Monday, September 15, 2008


Santa Fe had a big party this past weekend, and everyone was invited - so we went. The celebration marked the rebirth of the Santa Fe Railyard, a derelict 50-acre railroad switching yard redeveloped over the past 13 years into a lively, beautiful, multi-use community space.

The Railyard is southwest of Historic Santa Fe and the plaza, an easy walk. The development isn't complete, but the commercial anchor, an REI store, was open and doing a booming business. New restaurants are open, along with a couple galleries and facilities for non-profits - and an imaginative park is close to completion.

One building that is completed is the new, permanent space for the Santa Fe Farmers' Market, our target on Saturday morning. We hopped on the bus outside the RV park and, guess what? It was FREE both Saturday and Sunday, for the "special event" opening of the Railyard. What a hospitable touch!

The bus dropped us off 1 block from the Railyard and we followed our ears and noses right to the park. Bands played on a couple different stages all day long, and food vendors filled the air with savory smells. The Farmer's Market building was bustling inside, and surrounded by more stalls on the outside. This is the kind of market we love - produce, eggs, organic meats, cheeses, jams, baked goods. There were chiles and chile products everywhere! We sampled, browsed and bought.

People-watching in Santa Fe is superior! Of course there were lots of kids and dogs, and strolling old folks. Many women in voluminous, flowing garments. Interesting hats. Dreadlocks. Colorful shawls and heavy turquoise jewelry. Expensive strollers. Cops on three-wheeled Segways!

We couldn't stay all day on Saturday because we had produce to take home, but we enjoyed ourselves so much that we returned on Sunday (the bus ride was free again) to eat, drink, and laze around on the lawn watching the other visitors enjoy themselves.

I couldn't help thinking of the railyard in Sacramento, our ex-hometown. The discussion over what to do with their huge urban eyesore has lasted several years in Sacramento, though we never see any progress when we visit. The new Farmers' Market building in Santa Fe reminded me of Bellingham, Washington's, Farmers' Market, a wonderful amenity in that city - and the spaces for the non-profits and restaurants brought to mind Ft. Mason in San Francisco. I hope Sacramento can pull off something similar one day... or should I say one decade?

Our Boomer friends Bobbie and Jim Chapman, who we last saw at the Great Sand Dunes (after Odel gave Bobbie the "Odel haircut" in Buena Vista), came by for a happy hour visit this afternoon and told us about their plans to work for as "seasonals". They are on their way to Coffeyville, Kansas, to the Amazon warehouse, where they will work from mid-October until December 23rd filling all your Christmas orders. Amazon hires 700 seasonals just for the Kansas warehouse! I'm looking forward to the story of their experiences there.

1 comment:

  1. What a fun weekend!! I love the picture of the flowers. I've made it the background picture (taking the place of the Rio Grande gorge picture)for my desktop. It looks so cheerful. There's a real feeling of fall in the air...