I’m a transplant to Santa Fe. I grew up in Miami, graduated from FSU in Tallahassee, lived in San Francisco, Bern, Switzerland and Los Angeles. Finally I settled here in 1994 at the age of 35. No regrets whatsoever. I chose to live in Santa Fe after compiling a list of pre-requisites that included: small-size city, diverse population, vibrant arts scene, and proximity to nature.
The oldest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2010. It was located first in what was known as New Spain, then Mexico, and finally in New Mexico (a US territory that became a state in 1912).
We have four seasons, at approximately 7,000 feet altitude, we have cold winters (some with much snow), lovely temperate summers when the temperatures dip down into the 50’s and 60’s at night, in spite having been in the 80’s during the day. The air is dry. Fall brings autumn leaves in town, and the aspen forests high in the mountains turn bright yellow.
We have more than 10 museums, two professional orchestras (the Santa Fe Symphony and Santa Fe Pro Musica), an organization that presents world-renown musicians, dance and theater (Performance Santa Fe). In the summers we have the Chamber Music Festival and the Santa Fe Opera, both bringing in world-renown musicians, directors, set and costume designers, etc. There are over 200 art galleries, and plenty of wonderful restaurants.
A short (even as short as 10 minutes) drive will have us in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with hiking trails and picnic areas. Further up are more hiking trails and even a ski resort.
Within two hours are Taos to the north and Albuquerque to the south, offering more wonders to explore. New Mexico has vastly different terrains ranging from deserts to forested mountains, and of course Carlsbad Caverns National Park which is often neglected and very much worth a visit.
Why would I live anywhere else?
[You still have time–but not much!–to sign up for OLLI’s Sante Fe Holiday tour this December. You can find details on Page 34 of the Fall 2019 Course Catalog and here on the OLL-USF website. Scroll down the “Santa Fe Holiday” and click on it for a PDF description. Payment deadline is September 20. — Editor]
Sergio Rodriguez grew up in Miami and graduated from FSU in Tallahassee. A world traveler, he lived in San Francisco, Switzerland, and Los Angeles before making his permanent home in Sante Fe. He is a friend of OLLI Director, Ara Rogers.