Jennifer Goes to Things & Does Stuff

Beyond the bong: CBD stores

Most nights, I cannot get my brain to shut off and go to sleep. I wake up numerous times, usually in mid-thought. This has been going on for about 40 years — but for the last few weeks, I’ve been achieving the sort of deep rest I’ve only heard about from other people. As far as I can tell, it’s all thanks to CBD.

Jennifer Goes [To Things & Does Stuff]

CSF is dead. Long live CSF.

I arrived at the College of Santa Fe in January 1994 under the bluest sky I had ever seen, in weather warm enough for shirtsleeves. In one of my first classes, “Western Culture,” I butted heads with Brother Andre LaCoste, who questioned a source I’d cited as support for an argument I was making. I went to my dorm room, hand-copied an entire page from a book onto notebook paper, and put it under his office door to prove I was right.

Jennifer Goes [To Things & Does Stuff]

Long live vinyl: Record Store Day

Record Store Day 2018 is Saturday, April 21, and is the 11th annual international event. The Good Stuff is one of two independent record stores in town taking part; the other is The Guy in the Groove, a retail space operated by Dick Rosemont and located inside A Sound Look on Cerrillos Road. 

Americans are an increasingly busy and stressed-out people. We work long hours and still struggle to make ends meet while worrying about the direction of our government and the safety of our families. Indeed, according to the United Nations, the United States now ranks 18 on the 2018 World Happiness Report by country.

I readily agreed when a co-worker encouraged me to get my palm read and write about it, but the first palm reader I called wouldn’t meet with me on the record. At the time, this seemed silly and defensive, like an excuse from a scam artist who was afraid to be interviewed, so I consulted Yelp to find someone more agreeable. But as I scrolled through self-described psychics, channelers of the dead, people who look into crystal balls, astrologers, and tarot readers, I began having second thoughts. 

Jennifer Goes [To Things & Does Stuff]

Under the fluorescent lights at Art Santa Fe

My assignment was to look for a piece of art, priced at $1,000 or under, that could become the foundation of the collection William and I might start. Said “assignment” was theoretical, as we were sadly not provided with any cash with which to purchase whatever we found to love.

Jennifer Goes [to Things & Does Stuff]

Book learning

One night at a bar, some friends and I realized we had all read the same novel as kids — The Girl With the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts, about a bookworm named Katie who has telekinetic powers. Discovering we had all devoured this story of girlhood isolation led us to other childhood titles that had stuck with us. Though I have never been part of an official book club, I imagine the conversational magic that happened that night is similar to what goes on in such groups.

Jennifer Goes [To Things & Does Stuff]

Fired up, ready to go

The last time I made something out of clay was 32 years ago, at summer camp, so I was pretty much going in fresh for my foray into ceramics at Santa Fe Clay, which is a much larger facility than it appears to be from the outside. I entered through the supply shop and cut through the gallery exhibition space to the studio, where I was to participate in a Tuesday-afternoon class called “The Expressive Figure,” taught by Ralph Scala, who is also the studio manager.

Jennifer Goes [to Things & Does Stuff]

Being there: Checking in at the Santa Fe Women’s March

I attended the local Women’s March as an observer, pen and notepad in hand, to explore the intersection of politics and the cultural fabric of Santa Fe. I began with breakfast at the Plaza Café on Lincoln Avenue. Like the airplanes, buses, and trains headed for Washington, D.C., the day before, most of the restaurant’s seats were filled by marchers.

Jennifer Goes [To Things & Does Stuff]

Fair thee well

At the fourth annual Mind Body Spirit Expo, held Jan. 14 at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center, a vendor invited me to pick a stone from one of three baskets at her booth and wear it on the left side of my body for seven days to let it raise my vibratory frequency. After that, she said, I’d be set forever.

Jennifer Goes [to Things & Does Stuff]

Moved by the spirits

When it comes to ghosts, I am an open-minded skeptic. I don’t believe everything I hear, but I cannot deny my own experience. Years ago, I encountered the locally infamous Headless Nurse Medina when I worked in Barrack T-45 at the College of Santa Fe, the site of the former World War II-era Bruns Army Hospital.

Can you afford to live in Santa Fe? If you are single and/or make under $50,000 a year, then you might find your options rather limited. There is an old formula that says one month’s rent should be equal to or less than one week’s take-home pay for your household, but these days, finding something at a reasonable price that also suits your needs is getting more difficult.

I love Taos. I’ve attended writing workshops there, and my husband and I go up for weekends now and then. For years I accepted the idea that Taos is a miniature version of Santa Fe, just sleepier and with more hippies. The more time I’ve spent there, however, the more I’ve come to realize that other than having a similar spiraling pattern to the downtown streets, the two locales are very different.

When you first enter the new permanent Meow Wolf installation, you are standing outside a Victorian house at dusk. Inside, the house seems lived in but recently abandoned — the computer in the study is still on, with text on the screen. As you explore the rooms of the house, time begins to feel unreal, as if you might have traveled into the past or the future, or to the Mars of Ray Bradbury’s imagination.

Depending on how long you’ve lived in Santa Fe, you might remember when Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, the Gap, and other chain apparel stores were steps from the Plaza. Their sale racks became a lunch-hour staple of mine when I hit my twenties.

I first sang karaoke in the summer of 1993, in Chicago at the Belmont Street Fair. A stage had been set up in a blocked-off intersection, and with bravery that seems out of character in hindsight, I agreed to sing Blondie’s “The Tide Is High,” as a duet with my roommate, to a crowd of hundreds of drunken frat guys from DePaul University.

Santa Feans love yoga. If you live here, chances are you’ve been told to try it — as a fitness regimen, as a spiritual practice, or as a way to heal from injury, chronic pain, or psychological trauma. It’s not terrible advice, but for people with serious physical or emotional issues, finding the right class is crucial.

“The Santa Fe community is international with a broad range of tastes and levels of sophistication, regardless of one’s budget. We are exposed to all kinds of art here, and that lends itself to tremendous self-expression in fashion,” said Amy Shea, a brand strategist who runs, a  Santa Fe fashion blog.

In Santa Fe, bemoaning the lack of nightlife is actually one of the main components of its nightlife. Year after year, smokers standing around outside downtown bars will tell you that their options for where to drink and socialize are too limited and that they’re sick of seeing the same people everywhere they go, every weekend.

A couple of Saturdays ago, I went to the free guided bird walk offered weekly at the Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary, which is located where Upper Canyon Road dead-ends, past the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve. About a dozen people milled about in the parking lot, happy to be up early on the weekend under storm clouds threatening to break. Most of them wore weather-resistant, outdoorsy clothing. Some looked into the distance through fancy binoculars.

The Friday-night vibe was, in a word, excellent. The mixed-media Pattern and Rhythm exhibition at ViVO Contemporary featured all local artists, including Joy Campbell, Danielle Shelley, and Ro Calhoun, with work that is tactile and often three-dimensional — and utterly unexpected if you assume all you’ll find is Santa Fe kitsch.

The last time I went to Rockin’ Rollers was for a Gluey Brothers show in 1997. The roller-skating rink on Agua Fría was decorated with an alien theme, and that long-ago night it was packed with locals dressed like the band: in brightly colored polyester bell bottoms and platform shoes. No one actually did any skating.

When MIX started Third Thursday networking events for young professionals in Santa Fe, it sounded like the hipster answer to monthly Chamber of Commerce events, where it can feel like everyone is trying to sell you life insurance. MIX is more like a cocktail party with the cool kids.