Love You, Santa Fe—Mean It!
Iconic local Heather McKearnan throws a party for the entire city
There’s a common Santa Fe story wherein someone comes through town for whatever reason, planning to stay a short time, then they wake up decades later with a hankering for a Tia Sophia’s breakfast burrito and wondering what the hell even happened. And that’s the story for local legend Heather McKearnan. You likely know McKearnan from her years behind the bar at the Cowgirl or, more recently, La Reina at El Rey Court. The pandemic kept her from celebrating her 50th birthday as planned in New Orleans circa 2020, so she’s taking all those vibes and rolling them into a party this week at El Rey Court—and she’s inviting the whole city.
“My mom came to work for the Santa Fe Opera in 1982, and it became one of my parents’ favorite places to escape from New York City,” says the Brooklyn-bred McKearnan. “Santa Fe was on my radar when I decided to leave New York, but I really only thought I’d be here for six months.”
Cut to 30 years later, and McKearnan wants everyone to know she stone-cold loves this town. Perhaps it’s the pace of the city or those gorgeous vistas; it’s definitely something to do with community, she says.
“We look out for each other here,” McKearnan philosophizes. “We care about each other.”
Heather Hearts Santa Fe is thus a celebration of that, an afternoon-to-night party that finds local musical heroes like Westin McDowell and Joe West slingin’ their craft across Americana, rock, folk and more—plus pizza from Tender Fire Kitchen and other comestibles from the El Rey’s Turquoise Trailer food truck. The most exciting part of the show, though, might be the return of DJ Oona’s Trash Disco, an event that hasn’t popped off in some time but that will set the dancey tone for the later hours of the party starting at 9 pm.
“I heard Oona spin the other night for Pride, and I was just so friggin’ excited because I couldn’t get off the dance floor,” McKearnan explains. “She keeps you so engaged.”
True that. Also true: The party sounds like a chance for certain stalwart local scenes to converge again at long last. Heather hearts Santa Fe and Santa Fe hearts her back. Oh, and there’s no cover, which always rules. (Alex De Vore)
Heather Hearts Santa Fe with Westin McDowell, Joe West and DJ Oona’s Trash Disco: 4-9 pm Sunday, July 9. Free. El Rey Court, (505) 982-1931
Local crime novelist Michael McGarrity somehow perfectly describes the Southwest while driving his readers through the desert in his gritty noir narratives. Yet after mastering how to blend the beauty of New Mexican landscapes with bad guys and blood, McGarrity finally crosses the state line in his newest standalone novel, The Long Ago. Beginning in Montana and eventually unfolding in Hollywood and Los Angeles, the story follows Raymond Lansdale as he returns home on leave from the Vietnam War to search for his missing sister. Catch the author discussing this exciting addition to his oeuvre at Collected Works this week with another local literary luminary, Carmella Padilla. (Noah Hale)
Michael McGarrity Author Talk: 6 pm Friday, July 7. Free. Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St., (505) 988-4226
As we discussed back when downtown dive The Matador hosted its Sweet 16 bash this spring, it’s bizarrely difficult to accurately gauge the age of local bars and breweries. Well, we were shocked anew to discover the Santa Fe Brewing Company is not only a bit older than the still-teenaged Matador—it’s celebrating 35 years of brews, events, hangs and fun this weekend. Even better? The evening of live music, food, art demos (collage earrings, anybody?) and beer halls co-presented by ArtWalk Santa Fe doesn’t just sound like an enjoyable opportunity to indulge in New Mexican pride—it also doubles as a fundraiser for ARTsmart New Mexico, Teatro Paraguas and the Alto Arts Integration Program. (Siena Sofia Bergt)
Desert Party+Artwalk: 4-11 pm Saturday, July 8. $10 suggested. Santa Fe Brewing Company, 35 Fire Place, (505) 424-3333
Did we just suggest catching the Studio Ghibli classic Kiki’s Delivery Service at Violet Crown Cinema a couple issues ago? Yup. And are we suggesting you kick it back even further to 1986 for a screening of Castle in the Sky? Also yup. This Miyazaki banger about young orphans embroiled in a search for a mythical city has it all: floating castles, love, adventure, sky pirates, orphans, robots; the list goes on. It’s a little bit Gulliver’s Travels and a whole lot of fun for moviegoers of any age, not to mention a fascinating glimpse into early Ghibli works that sort of planted the roots for the studio’s touchstone elements. Violet Crown screens Ghibli’s Nausicaä this week, too, if you feel like seeing both. (ADV)
Castle in the Sky: 7 pm Monday, July 10 (subtitled) and Tuesday, July 11 (dubbed). $14-$15. Violet Crown Cinema, 1606 Alcaldesa St., (505) 216-5678