapas and mains menu, alongside lamb sliders, salmon tacos, a quinoa sweet potato bowl and more. The new menu starts around 12:30 pm and is available until they close at 8 pm; most items run under $10.

To say I am skeptical of coffee shops trying to be full restaurants is putting it mildly. Being able to serve drinks hardly assures the ability to make the transition to functioning restaurant. And to be honest, I’ve never really been an Iconik fan. I find the whole aesthetic to be a bit on the overly “cool” side. It’s rarely anything but packed to the rafters, and parking on Lena Street is garbage. The food and drinks have always been fine enough, though, so off I went to try it out.

The new hours are still a bit unknown to Santa Feans, so the room was mostly empty, which was wonderful. I took the suggestion of the counter person and tried out the Korean galbi steak bowl ($10.50). I also got an iced latte. What might end up being the best part of their dinner menu, though, is that Iconik is now the latest-open coffee shop in town.

I found a seat by the window and read a bit as I waited for my meal. The food came quick and was plated simply but well.

First Impressions:

  • The galbi steak bowl looked to be just the right amount to fill oneself up.
  • The meat had a nice sear.

Brown rice, carrots, red peppers and perfectly cooked hunks of rib beef make up this simple rice bowl. The whole thing was covered in a nice, sweetly thick soy-based sauce which made it rich and filling and I could picture myself eating it on a cold day by a fire. Galbi is a Korean catch-all term to describe rib meat, and Iconik is aiming for a sort of heightened street food vibe that both does and does not make sense with a coffee shop in Santa Fe. It’s simple, easy to prepare and is comforting.

The server suggested I come again to try the pani-puri ($5.50), and I decided that it made sense to visit a second time before judging the new menu. Two days later I returned for a late lunch. This time, I had a difficult go of finding a seat and the line stretched to the door. I sighed and waited for my pani-puri.

First Impressions:

  • It was a bit sloppy-looking, kind of tossed together.
  • The portion definitely looked like an appetizer/tapas serving.
  • There was a mystery red sauce on the plate.

Pani-puri is a simple street food from the Indian sub-continent. Iconik’s is a fried semolina shell stuffed with potato, chickpeas and onion. Usually light on spice, they come with two dipping sauces. The shells were crisp and light, the filling mild if a bit bland. I have this problem with chickpeas. They don’t really excite the palate much. The mystery sauce, which I was told is made from tamarind, literally tasted like nothing. The green sauce was cilantro and mint-based and added the right amount of bite to the dish, but overall the pani-puri wound up forgettable.

I’ve always liked Iconik’s bagels and grilled cheese sandwiches, so I am hopeful that the menu will continue to evolve and improve.

Overall, the additions are welcome—a cafe open after 6 pm could only be a positive thing for Santa Fe, and I hope that Iconik succeeds with their expansions in this regard. Check it out before the laptop crowd gets wind of the new hours, though, and it becomes difficult to grab a seat.


Happier Campers

Website expands camping opportunities in New Mexico, though some listings come buyer-beware

The EnthusiastWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Elizabeth Miller

Roslyn Weiss, a transplant from Boulder who is building a farmstead in Las Trampas, created a Hipcamp profile at hipcamp.com the day her mother told her about the site in March.

“We are just getting settled here with the intention of doing sustainable food production on the land, and part of our financial model in kind of bootstrapping this operation is offering stays on the farm,” she says. “It’s just part of our dream of making this land happen.”

So far, she’s had just one “hipcamper,” but sees lots of potential, and recently purchased a circus-esque canvas tent with plans to add “glamping.”

It’s an example of Hipcamp doing what it does best: connecting private landowners with would-be campers looking for somewhere unique to pitch a tent. Website founder and CEO Alyssa Ravasio has seen the endeavor support other sustainable farming operations, and even bridge the urban-rural divide. It’s big growth from an idea that started around a failure to plan, after Ravasio once found herself short-changed out of a beach camping experience because she did not book a campsite far enough in advance.

The website began in California four years ago as a resource guide for campsite information so people could be smart about picking a site and as a way of searching for nearby available sites if a chosen campground was booked. The private landowners component came two years ago. They’re targeting New Mexico for growth, identifying landowners who might be a good fit, reaching out, and walking them through a process that includes creating a listing, sending over a professional photographer and signing up for insurance. Already, local offerings include a cabin on the Pecos River and space for trailers or tents on 7.5 acres along the San Antonio River in the Jemez Mountains.

“The number one reason why people love going on Hipcamp isn’t just because there’s nowhere else to go,” Ravasio says. “It’s a really unique experience. It’s a chance to go somewhere that is generally going to be really private. You’re going to have a situation where you have 100 acres all to yourself.” It’s a chance to book a place with friends or family and not worry about keeping the neighbors up at night.

While the private land listings look promising, there are some, shall we say, gaps in the resource guide when it comes to camping on nearby public lands. The listing for the Big Tesuque Campground—the grassy hillside in the aspens along the road to Ski Santa Fe—appears with a photo of the pink sandstone of the Gilman Tunnels. Big T is in the eastern half of the Santa Fe National Forest, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains; Gilman Tunnels in the west, in the Jemez. The Aspen Basin Campground in the ski area parking lot gets treated to a scenic photo of an alpine lake that would be visible only after hiking miles up the ski hill.

“If the community hasn’t uploaded a photo yet for the campground, we just default to a photo from the national forest, so it’s definitely not ideal,” Ravasio says. “In areas where we’ve been around for a bit longer, we’ve seen really great community involvement.”

Written descriptions were intended to provide details to help fill in those gaps. But again, at Aspen Basin Campground, the area is described as “relatively undeveloped”—which is true, just as long as you’re facing away from the ski lodge. The writer continues, “The entire area is ultra scenic, so it can get popular during the summer an fall aspen viewing seasons.”

It is, and it does, but would the truly uninitiated show up for an “undeveloped” experience and be turned off by so much asphalt?

Activities should also be double-checked. The writer recommends the hiking, biking, and camping near the Panchuela Campground in the Pecos Wilderness, but biking on trails would violate federal law banning bikes there.

Hipcamp lists sites in the Santa Fe National Forest as walk-ups, but the federally run recreation.gov allows booking some of them in advance. That website is working on an overhaul now to add one of the components from Hipcamp: browsing by a real-time feed of available sites. In addition to aggregating campsites and cabins available through all federal land agencies, that data has been released to other websites developers for reuse.

“We just feel that being able to provide this data allows for creativity and innovation—like a Hipcamp—to just simply expand the ways in which people can access this information,” Smith says. “We want to meet people where they are, if it’s in a website or another social network, so that they can access this information from wherever they are.”

Right now, for people in Santa Fe, Ravasio says, connecting with sites on private land is probably the more useful component of hipcamp.com. Or, if you’re still searching out somewhere to catch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, there’s a one-click link for last-minute bookings in the path of the totality.


Indian Market Fashion Roundup

Bed HeadWednesday, August 16, 2017 by Maria Egolf-Romero

Late summer in Santa Fe is lovely. The high desert transforms to its greenest state, lavender bushes thrive and wildflowers dot the aspen forests. The days are warm and the evening magenta skies sparkle with monsoon lightning. But most out-of-towners visit during this mid-August week for a different reason: to attend Indian Market.

The 94th annual market from the folks at the Southwest Association for Indian Arts brings nearly 900 contemporary Native American artists and hundreds of thousands of attendees to the Santa Fe Plaza. Over the years, other art markets have cropped up around the same time as well; a plethora of galleries hold openings featuring Native artists and pop-ups take over spaces around town. It’s a bonanza of creativity and there’s no exception in the case of fashion. Whether you have a thing for hand-painted denim or are addicted to couture, there is something stylish to drool over.

Kodera brings big modern turquoise designs to add to the already stunning display of jewelry at Shiprock Santa Fe. Sneak the metallic trend into your fall wardrobe with a fringe bag by designer Maya Stewart.
At 9 am Thursday Aug. 17, We Are the Seeds opens for the first time in the Railyard. The juried market features works by over 70 Native artists, and Loren (Acoma) and Valentina (Diné) Aragon bring high fashion to the premiere market with their brand ACONAV. Expect silky gowns featuring earthy geometric patterns and others with graphic printed designs. The market continues until 5 pm Thursday, as well as 9 am-5 pm Friday and 9 am-4 pm Saturday; get a full schedule of events at wearetheseedsart.com.

On Friday Aug. 18, see a special presentation of jewelry by renowned turquoise collector and advisor Yasutomo Kodera at Shiprock Santa Fe (53 Old Santa Fe Trail, 982-8478) from 2-4 pm. In addition to showing pieces from his Sky Blue Hawk collection, the expert is scheduled to help with stone identification. Peruse big bracelets, modern squash blossom necklaces and consult Kodera about the origins of grandma’s ring, all at the same event.

Spend Friday evening surrounded by hand-painted silk jackets and handmade leather bags at the group exhibit Native Voices at Singular Couture (5 pm. Free. Plaza Galeria, 66 E San Francisco St., 415-259-9742), the shop and studio of artist Sarah Nolan. Lorne Kris Honyumptewa (Hopi/Picuris), David Naranjo (Santa Clara) and Anthony Gchachu (Zuni) present outerwear featuring celestial themes or the Zuni Sun Maiden. Maya Stewart, a Chickasaw, Creek and Choctaw leatherworker who attended the London College of Fashion, brings her handbags to this exhibit. I’m lusting after her silver shoulder bag with fringe and a simple arrow pressed into its metallic leather. Metal is going to be everywhere this fall, and this piece is the perfect way to add a little shine to your outfit.

Saturday Aug. 19 is the first day of SWAIA’s Indian Market, with booths opening on the Santa Fe Plaza bright and early at 7 am. You’ll see silver, gold, cerulean and crimson iterations of kachinas, bracelets, blankets and tiny pots. But for fellow fashion-lovers, the biggest spectacle comes at 3 pm when the Indian Market Haute Couture Fashion show takes place for the fourth time ever, but for the first time in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center (201 W Marcy St., 955-6200). Seated tickets are sold out, so arrive early to nab your standing-room spot and ogle custom designs by Native designers including Orlando Dugi (Diné), former Project Runway contestant Patricia Michaels (Taos), Violet Ahmie (Laguna) and others.

Later on Saturday evening, a fashion event at the new Zohi Gallery (8 pm. Free. 130 Lincoln Ave., 557-6627) keeps the catwalk concept going as models don designs by Diné designer Lehi ThunderVoice Eagle, Crow/Cheyenne creator Bethany Yellowtail, and—of course—many more. I am obsessed with B.Yellowtail (Yellowtail’s brand and collective) and her bellbottom floral leggings (which, by the way, are made in occupied Tongva territory—aka Los Angeles).

Finally, stop by the unusually located Felicia Gabaldon Pop-Up at Oculus | Botwin Eye Group (7 pm. Free. 125 W Water St., 988-4442) and see hand-painted denim jackets, vests, T-shirts, stickers and buttons from the Native artist (she’s from Santa Fe, but is currently based in Oakland, California). Her alternately sassy, ethereal and inspiring works are perfect for the wall or your body, and you’ll want to hang out in your Gabaldon wear for the rest of the weekend. Get a peek at what to expect at feliciagabaldon.com.

Happy marketing, fashion-seekers. Even if you’re a total homebody, brave the crowds. This week of beauty is worth it.


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