New Mexico, SantaFe

On the Scene at Santa Fe’s Flying Star

Along with the charm of living in one of the oldest cities in America… or is it oldest continuously occupied city? Wait, no, maybe it’s the oldest capital… superlatives be damned, I don’t know.

Regardless, along with the charm comes the curse of inadequate pluming. It was on one such morning where I realized that our toilet was plugged – but not the get out the plunger kind – no, it was something much deeper.

While waiting for help, where does one go to the bathroom? Why, if you’re lucky like me, you can just shuffle a hurried block down the road to Santa Fe’s newest restaurant, The Flying Star!

flying star stuffThe Flying Star is an Albuquerque tradition that has been exported North. A counter service, wide menu with decent coffee, great desserts and well-stocked magazine racks type of place. They opened up this past spring.

I went there once with some co-workers and a trumpeter from the Ringling Brother’s Barnum &Bailey Circus. It was nice, an airy open space, relaxed atmosphere. I ordered a B.L.T. off their ample menu.

The B.L.T. is the sandwich by which I regularly judge a restaurant. Yes, there are better ways by which to judge a restaurant (and I’d like to hear yours), but I choose the B.L.T. It’s difficult to screw up. Anything else, there are interpretations where chefs, given to creative inspiration, might change it up. But not the B.L.T. It’s a pass/fail sandwich. No gradations.

Well, they screwed it up. I left that day (and a subsequent day when I got a crappy chicken pot pie) slightly dismayed.

So back to the potty mouth. The one redeeming factor that makes the Flying Star worthwhile is easy restroom access. It’s the closest thing to a public restroom in this town. You can slip through the back door unnoticed, use the loo and be on your way with narry a look.

On this particular morning I made my way down the road to utilize the restroom. Just as I was about to cross the road, a familiar homeless man in a flannel and underpants sauntered through the door. Not wanting to disturb him, I decided to wait until I got to work.

So the word is out folks! Have to use the restroom in Santa Fe? Come quick and dip into the Flying Star! You won’t be disappointed. Just leave the B.L.T. alone.


A Nice Bike and Compliments

I pulled up next to him. A man on an old bicycle, a man in all plaid.

“Nice ride, dude,” I said.

It was a nice bike, maybe from the seventies. A comfortable, but speedy upright riding position, sweeping handlebars, maybe three speeds and a trusty steel frame.

“Thanks man, it gets me around,” he replied.

And then, in the brief moment that followed, I saw him engage in that human tendency where once complimented, you feel an overwhelming desire to comment back. He gave me a cursory glance looking across me and my bike. But there was really nothing there. Just me, after work clothes, a cheap helmet, sunglasses and a nice – but not too nice – bike with homemade milk bottle fenders.

“I like your panniers,” he said.

New Mexico, SantaFe

NM Freecycle Voracity Test #1

Freecycling. Do you know this word, this freecycling? Well let me tell you. It is really great. You should freecycle if you want to be cool. I wrote about it briefly here.

Look around your house right now. Do you have more plates than you need? Maybe you have a couple extra plungers? Or you might have a broken turnip twaddler you’ve been meaning to fix, but never bothered with. You could leave these things sitting around occupying precious space, you could try to hold a garage sale, you could throw them in the trash or you could join a freecylce group and get hooked up with folks who want things you don’t want.

freecycle logoVisit to get information on a freecycle network near you.

The Santa Fe freecycle scene is a rapacious gathering of folks all waiting for the next exciting freebie. I once posted extra binders we had at work and five people requested them within 15 minutes. My latest challenge is to test test the voracity of New Mexico freecyclers by finding random items in my house that I think no one would want.

In February, I posted a christmas tree stand (never too early to begin plans for next year). I figured it would take a couple days, but was certain someone would claim it. A day passed. A week went by. Finally it pushed into months and I felt proud that I’d discovered the limit of ‘want’ in Santa Fe.

Cinco Brand Tree StandLast week I re-discovered my tree stand and decided to give it a try again. I posted it. A Jewish friend sent an e-mail wishing for a menorah stand. Another friend popped up saying he had collected two tree stands from the dump and was also looking for tree stand homes. But no takers surfaced.

I had almost given up hope after a week of waiting. No one wanted my little tree stand. Each day would pass and I would somberly check my e-mail to no avail.

Until tonight.

Arriving home from dinner with a friend I logged onto my computer and found an e-mail:

Yes, I am interested in preparing for the next Christmas season as my wife and I recently moved to Santa Fe and left our stands in our east coast storage unit.

Success! Someone took what I thought was lost.

The best part about Freecycling is meeting the people. The exchange is always a little awkward. After years of exchanging money for goods, it’s weird to just show up somewhere and have a stranger hand you something you need. There’s an awkward glance and then both look at the item and it gets handed over.

Sometimes there’s halting conversation, “How long have you been freecycling?”

“Oh, like a couple years.”

“Yeah, it’s really great.”

And then you get back on your bike and strap an old birdcage to the rack and head home wondering what just happened.

But seriously, visit to get information on a freecycle network near you.

hell, New Mexico

Add. Notes from My Office

As I noted earlier in the blog Notes from My Office (Office Note #3), we are located near a crematorium. This is exciting because occasionally when it smells of burgers, you realize it’s actually people.

This addition has little to do with that, but is still in the vein of ‘yeesh.’ I was just getting ready to leave my office around 7pm last night and had drawn the blinds. As I sat down to shut off my computer I saw a person pass my window out of the corner of my eye.

Outside my window there are cottonwood trees, small rocks and an eight-foot brick wall set back about eight feet from my window, but no sidewalk. So I got up and watched the person through my blinds. He proceeded to sit down behind a tree against the wall. I sat back down and continued shutting down my computer.

I looked out a couple minutes later and now the man had removed his shirt. I thought this odd and hoped that I would not be witness to some sort of self-abuse. Averting my eyes, I shut off my monitor and my speakers and then looked out again.

Now he had a small bowl and was running a small torch or lighter underneath it.

Apparently, you can not only smell the dead around my office, but you can also see people shooting up.

That’s all for today. Thanks for your support!


To the Forsaken and Lost…

Has it really been since Dec. 29 since I put up anything of mention on this blog-o-mine?

Yes it has and even that was a paltry ode to Molasses. So let it be known that I have not been hit by any wrong-turning, Budweiser-chelada-influenced, New Mexican drivers; but in fact I’ve been dealing with a back that decided to take a break, moving into a new home, purchasing an assortment of furnishings for said home, working like a beaver on the Tuesday after Christmas, hanging out with the lovely Bree and eating copious amounts of green chile and spinach.

this is the first photo that comes up when you search shitstinkI will write soon. Oh yes, I will write glorious stories of the visit by my ineffable younger brother, robot dance parties, explorations far under the earth in Carlsbad, explorations far out of this earth in Roswell and the vast nothingness that is New Mexico between Santa Fe and Carlsbad. Plus the shit stink (the photo at the right is the first image that comes up when you search ‘shit stink’) from the factory dairy operations outside Roswell and the oil stink near Artesia.

Yes, it will be delightful. Be back soon.

Your humble servant