Category Archives: 1-Santa Fe

Santa Fe updates

El Rey Inn has changed owners, which worried me, but so far there have not been radical changes to the property. (The new website makes it look crazy-chic, but the rooms I saw were the same as always.)

Bodega Prime is an absolutely excellent cafe across the street from El Rey Inn. (And El Rey is currently serving their great pastries as the continental breakfast…but is in the middle of building a restaurant, so this may go away.) It’s a huge bonus to have such a good bakery away from the center of town.

More cheap/free tips

Reader Paul has some more very solid advice! I’ll be working these details into the next edition of the guide.

1. NM Rail Runner Train (p. 120). Current fares $9 OW, $10 day pass. Buy ticket either online or on the train. In Albuquerque, buses 250 and 50 connect the Alvarado train station to the ABQ airport Mon – Sat. Sundays there is no connection. Bus service is free by showing your valid train ticket. [This is covered in the back of the book, but not sure I noted that the bus is free with your Rail Runner ticket–very helpful!]

2. Sandia Shuttle Express — fare is now $30 OW. If one is taking the last run of the night, call the toll free number and let them know. Also, Sandia works in the opposite direction, picking up at your location in SF and delivering you to ABQ airport.

3. Santa Fe Public Library, 145 Washington Avenue, a block and a half north of the plaza, (505) 955-6781, https://santafelibrary.org/ . A great place to spend a rainy afternoon. Many out of town newspapers. A small but well stocked bookstore, paperbacks $1, hardcovers $2. I don’t remember your mentioning it, however the library is marked on the map on p. 77.

4. Ghost Ranch, p. 113. Perhaps worth more emphasis is that GR has many week-long programs mostly emphasizing the arts (painting, photography, jewelry making), the outdoors, and ministry (given GR’s connection to the Presbyterian church). Most but not all programs happen in the summer. [There’s a bit about this in the back of the book under Classes.]

5. Music on the Hill, free concerts in Santa Fe on Wednesday evenings at St. John’s College, Museum Hill area, Santa Fe. http://www.sjc.edu/programs-and-events/santa-fe/music-hill-2016/ I spent two weeks at St. John’s College last month and noticed that people turned out from all over to attend these concerts. Incidentally (shameless plug), St. John’s College is one of last remaining college curricula based on the Western and now Eastern classics. It has campuses in Santa Fe and Annapolis.

6. Santa Fe International Hostel, p. 94. You describe it well, particularly the “dimly-lit” part, however, I love the place and would stay there even if I had the money to stay somewhere fancier. Why? Intriguing people of all ages from all over the world stay there. Also: free food (but check the expiri date) and no taxes added to the price. Plus, doing the morning chore helps establish a bond to the place. So might you consider dropping the “not the worst” phrase? The hostel deserves better. [Always good to get firsthand reports from hotels, as I never have the time to stay in each and every one myself. Thank you so much!]

Car-free travel tips

Reader Paul writes:

As an extreme budget traveler, I use public transit all I can. You might consider mentioning that transportation between Santa Fe and Los Alamos is available M-F (only) for a mere $3 cash each way via New Mexico Park and Ride. Don’t be deterred by the name — one need not have any vehicle to park to use this service. In Los Alamos, the Mesa Library stop puts one right in the midst of historic, Manhattan project Los Alamos. And the buses are big and cushy too.

See this website for more
http://www.dot.state.nm.us/en/Park_and_Ride.html
and especially the schedule at
http://www.dot.state.nm.us/content/dam/nmdot/ParkNRide/ParkandRideNorthernRoutes.pdf.

It’s the “blue route” that I am referring to. (Don’t confuse that with the Blue Bus that is completely different.)

One more point: for $10 one can buy a day pass on the NM Rail Runner (pay cash once on board) and so travel between Albuquerque and Santa Fe and back again (in the same day) with free passage on buses in both of those cities. It’s a great way to see the state and cheap too.

Santa Fe changes

Santa Fe Children’s Museum is closed. (Officially temporarily, but no reopening date is set.)

Marble Tap Room is closed.

Chuck Jones Studio Gallery has moved to 126 W. Water St.

Eight Modern gallery has moved to 1601 Paseo de Peralta.

La Fonda hotel has undergone some terrible renovations in the lobby, so it’s not so nice and old-feeling anymore. The lobby bar is a lot more generic.

Ecco Gelato moved down and across the street.

Santa Fe Baking Co. is closed.

St. Michael’s Laundry is closed.

I don’t usually rave about new things, BUT: MEOW WOLF IS AMAZING.

New Mexico Culture Pass

Instead of the Santa Fe museum pass for $20, there’s now a statewide New Mexico Culture Pass for $25.

It gets you into museums in Albuquerque (the Hispanic cultural center and the natural history museum) and the Coronado and Jemez historic sites, and it’s good for a whole year. A pretty good deal, certainly for state residents, but also not too bad for visitors, even if you’re only visiting a few museums.

Santa Fe Food

I mentioned earlier that Trattoria Nostrani had changed to a French place, Vivre. Now that’s closed too, as is the ramen place adjacent, Shibumi Ramenya.

I also mentioned that Bobcat Bite closed. Happily, it has reopened as Santa Fe Bite, in Garrett’s Desert Inn, at the corner of Old Santa Fe Trail and Alameda. Same great burgers, big new space, and everyone seems really happy.

Restaurant changes

A few updates:

Albuquerque:
The Daily Grind coffee place has moved, to 4340 Cutler Ave NE (waaayyy away!), and the old space is called A&B Lunch Box, with a few of the same menu items.

Santa Fe:
Tree House cafe is closed moved to DeVargas Mall (thx for the correction to the correction, Kelly). Now it’s In the old location is a promising-looking coffee roaster, Ikonik.
The Legal Tender in Lamy is closed, but might reopen with new owners?

Taos:
Lula’s is closed.

More Santa Fe updates

Willee’s blues/jazz club has closed.

Azur restaurant is closed.

Trattoria Nostrani is now Vivre–same management and chef, but with a French menu, rather than Italian. I haven’t had a chance to eat there yet.

Earlier, I reported that Joseph Wrede had moved to Tomme (from Tules’ on Palace). But that’s not true anymore! The new chef at Tomme is Daniel Johnson…and I have no idea where Joseph Wrede has gone. Rats.

In non-food-news, Toyopolis has moved around the corner, to 150 Washington Street.

Hours updates

A helpful reader just alerted me that the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe is no longer free on Friday evenings. Now it’s only on the first Friday of the month, to NM residents with ID.

Also, the Sandia Peak Tramway in Albuquerque closes for maintenance periodically–so it’s inaccurate to say it runs “frequently all year round.” If your trip falls outside the winter ski season, be sure to call ahead to check the schedule. The maintenance schedule is also posted on the website now. Next closing is November 4-15.

The New Edition Is Here! (& a change)

It's waiting for you!

Hot off the presses: the third edition of Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque is in stores now! I had a great time researching this last year, and got to do a bit more in-depth research than usual because I was also writing a story for The New York Times.

And, of course, before the book is even out, there’s at least one change I’m aware of: the new Joseph Wrede restaurant in Santa Fe is now called just The Palace. (It says Tules’ on Palace in the book.) It hadn’t quite opened yet when I was there–go and tell me how it is!

Santa Fe changes

Plaza Café is closed temporarily, due to a fire, but should reopen by the end of 2011.

Corazon bar/club is closed.

The Ore House bar has moved off the plaza. It’s now around the corner at 139 W. San Francisco Street (formerly/still sorta Milagro).

Annapurna has moved to 1620 St. Michael’s Drive.

Linda Durham gallery is shut.

Lew Allen Contemporary on Palace is no longer strictly contemporary—all of that has moved to a larger space in the rail yard (1613 Paseo de Peralta).

Public Lands Information Center

The office in Santa Fe has moved–it’s no longer on Rodeo Road, but out of the city a little way.

The address is 301 Dinosaur Trail. Where is that, you might ask? It’s just south of where Highway 14 meets I-25. (People who know the area will know it got its name from the dinosaur sculptures there.)

Phone number is 505/954-2002, and office hours are 8am-4:30pm Mon-Fri.

North of Santa Fe

O Eating House, in Pojoaque, is now a fairly upscale Italian restaurant (but it has the same name). It looks good, if completely different!

The stock at Chimayo Trading Post has dwindled significantly. The owner (his partner passed away) is quite old and doesn’t seem to be restocking the place. Still, if you’ve never been, it’s worth a stop–there are still some treasures here.

In Chimayo, the separate Santo Nino de Atocha chapel has been spruced up and is open all the time now–it’s a bit more modern, but sweet. Take a peek inside, especially in the side chapel.

Santa Fe changes

As I noted before, the NM history museum is now open. Signage is not quite as detailed as I’d like, but otherwise it’s a nice introduction. The exhibits in the Palace of the Governors (now accessible via the history museum) are the same, fortunately–I find these more interesting.

Walking tours run by the museum go from mid-April to mid-October (not just in summer, like the book says). They last about two hours, and the route depends on who’s leading it, but it covers a couple of miles.

Linda Durham Gallery has moved away from Canyon Road, over to 1800 2nd Street.

Collected Works books has moved to the corner of Galisteo and Water, and now has a coffeeshop inside–lovely.

Adelante Casitas is back to being called Chapelle Street Casitas. Its online booking system is buggy–better to call.

Hotel St. Francis has been redone by the Heritage Hotels & Resorts group–it looks quite chic, but the rates have of course gone up. (The same group has redone the Hotel Plaza Real as well, which is great because that used to be a wasted dump.)

Willee’s bar is shut–it’s now called Corazon and books a lot of hipper live music.

Chispa! bar closes at 11pm now.

Green Palace teahouse is shut.

Carlos’ Gosp’l Cafe is shut. The space in the Design Center now sells NYC-style pizza by the slice–it looks good!

El Tesoro in Sanbusco Center is no longer particularly Salvadoran–the menu is more standard Mex-New-Mex, but everything looks good.

The Treehouse cafe moved to 1600 Lena Street (and unfortunately didn’t bring the nursery with it!).

The Blue Heron restaurant is shut.

Shuttle Service to Taos

Taos is jumping on the successful Rail Runner link between ABQ and Santa Fe: Starting June 4, Taos Express will run a shuttle bus will between Taos and the Santa Fe Rail Runner depot, timed with the train’s arrival, on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Round-trip price is $10, and you can transfer to the Taos Chile Line town bus for free.

2nd edition is here! (plus transport updates)

The second edition of Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque is available now!

Fortunately, no obvious corrections to be made yet. But I’m sure a few will appear shortly.

The big news in the area is twofold:

1) The RailRunner commuter train now connects Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Schedules are here.

Note that, as a side effect, as far as I can tell, there is no longer a regular city bus linking the ABQ airport to downtown–there is now a free shuttle. Which would be nice, except it runs less frequently and is timed to coordinate with the RailRunner’s departures to Santa Fe. Still, if the times work in your favor, you could easily enjoy a car-free visit to Santa Fe (and Albuquerque).

2) Allegedly, daily direct flights to Santa Fe will be starting June 11. They’ll be operated by American Eagle (American Airlines) out of Dallas-Ft. Worth.

This has been on the table before, and very close to starting, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

Santa Fe Restaurants

Coyote Café (p. 60) is no longer owned by Mark Miller, and has been taken over by the same restaurateur who owns Geronimo. I enjoyed my meal there, but the menu is completely different and the cooking—while ambitious on the surface—is actually pretty standard stuff. It’s certainly the place to schmooze in Santa Fe right now.

Kasasoba (p. 61) is shut. It’s now another high-end Asian place.

Tiny’s (p. 62) is incorrectly placed on the map. It’s actually off the east side of St. Francis Dr., south of Cerrillos—Pen Rd. here is not really a street, but a big parking lot.

Horseman’s Haven (p. 62) has remodeled, and locals say it’s not so good anymore.

Mariscos La Playa (p. 63) no longer has its Cerrillos Road outpost—that’s now a different seafood place, which people also say is good.

Guadalajara Grill (p. 63) is shut.

La Diligencia (p. 63) is now called Jalapeno’s—not quite the same cool ranchero style.

The Churro cart (p. 63) seems to be gone, as is Lucky Barbeque (p. 63).

Dave’s Not Here (p. 63) is shut.

Blue Heron (p. 64) has a new chef, and the food isn’t nearly so Asian. It’s very delicious, though—worth a drive out.

O Eating House (p. 70) is open only for lunch and dinner now—no more doughnuts.

Blue Window Bistro (p. 73) changed hands, but it’s still good. The menu is a bit different now, though—none of the chile relleno crepes.

Santa Fe Hotels

Budget Host (p. 53) is now a Red Roof Inn.

El Rey Inn (p. 54) is incorrectly placed on the map—it’s actually about midway between Llano St and 2nd St, so closer to the plaza than on the map.

Chapelle Street Casitas (p. 54) has changed its name to Adelante Casitas.

La Tienda and Duran House (p. 54) is now part of the larger Las Palomas property across the street. Physically everything’s the same, but there are reports of service suffering. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough info to judge.

And I didn’t include the Santa Fe Sage Inn (www.santafesageinn.com) in this book, but it has since gotten a complete overhaul and is now excellent value—free wi-fi, pool, big breakfast, really comfortable beds and clean rooms. It’s only a little farther out of the center than Santa Fe Motel & Inn.

I’m hearing terrible reports from La Posada de Santa Fe (p. 56), and it did seem exceptionally scattershot when I visited. At least I’ll have to retract that ‘top pick’ status.

Santa Fe Shopping

Addison Arts (p. 46) is shut.

Meyer-Munson Gallery (p. 46) is now called Meyer East. Little has changed, though.

Chuck Jones (p. 46) has moved up to Palace Ave, downstairs from Fusion (ex-Swig).

Maya (p. 47) is open only till 6pm, at least this time of year. That 9pm closing must be only for summer high season—sorry about that.

Sybele’s (p. 47) is shut.

Santa Fe Entertainment and Bars

Rooney’s (p. 41) changed into LeMoyne’s Landing (reported earlier), but it’s now a French café called Clafoutis, serving breakfast and lunch till 4pm. Tasty and fresh, and good pastries.

Rodeo Nites (p. 41) is shut.

Jean Cocteau cinema (p. 42) is now the Film Museum—more of an organization, and not-very-frequent screenings.

Santa Fe Sights and Activities

The Awakening Museum (p. 35) is shut.

Sun Mountain Bike Co. (p. 51), now better known as Mellow Velo, has moved to 638 Old Santa Fe Trail—that’s just a couple of blocks south of Paseo de Peralta. It’s also phasing in a new phone number: 505/995-VELO.

More roads have been paved en route to Diablo Canyon (p. 51, driving directions on p. 52), so you have to look out for the dirt road 4.6 miles in—it heads uphill and bears slightly right, while the main paved road turns left. If you miss the turn, you’ll find yourself on a giant subdivision loop, soon heading south and then back east toward the city.

Poeh Museum (p. 70) now has its permanent display open. Its not quite as multimedia-crazy as planned, but it’s a neat series of dioramas, plus room for temporary exhibits. Hey, it’s free.

The Cowgirl

Either hours have changed significantly for this Santa Fe restaurant/bar (p. 41, 61), or I was totally confused when I wrote the book. Er, also, the phone number is for the takeout line–call the resto at 505/982-2565.

Here are the proper hours:
11am-2am Mon-Fri, kitchen closes at midnight
11:30-2am Sat, kitchen closes at midnight
8am-midnight Sun, kitchen closes at 11pm