So I am in Santa Fe right now. This is the first time I've been to the Southwest at all! So everything is very new to me -- the land, the light, the smells. I'm here for a family wedding, and between the wedding-related events & the difficulty of getting my little group of family members all moving in the same direction at the same time, there's not a huge ton of time for sightseeing. But I've been able to spend several hours downtown (in the general vicinity of the Plaza), and I have to say, this seems like a really neat town. Also, everybody here dresses much better than people in Indiana do. Also, looking around all the little shops makes me wish I had a LOT more money than I do. :)
I went into a nice little bookstore called Collected Works; when I'm in a new town, one of my favorite things to do is to go into a local bookstore and try to buy a couple of books by local poets. Collected Works had a pretty decent poetry section which included quite a few local and local-ish poets, and I found three that appealed to me after dipping into them just a bit, so that was a big bookstore success (one book each by Pat Mora, Valerie Martinez, and Carol Moldaw). Also popped into a couple of galleries and several other little shops. It is definitely the sort of "interesting shops and galleries" town I love spending time in, and I think I will try to come back sometime when I can be more leisurely about things. I'll keep an eye out for particularly good poetry readings out here, and maybe try to time a visit so that I can hear somebody fabulous.
Speaking of which, I had hoped to make it to a reading by Sheryl Luna and a couple other poets at the Institute of American Indian Arts this afternoon, but the stars just weren't aligned quite right, or whatever. (Plus I was slightly mistaken about where the reading was, and made it to the IAIA museum about one minute before the reading was scheduled to start, but the reading was about 20 miles away at the IAIA school. Oops. I wouldn't have been able to make it out there anyway, unfortunately.) Sorry, Sheryl -- next time!
I do want to come back to Santa Fe; it doesn't strike me as someplace I am drawn to in an "I really want to live here when I win the lottery" kind of way (which is how I feel about Provincetown), but it's certainly a place where I'd like to spend a little time. I'd also like to get out of town and investigate the landscape a bit, do a little light hiking, that kind of thing. I have to say that after a dreary, rainy, chilly few days in Bloomington, the brilliant sunshine here is most welcome indeed. I'd like to go hunting for poems here, which would probably mean traveling alone (something I enjoy anyway). October seems like a particularly good time to be here, so maybe next year. Anybody know what the queer community is like here? I haven't been able to get a sense of that yet.