Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

The Land of Enchantment: Part 1

I wouldn’t say I’m “enchanted” by New Mexico… It’s more of an internal smile, one that grows like silent wintered tree branches anticipating Spring;
;grows, as I confront the daily life of a small, poorish American town. A third of the buildings are vacant and a good deal of the vehicles are trucks with no bumper. Any “hello” is met with a “g’morning, Ladies,” usually flavored with a Spanish, Southwestern, or Native American accent (each sentence’s intonation split in half, the second slab falling evenly like a mesa in reverse). A bowl of green chili is 2 bucks and spicy. Everything is dry and dusty, frosty sagebrush futilely trying to hold the peach-colored earth from evaporating into air. The sun feels harsh and thin. The sky is vivid and fat.

I love it here.

* * *

With that bias and poetic introduction, I’m following it with some bias and streamlined reviews and anecdotes. Here goes:

FLIGHT: ExpressJet Good prices; small cabin; big meal for such a small flight; but don’t expect it to be healthy (vegetarian option: 350-calorie pre-packaged PB&J sandwich with side of carrots… and Milano cookies); not-so-clean bathrooms; friendly staff; be prepared to not be compensated if you are moved to accomodate the seeing eye dog that needs your seat.

Story anecdote: The plane ride over was joyously uneventful, except for the flight attendant reading over my shoulder in an attempt to decifer what I was writing. When I explained that I was a namer and worked in branding, he enthusiastically told me how the company’s online presence naming architecture was askew (my words) and I confidently slipped him a hand-scrawled note on binder paper fixing the problem, with a business card attached. I told him to please hand it to his CEO.

* * *

CAR RENTAL: Hertz Albuquerque 

Don’t get the insurance (likely you already have it through your own, or your VISA); do get the extra tank of gas if you’re driving long distances (30c cheaper a gallon); do shoot for the free upgrade if you happen to be wearing a low-cut top; don’t if there is a long line, or your cashier’s supervisor  is standing nearby.

* * *

HOTEL: El Fidel Hotel (map)

Las Vegas, New Mexico

Location is just fine — it’s not *right* near the central plaza, but it is near a bitchin’ breakfast burrito joint (Marianne’s), delish Mexican pastry shop (Talita’s), fantasmic coffee and an even better used bookstore (to the right of the auto body shop). The oldish building and spacious, couched lobby with fireplace (complete with smooth jazz) is worth the stay alone. Free wi-fi; be patient with the hot water.





§472 · April 29, 2008 · Location-Location · Tags: , , , · [Print]

Leave a Reply