Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Charm of Canyon Road

One of the questions posed to us when talking to native Santa Feans--whether it be at the Visitors Center or a brief acquaintance at a restaurant--is "Have you been to Canyon Road?"

"Santa Fe is the second largest art market in the nation, and has more art galleries than any other city of its size. Santa Fe galleries offer a wide range including Native American art, early 20th century art by members of New Mexico's famous art colonies, traditional representational art, and contemporary and abstract art.

"For nearly a century, artists and art lovers have flocked to Canyon Road, Santa Fe’s art gallery district. Santa Fe is an art collectors dream, and nowhere else in town can you find the artistic scope and richness that Canyon Road offers.

"On Canyon Road you’ll find more than 100 art galleries and studios, unique specialty shops, world class restaurants, and the historic adobe architecture that gives Santa Fe its legendary southwestern charm" (canyonroadarts.com).

Brochures invited us "to spend the day on this picturesque trail and experience fine art, great shopping, and exquisite dining."

Well, we decided to spend at least a portion of a day along the trail.

We soon learned that in our larger-than-average truck Canyon Road had all the qualities of a "trail". I did not drive along the narrow street; I navigated the street.

Much of the nearly one-mile road was One Way. With cars parked on one side of the street, it was possible to make our way along the route. However, with delivery trucks stopped in the "neighborhood" of the curb, passing them--even with the mirror folded next to the truck body--was a delicate operation.

Parking along the road was out of the question. I could not have walked very far from the truck, and even then I would have had my ears primed for the sound of metal on metal.

Even the parking lots had their own problem. The entrances were just off the sidewalk and the gate was juat a bit wider than the average car. Turning into the lot was not possible because there was not enough room to be able to drive straight into the lot.

So..., our drive along Canyon Road was a slow one. Our record of this row of galleries and studios is limited to photos taken from the slow-moving truck.

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