Vertical Santa Fe: Walking the Southwest U.S.A.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.  –Georgia O’Keeffe
One can not be an American by going about saying that one is an American. It is necessary to feel America, like America, love America and then work.  –Georgia O’Keeffe

sky high


purple flame

We traveled north to Santa Fe for the weekend and stayed two nights.  When you arrive near the center of Santa Fe you are compelled to go out and walk into it. The city instructs you to walk.  It’s the best way to tune into all the details.  The richness, the tapestry of earthen walls, dense street life, sumptuous food aromas, vibrancy of people and colors, perfect air, all invite you to step out and enjoy the fullness of life outdoors with people in this expansive city.


O'Keefe Museum


We stayed in a quiet residential neighborhood just off the plaza at the AdobeStar Inn.  I sat outdoors at night and watched the blue moon arcing over the crystalline sky.  Sipping coffee in the silent morning I saw the first dappled light shimmer through the tree branches and down onto the adobe walls.  We were literally a few minutes walk from the plaza and O’Keefe Museum.  The room was in a house but with a private entrance.  Great place to stay.

the lensic

big fat Southwest Adobe

angle up

People come to Santa Fe for a lot of reasons but I think one of the main ones is to get grounded.  The beige buildings laddering up to the unbelievably blue Southwest sky creates an ambiance that is at once cozy and spacious.  The Sangre de Cristo mountains are so near to town they feel a part of it.  Like the city spilled from the mountains and collected itself here.

look out

Santa Fe window display

Santa Fe Sharrows

As you follow the walking roads spiraling inwards toward the heart of the city the closeness of these centuries old streets brings people together on intimate terms.  People walking, biking, and using cars create a graceful flow of motion.  Sharrows (the symbols pictured above) confirm where it is generally safest for bicyclists to ride, away from right edge hazards such as curbs and opening car doors.  The abundance of destinations, the shopping, restaurants, music, theatre, architecture and walking art tours, get people out and into the action and the people themselves become a main part of the lively ambiance making up the beautiful city streets.

street flower song

the lensic two

chamber music

It’s a gorgeous town that invites people to enjoy walking.  The way the buildings seem to come up from the earth but remain a part of it is suggestive of deep time.  Anywhere you look up in Santa Fe you can see the mountains and feel the big space in the high desert and breathe in freedom.  The underlying patterns and formative processes of civilization are apparent here, and there are many nice amenities that help us to enjoy it and take it all in.  Santa Fe has one of most well developed and natural walking cultures anywhere.  A great place to come and feel the motions of creativity in the American experience.  Walk Santa Fe and be a part of it.

art walking tours

positive direction

big flowers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s