Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Mexico

So my trip to Silver City, New Mexico, went pretty smoothly. My mom and her husband moved there about four years ago and while she has visited us here in NY, this is the first time I have had the chance to go and visit her. After flying for about 6 hours (and I don't mind saying here that I was moderately terrified on the airplanes, especially during the very bumpy landings, as it has been awhile since I have flown anywhere and I am rusty concerning faith in the whole concept of flying thing) I then rented a car and drove from Tucson to Silver City. On the way, I stopped at a rest stop that was surrounded by the biggest boulders I have ever seen (above) and had a few warnings that were interesting.

I arrived in Silver City, checked into my hotel and went off to find my mom's house, which is a bit outside of town. This is the view from their driveway:

Their dog, Molly, who is quite a character:

And a surprisingly gaudy flowering bush near the house:
Unfortunately, my mom was not feeling well while I was there (on the day I left they went to the ER and found out she had pneumonia), so mostly we sat at the kitchen table and chatted. I did spend a few afternoons wandering around the historic downtown and visited the local shops and art galleries. Here is a view of one of the streets where many of the galleries are located.

Most of the art was western and southwestern art, which while nice, doesn't really appeal to me very much. I did come across the Blue Dome Gallery and was able to see a few of Ed's paintings in person and they were really wonderful. Like most paintings, they have much more depth and color than they appear to on the computer screen so it was a real treat to see them in real life. On my way out a small oil pastel painting by Colorado artist Marty Mitchell caught my eye and since I like to buy a piece of art whenever I travel, I decided to get it.

The other memorable thing about the downtown was the Peace Meal Cooperative Vegetarian Deli. Birkenstocks, cooks with their dreads up under knit caps, Bob Marley on the radio and wickedly good organic food. I had a Pesto Pizza, which was pesto, tomatoes, green onions, kalamata olives and feta on a flaxseed tortilla style crust and I nearly wept while I was eating it. I went back the next day and had mock tuna salad on greens with flaxseed chips and that was excellent too. I wish we had a place like that in our little town, or anywhere nearby for that matter.

The landscape there, of course, is beautiful, all rugged, dry and intense. I also don't think I have ever seen quite so many mobile homes in one place, and this comes from a girl who used to live in the largest mobile home park in Rochester MN. Heh. I took a lot of pictures though and while I won't be painting the desert anytime soon, some of the imagery will surely find its way into my work.

With the exception of the fact that my mother was sick, it was a nice trip and I must admit that it was really nice to be unencumbered by children, chores and work for five whole days.

But getting home was even better. To see everyone's face light up when I came in the door, to see the clean house (courtesy of the kids), the flowers blooming in the garden and even to scoop out the cat litter and put in a load of laundry. And it was the best feeling ever to hear from a friend that when she ran into Doug while I was gone, he looked really haggard. Poor guy.....
This place really appealed to the old barfly in me.


te said...

Welcome to the southwest! A friend (writer-yogi-bohemian) of mine lives near Silver City and is hopeful about the budding art scene there - good to hear your comments as a visiting 'easterner'!

I had to laugh at your photograph of the poisonous snake sign - how nice of them to mention it to you - usually you just hear the rattle!

Totally related to your 'welcome to my world' comment on your husband. When mine watches my son for a half hour (here and there) he is surprised at how exhausted he is! No kidding!

Oh - and love your blue road painting in you last post. :)

te said...

Gosh - should have said OUR son - not my son in my comment - geeesh!

Tracy Helgeson said...

Thanks Roxanne. There does seem to be a nice little art and bohemian scene in Silver City. It was nice to find that there.

gary rith said...

Living up the road from you, you will agree that this has been a mighty sunny month, and of course , the sun is nearly at the top of the sky and the days long, for upstate NY. BUT the sun in those pics is UNBELIEVEABLY bright. I wouldn't mind going there in February. Tell your mom I am a good guest.
BTW-Tracy, foodwise, come on over to Ithaca, we are ALL vegetarians and vegans and the restaurants too. Well, quite a few of us, anyway.

Tracy Helgeson said...

Gary, you sure are right about the light-it is incredible out west! That was one of my favorite things about living in Utah, I loved the light.

Ahhh, too bad Ithaca is such a hike from here, I'd definitely drive for a good vegetarian meal.