It’s a Santa Fe landmark, of sorts. Santa Fe itself is one of the oldest outposts of European immigrants in the New World, with its convoluted history — myriad of threads and timelines.
Looking for the bookstore and maybe some chili peppers, I paused long enough to gather an image.
The memories run deep. Early 1990s, say ’91 or ’92? A long weekend with a Dallas girlfriend that was a weekend of more driving than anything else, ten or twelve hours out and at least ten hours back, in the spring Texas sunlight, glittering off the high plains and open prairies, opening up the Llano Estacado, with singular memories of Santa Fe.
One was a Virgen de Guadalupe tattoo, full upper arm, on a server some place. Awesome art and the first of the tatted up generation, but unique and stellar in my mind, for honoring that symbol. Heavy, India-ink art, against an olive skin, and the image itself looked like an exact copy of the art on the religious candle.
The second was a late lunch, outside on the upper deck at the Coyote Cafe, when the place was relatively unknown. The first of the New Mexico/Southwestern style and cuisine was exported en masse.
I’ve only been back once or twice, and true magic, other than being in Old Santa Fe with its mystical allure, yeah, the magic seems gone from the Coyote Cafe. But the place gets full credit for starting a trend that I heartily approve of: hot food. New Mexico Chile as a serious condiment. New Mexico Style cuisine as a stand-alone culinary art.
That last one doesn’t translate, but the common question is “Red or Green,” and it refers to the type of preferred Chile sauce, either color. I tend to favor both, see which one is better as it varies, day-to-day, as to which flavor is better at the moment.
All started, that turning point, that moment of realization, on the roof of the Coyote Cafe, back in time.
Reminds me of a quote, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” (HST)
Liked the sign, though, that helped — a reminder of a starting point, a nodal axis where everything — for me — shifted. A year later, I was pro.
Pink Cake: A Commonplace Book