At the heart of downtown Santa Fe, NM, is the Plaza. This plot of green is an attractive center for exchanging ideas, relaxing, and people watching.
But it has also been the commercial, social, and political center of Santa Fe for hundreds of years.
On the day of our recent walk around the Plaza, we were part of the commercial and social functions.
"The Plaza is surrounded by structures in the Pueblo, Spanish and Territorial styles that reflect its diverse history. These buildings include the city's original palacio, the Palace of the Governors (below), built between 1610 and 1612" (santafenm.gov).
It is on the sidewalk in front of the Palace of Governors that one form of commerce takes place, centering around the works of Native American craftsmen and women. The works included pottery and woven products, but the majority of the items for sale were types of jewelry.
During six weeks in the summer, the Plaza's activities emphasize the sense of community and the social life through its free summer music festival--the popular Summer Bandstand music series. This features extremely talented musicians and dancers from the Santa Fe area, many of whom have reputations that spread far beyond the Santa Fe city limits.
"Marthaʼs exceptional beautiful voice, unique melodies, and guitar execution, will affect you in a deep and soulful way, taking you on a hypnotic and soothing journey" (santafe.com).
Known for creating heartfelt and healing music, Al Martinez of the Los Angeles Times claims “Suzanne Teng plays music for the soul.”
And these were just two of the six dozen or so excellent groups and individuals from the Santa Fe area that performed at this bandstand this summer.
And it was free.