What a week- sun and around 70 one day and snow the next. We love May in Santa Fe! The weather is generally perfect, warm days, chilly nights and it’s before the tourist season starts. Outdoor dining patios and courtyards are open for the season, rafting has started and it’s our preferred hiking weather; not to cold, not too hot – as Goldilocks would say, “Just right.” It’s the perfect time to visit Santa Fe! Here’s a bit of what’s happening in May.
Santa Fe food and dining news
The Santa Fe Margarita Trail
We’re excited about the new Santa Fe Margarita Trail. The trail fittingly launches on Cinco de Mayo. Tequila has a long history here. According to TOURISM Santa Fe director Randy Randall, Santa Fe was the Spanish Colonial outpost to receive tequila from Mexico. It came up via the historic El Camino Real. Over 30 participating restaurants will offer signature margaritas priced from $7 to $12. Margarita aficionados over age 21 can purchase a “passport” for $3 at Tourism Santa Fe locations or participating restaurants and bars. Five stamps will get you a Santa Fe Margarita Trail t-shirt, 20 will earn you a signed copy of Al Lucero’s The Great Margarita Book with a forward by Robert Redford. Fill the entire card and win the grand prize: your own Margarita Bartender Kit. We’re going on a preview of the trail in early May and will have a post up on it for Cinco de Mayo. Want to read it? Subscribe to Santa Fe Travelers here and it will be delivered directly to your inbox.
La Fiesta Lounge at La Fonda
La Fiesta Lounge, the lobby bar at La Fonda on the Plaza, has reopened after renovations. Decor is upscale casual, the color palette a rich mix of deep reds, chocolate and gray. Cream leather furniture and covered bancos lining the perimeter of the room create a relaxed ambiance. A decorative tin ceiling nestled between the vigas recalls a bygone day at the historic hotel. Not only is the bar sporting a new look, the menu had been updated as well. While La Fiesta will continue to offer its popular lunch buffet, there have been menu changes that diners can look forward to. According to the hotel, a range of tempting options from “a flight of salsas and chips to deconstructed nachos to heartier fare (think La Fonda’s iconic green chile cheeseburger) to crispy dessert churros with Mexican chocolate dipping sauce” are on offer. Drinks range from beer and wine to a selection of tequilas and signature cocktails including their Tequila Smash and Wild Berry Mojito. Evenings brings live bands and dancing. There’s nothing that says Santa Fe more than folks duded up in cowboy gear line-dancing to the Texas swing sounds of the Bill Hearne Trio. The energy will perk up an evening; you may find yourself yelling “ah-ha” Bob Wills style
Dining patios, courtyards and decks all over town are open by Mother’s Day. Some spots offer great people-watching and others secluded spots behind adobe walls. Pick what works best for your mood and style. The great news for dog-owners is many allow your best friend to accompany you. Check before you go to see if they are dog-friendly. If you want to dine outside at more popular restaurants arrive early or be prepared to wait. On sunny days these are the most sought-after seats in town. Read our posts on outdoor dining in Santa Fe.
Geronimo’s new chef
When Santa Fe’s beloved chef, Eric DiStefano passed away unexpectedly in February, it left the culinary community and the city as well, in shock. The big question: who would succeed him at Geronimo? We have the answer: Sllin Cruz. The young chef, who hails from Mexico, handpicked By DiStefano to be chef de cuisine at Geronimo over two years ago, has been appointed as executive chef. According to Chris Harvey, long-time partner in the restaurant, he and Eric had discussed Cruz taking over for him at some point; the choice is blessed by the master. Long-time signature dishes such as the Tellicherry Elk Tenderloin and the mesquite grilled lobster will remain on the menu. Cruz will introduce his touch with seasonally-changing dishes. We can’t wait to see him flex his culinary muscles.
Outside Bike and Brew
Biking and beer are hot these days! The third annual Outside Bike and Brew takes place at Santa Fe’s Fort Marcy Park from Friday, May 20th through Sunday, May 22nd sponsored by Outside Magazine who calls The City Different home. They’re calling it “one of the nation’s most innovative craft-beer-and-cycling festivals.” Participants can spend the day riding and then enjoy a bit of down time with a bit of brew. Weekend events include more than 60 official rides, tours, clinics, events, and beer tastings. In addition there will be bike movies, beer dinners, and live concerts. Tickets and free event registration can be found on their website.
Santa Fe art
The four state-run museums in Santa Fe (New Mexico History Museum including the Palace of the Governors, New Mexico Museum of Art, International Museum of Folk Art and Museum of Indian Arts and Culture) all begin summer hours on Monday, May 2nd. Museums will be open daily from 10am to 5pm. In addition, the history and art museums, located downtown, will have free admission on Fridays evenings from 5 to 8pm.
The long anticipated opening of Meow Wolf, an over 33,000 square foot art space and their cutting-edge interactive installation, House of Eternal Return took place in mid-March. We wanted to include it in our March Tidbits but MW was keeping their cards close to their vest, wanting the opening to be a surprise. We got to visit it in early April. It was worth the wait! Set in a former bowling alley that was bought and renovated by Santa Fean George RR Martin, the renowned author of the books that led to the Game of Thrones HBO series, specifically to give Meow Wolf a home.
The immersive, interactive multimedia exhibition, which will wow all ages, is part Disney World, part carnival funhouse, part Halloween Haunted House, part children’s museum and more. No description can convey the experience you’ll have at this visceral installation. It was an assault on the senses in a good way. Every few steps a “Wow,” came out of my mouth. It was fantastic! The premise is that something has happened at the Selig family Victorian. Discovering the mystery will take you through the looking glass into a magical world with unexpected twists and turns. You’ll find a video game arcade which includes a pinball machine for the older folks, a room of lasers which is what I imagine an acid trip would be like and other unique experiences. Confession, I didn’t even make it to the second floor. I needed to process what I’d seen. The good news: keep your bracelet and you can get in as many times as you like in one day.
Native Treasures, an annual invitational show featuring some of the country’s top Native American artists, takes place Memorial Day weekend at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. The event runs from Friday May 27th through Sunday the 29th. Proceeds of the show, now in it’s 12th year, benefits the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC). It’s also the unofficial great kick-off for the summer art show scene in The City Different. Each year they honor a living treasure. This year, they’ve chosen Hopi/Tewa Artist Dan Namingha. The prolific artist, who is in many collections, shows at his family’s Niman Fine Arts Gallery on Lincoln Avenue along with his two sons, Arlo and Michael. Native Treasures starts with Friday night preview 5:30 to 7:30. Tickets are $125. Last year’s Living Treasure honorees, sisters Teri Greeves and Keri Ataumbi will present Namingha with his award at the preview party. The show opens for early bird shopping on Saturday from 9am to 10pm (tickets are $25) and to the general public from 10am to 5pm (tickets are $10). Admission on Sunday from 10am to 5pm is free. In conjunction with his living treasure designation, MIAC has mounted an exhibition, Landscape of an Artist: Living Treasure Dan Namingha, which runs through September 11th.
Canyon Road Spring Arts Festival
Mother’s Day weekend brings the 2016 Canyon Road Spring Arts Festival. The street will come alive with art and artists starting with a Friday evening art walk. Highlight of the weekend are by the Artist Slow Draw. Sixty artists will set up their easels along the historic road and create a work of art in five hours. The works will be sold to the highest bidder at the Live Auction later in the day. The event is presented by the Canyon Road Merchant’s Association. Check their website for more information.
Museum and gallery openings
Lowrider culture is alive and well in NM. the New Mexico History Museum opens a new show, Lowriders, Hoppers and Hot Rods: Car Culture of Northern New Mexico, on Sunday, May 1st from 12 to 4 pm. The event kicks off Lowrider Summer. The show chronicles the state’s low-rider culture in in photographs, hubcaps, hood ornaments, car show banners and actual low-rider cars. Opening day events include a free photo booth, looped screenings of the film, South American Cho Low, with a lecture about the history of the nationally renowned Lowrider Magazine by Albuquerque correspondent and photographer Travis Ruiz at 2pm. The low-rider exhibition runs through March 5. 2017.
On May 21st the New Mexico Museum of Art will open their low-rider themed exhibition, Con Cariño: Artists Inspired by Lowriders, in conjustion wit Lowrider Summer. The exhibition will tell the low-rider story in photographs, paintings, sculptures, and videos. “The artists in this exhibition explore issues of family, gender, religion, and status.” The show runs through October 9th.
Turner Carroll Gallery opens a new exhibition, The Book of John featuring what they call the “playfully explosive paintings” of Santa Fe artist, John Barker on Tuesday, May 10th with an artist’s reception on Friday, May 13th from 5 to 7pm. The paintings are inspired by the “contraries of Poetic Genius as described by William Blake: Attraction and Repulsion; Love and Hate; Energy and Reason.” The show runs through May 31st.
Axle Contemporary, the gallery on wheels, has two shows opening in May. The first, The Readymade: 100 years opens on May 13th. The show is inspired by artist Marcel Duchamp who used the term “readymade” 100 years ago. These were manufactured objects that he modified and called art, such as a bicycle wheel and a bottle-drying rack. Axle invited New Mexico artists to submit works using this theme for the show. It runs through May 22nd.
Their second May show, Greta Young — Big Paintings in a Small Van runs Friday, May 27th through Sunday, May 29th. The artist will fill the van with a “maze-like installation of her large gestural paintings on unstretched canvas.” Viewers will experience the work “from extreme proximity” as they squeeze their way through the narrow gallery. Check the gallery’s website for locations and times.
Santa Fe’s long-time Karan Ruhlen Gallery changed ownership this year. The new gallery, Ruhlen-Owens Contemporary, is now owned by long-time gallery director, Tim Owens. Creative Transition, the inaugural exhibition under the new ownership opens on May 27th with an artists’ reception from 5 to 7pm. Artists whose work will be on view are painters Martha Rea Baker, Elaine Holien, Mary Long, Martha Mans, Kurt Meer, Stephen Pentak, Daniel Phill, Jinni Thomas, Kevin Tolman and Pauline Ziegen and sculptors Sally Hepler and Bret Price. The show runs through June 9th.
Santa Fe Music and dance
The Santa Fe Symphony presents Beethoven Festival at The Lensic Performing Arts Center on Saturday, May 14th at 7pm and Sunday, May 15th at 4pm. Pianist Sean Chen returns to Santa Fe to perform Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy for piano, orchestra and chorus. The other Beethoven works on the program are Leonore Overture No. 3, March & Chorus from The Ruins of Athens. Tickets, $25 to $80, are available through the Symphony, at the Lensic box office or online at Tickets Santa Fe*. Half-price tickets available for children ages 6 to 14 with adult purchase (no children under six admitted).
Performance Santa Fe has two shows planned for May. Pianist Yuja Wang will perform an evening of piano works on Monday, May 9th at 7:30pn at the Lensic. The program features Brahms’ Ballades Op. 10, Nos. 1 and 2, Schumann’s Kreisleriana, Op. 16 Phantasien für das Pianoforte and Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 29 Hammerklavie.
On Sunday, May 22nd tap dancer Savion Glover will hoof it up at the Lensic at 4pm. Glover who’s been performing since age 12 has been called “the world’s greatest tap dancer.” We’ll be in the audience watching those shoes fly. He’ll be joined legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette and his quartet.
Tickets to both shows are $27 to$100 and can be purchased on the PSF website or online at Tickets Santa Fe*.
Santa Fe misc
We love visiting historic homes and buildings everywhere and always look forward to the annual Historic Santa Fe Foundation’s Mother’s Day tour on Sunday May 8th from 1 to 5pm. This year the tour focuses on the Barrio Analco’s DeVargas Street, the city’s oldest neighborhood. Buildings on the tour are the Oldest House, the Roque Tudesqui House and the Bataan Building. San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the USA, will also be on the tour but with limited hours. They’ll be open from 1 to 1:50pm and from 3:10 to 4pm. Advance tickets, $7 for members and $12 for non-members, may be purchased on the HSFF website. Tickets mayalso be purchased at each venue during the tour. Same-day tickets for members are $10; non-membertickets will be $!5.
That’s it for this month. Enjoy spring! Tidbits will be back the last Tuesday in May.
If you don’t already subscribe to our newsletter and want to read about Santa Fe, Northern New Mexico or our latest travels, subscribe here.