Visvim Opens Its First Women’s Store in Santa Fe (Vogue)

WMV Visvim

WMV Visvim (Photo: Courtesy of WMV Visvim)

New Mexico is having a moment. Its capital, Santa Fe, has long been known for its desert spas and rich Native American culture, but the city has lately become a destination for urban dwellers craving a little peace, solitude, and otherworldly scenery. Visvim’s Hiroki Nakamura and his wife, Kelsi, visit Santa Fe once a year—their friend Jed Foutz owns the gallery and store Shiprock Santa Fe—and when a Victorian house down the street became available, they felt it was the perfect setting for their first women’s-only Visvim store (also known as WMV Visvim). An unlikely location? Yes. But, as Nakamura says matter-of-factly: “We always like to do things differently.”

Fans of the label might say that’s an understatement. While the duo’s peers may have leaned into the streetwear craze or over-the-top runway shows, Hiroki and Kelsi are as focused as ever on fabric development and artisanal techniques like hand-painted washi skirts, rare natural dyes, and other time-intensive crafts. Fittingly, the new Santa Fe store opened on the same weekend as the city’s annual International Folk Art Market festival, which brings artists and makers from around the world together to show and sell their work. “Our products have a connection to the culture in Santa Fe,” Nakamura says. “People here have an appreciation for crafts and things made by hand, so Jed suggested we open the store during the festival, when everyone is in town. Bigger cities like New York and Tokyo are more commercial [in terms of fashion], but here, it’s really culture- and art-oriented.” […]

[Source: Vogue, “Visvim Opens Its First Women’s Store in—Wait for It!—Santa Fe” by Emily Farra on July 17, 2017.]

NM’s Enchanting Architecture Gets National Attention (Albuquerque Journal)


Acoma Pueblo, (Courtesy of Kevin Flemming)

USA Today readers across the country had a chance to feast their eyes on New Mexico’s most iconic spots this spring thanks to a novel collaboration between the nationally read newspaper and the American Institute of Architects.

A feature story in USA Today’s travel section on May 10 touted vivid images of 25 sites emblematic of the state’s diverse cultural history. The story can be seen by going to and clicking on the “Travel” tab then search for “25 must-see buildings in New Mexico.”


The earliest example on the list is Chaco Canyon Cultural Historic National Park in northwestern New Mexico, which was designated in 1987 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. New Mexico’s Native American culture also comes across in images of Taos Pueblo, Bandelier National Monument, the Gila Cliff Dwellings near Silver City and Acoma Pueblo.

Churches feature prominently among the top tourism sites. There are photos of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, the oft-photographed massive adobe buttresses of the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Ranchos de Taos, Santa Fe’s Loretto Chapel with its unusual spiral staircase and El Santuario de Chimayó, which draws thousands of pilgrims on foot each Holy Week.

In Albuquerque, the sites include the early 20th century BNSF Railyards, which symbolize the industrial age; the spaceship-like Bart Prince house near Nob Hill; and the 1932 John Gaw Meem-designed Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm in Los Ranchos.

The most recently built sites show off New Mexico’s affinities with the arts and the sciences: Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts near Ruidoso and the Santa Fe Opera House, both from 1997, and the Spaceport America Terminal Hangar Facility near Truth or Consequences, which was completed in 2014.


New Mexico Tourism Department spokeswoman Bailey Griffith said articles like this help raise awareness about what New Mexico has to offer travelers.

“Any time a story like this brings national attention to New Mexico, it’s a great thing. Architecture is a strong motivator for travel, with adobe being something uniquely New Mexican that sets us apart from our neighboring states,” Griffith said.

[Source: The Albuquerque Journal,NM’s enchanting architecture gets national attention” by Rosalie Rayburn on July 1, 2017.]

The Hollar Restaurant

The Hollar Resturant logo

Travel a bit outside of Santa Fe to visit the Hollar Restaurant in Madrid!

Founded by executive chef, Josh Novak in November of 2008, the Hollar specializes in fusing southern cuisine with the freshest local ingredients. The result is comfort food done right!


A native of Florida, chef Novak attended Auburn University and is a graduate of the culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu, managing to bring a taste of the south with him to Madrid, New Mexico, he has surprised both locals and tourists alike with a unique menu featuring a myriad of delicious flavor combinations. (The Hollar Restaurant)

Hours: Open at 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Daily
Phone: (505) 471-4821
Website: (Note: The website url doesn’t appear to work currently.)

Follow restaurant on Facebook for up-to-date news, specials, etc.

The Hollar Restaurant is located at 2849 State Highway 14 N., Madrid, NM. Find it on the map below.

The Gorge Bar & Grill

The Gorge Bar & Grill

Here at the Gorge, we are providing a clean, fresh and modern sense of casual dining without sacrificing quality of service and the quality of our food and drinks. […]  We are dedicated to New Mexico grown foods that represent the best this great state has to offer. Everything we make is made from scratch to insure the best ingredients in all our dishes and libations. With a great selection of craft beers, world wine and premium tequila…it’s all about what you like. Executive Chef Jaime Nieves-Flores will cater to any special request or dietary restrictions that he can possibly do. (About The Gorge Bar & Grill)

Stop by The Gorge Bar & Grill for a drink or to enjoy a tasty lunch or dinner. Serving burgers, fresh oysters, salads, tacos,  nachos, and more…Take a look at the menu to see what delicious food is on offer.

Visit The Gorge Bar & Grill

Location: Historic Taos Plaza, 103 East Plaza, Taos, NM 87571.
Phone: 575.758.8866
Hours: Mon – Sat: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm; Sun: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Happy Hour:  Monday-Friday 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm and again from 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Find it on the map below:

Marqués de Rubí Visits Santa Fe in 1766

Draftsman José de Urrutia 1767 map of Santa Fe

Draftsman José de Urrutia 1767 map of Santa Fe. (Source:

The New Mexican is republishing columns written by Marc Simmons who wrote a weekly history column for the periodical for more than 35 years. One that caught my attention was the following story in their historical section, “Trail Dust: Report gave glimpse of Santa Fe in 1766.” Simmons’ article tells the story of the Marqués de Rubí’s (a Spanish nobleman) tour of the then frontier of “New Spain.” Rubí was to inspect forts and determine how to improve Spain’s military strategy and defenses against Native American raiders.

Marqués de Rubí’s Santa Fe

Santa Fe was one of the locations that Rubí inspected and he was there for almost one month. Through his reports we can imagine some of what Santa Fe was like in 1766. (Yes, that’s ten years before the original American colonies declared their independence!)

About the capital of Santa Fe, he criticized its poor excuse for a presidio, claiming it was incapable of defending the town. A proper military installation, Lafora noted, might spare New Mexico from another disaster like the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. Almost 20 years would pass, however, before a true walled fort could be constructed north of the Plaza.

When the imposing Rubí expedition rolled into Santa Fe, it must have caused quite a stir among the populace. After all, they had not seen a marqués since don Diego de Vargas had occupied the governorship early in the century. He had been granted the title by the king for his leadership in the reconquest.

Inspector Rubí remained in Santa Fe a full 27 days. It would be a surprise if he was not feted with a grand ball in the Casa Real (Palace of the Governors).

Much of his time was actually spent with then Gov. Tomás Vélez Cachupín, discussing defensive needs of the province. The governor seems to have filled His Lordship’s ear with complaints about the inadequate troops, supplies and money furnished by the royal government.

The total number of men assigned to the presidial garrison was 80, and all had families. Since no barracks or family quarters existed, they lived in private residences.

In line with his instructions, the Marqués de Rubí held an inspection and review of the troop on the Santa Fe Plaza. Since large-scale public amusements of any kind were rare in those days, the citizenry must have turned out in force to view this spectacle.

Capt. Lafora, during the prolonged stay, was taking a census and also drawing up a map of “the layout of the capital,” as he put it. Once he’d completed a rough sketch, he turned it over to the draftsman Urrutia, who rendered it in final form.

The valuable Urrutia map, as it has always been known, shows main roads entering and leaving Santa Fe, acequias, scattered buildings, three churches, the Palace of the Governors and the Plaza. (“Trail Dust: Report gave glimpse of Santa Fe in 1766“)

Read the full article: “Trail Dust: Report gave glimpse of Santa Fe in 1766.”

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail (Source:

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail (Source:

“In New Mexico, where a small group of artisanal chocolatiers creatively and passionately ply their trade,… [they all share a] devotion to their craft and the daily satisfaction of putting a smile on their customers’ faces.” (Source: New Mexico True)

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail Map

New Mexico True Chocolate Trail Map (Source: Albuquerque Journal)

Are you interested in a road that is “Paved with Chocolate“?

Well, there is no literal chocolate pavement, but if you travel the New Mexico True Chocolate Trail you’ll be making stops at shops, cafes, restaurants, etc. that specialize in chocolate confections. The trail includes chocolatiers from around the state, particularly those who’ve added a New Mexico twist to their treats.

The Chocolate Trail has been around informally for a few years but was revitalized and formalized in 2016 with 13 locations on the trail. Although the New Mexico tourism department is planning to expand and add more locations to the trail in the future!

Visit an up-to-date listing of all the stops on the Chocolate Trail at the Or if you’re just interested in only those located in Santa Fe visit

Stops on the Chocolate Trail

In Santa Fe:

The last two on the list are included on the Santa Fe tourism’s website listing for the Chocolate Trail, but are not yet included on the official trail on the map included above or on the New Mexico tourism website.

There are also two unexpected stops on the trail and here are the reasons:

“Terra offers red-chile-infused chocolate desserts and drinks while Santa Fe Brewing turns out an Adobe Igloo beer with dusty raw cacao nibs and red chile flakes for a unique twist on a traditional winter brew.” (Source: Albuquerque Journal)

In Albuquerque:

In Old Mesilla:

Two festivals are also part of the “trail.” Chocolate Fantasia takes place in February in historic downtown Silver City and the Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest is held in March in Albuquerque.

The Santa Fe Opera

The Santa Fe Opera logo

Every July and August since 1957, opera lovers have been drawn to the magnificent northern New Mexico mountains to enjoy productions by one of America’s premier summer opera festivals. Here, The Santa Fe Opera’s dramatic adobe theater blends harmoniously with the high desert landscape. It is this fusion of nature and art that leaves such an enduring impression on all who come. […]


The Santa Fe Opera has taken its place among the world’s leading opera festivals. Its mission is to advance the operatic art form by presenting ensemble performances of the highest quality in a unique setting with a varied repertoire of new, rarely performed, and standard works; to ensure the excellence of opera’s future through apprentice programs for singers, technicians and arts administrators; and to foster and enrich an understanding and appreciation of opera among a diverse public.  (The Santa Fe Opera)

The Santa Fe Opera has a wide array of education and community outreach programs to make opera accessible and appealing to a broad spectrum of the New Mexico population and visitors. It also offers apprenticeship opportunities to teach aspiring opera performers, technicians and arts administrators the craft.

Of course, it excels at its main function — the opera presents some wonderful productions! Visit their website to learn about upcoming performances and to obtain tickets.

The Crosby Theatre

Santa Fe Opera Open Air Theatre (Credit: Wikipedia)

Santa Fe Opera Open Air Theatre (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Santa Fe Opera performances are held in the beautiful Crosby Theatre.

The striking, state-of-the-art, open-air theater has won several important design awards and is widely recognized for blending contemporary design aesthetics with traditional building materials. It commands a panorama of breathtaking scenery, with the Jemez Mountains to the west and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east.  […] The “shape of the sound” inspired the roof concept. Its curves directly follow the acoustic reflections of sound from the stage to the audience.  (The Santa Fe Opera)

Wherever you enjoy a show in the theatre, every seat or standing position offers an Opera Titles screen—a digital computer screen on which instantaneous translations in English and Spanish are broadcast to provide a richer experience for those who may not understand the language of the performance they are viewing.

Learn more and see performance schedules on The Santa Fe Opera’s website: The opera is located at 301 Opera Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87506-2823. Find it on the map below.

Taste New Flavors of Santa Fe Dining

Have you read “Turning Over a New Leaf on Santa Fe Dining” on the Santa Fe: A Colorful Journey blog, which is marketed as the Official Travel Blog of Santa Fe? Check it out if you haven’t and you may discover new some flavors to add to your palate while dining in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The article is a few years old, but the advice is still sound!

The raw enchilada plate at BODY Café. (Credit: Santa Fe: A Colorful Journey)

The raw enchilada plate at BODY Café. (Credit: Santa Fe: A Colorful Journey)

Frequent visitors and residents alike have their favorite restaurants and their favorites dishes. However, the author of this tantalizing article urges you to visit new places or just to order something new off the menu and expand your perception of what Santa Fe cuisine is.

The author takes us on a journey to his or her familiar eateries and invites us to sample new menu items with them as well as make a couple stops at previously unvisited restaurants. From ordering raw enchiladas at the BODY Café to green chile clam chowder La Choza and more, a new Santa Fe dining experience is shared with us.

The article ends with this advice:

“So maybe like me, you didn’t know that enchiladas taste wonderful raw, that green chile can hide its essence inside a tempura crust, or that the cool north and the spicy south get along so swimmingly in a bowl. These are just a few tactics by which Santa Fe creates a river of adventurous flavor running through our renowned restaurant scene.” (“Turning Over a New Leaf on Santa Fe Dining“)

Read it in full and enrich your own Santa Fe dining experiences.

Shohko Café: Santa Fe’s First Sushi Bar

Shohko Cafe Seared Scallops: Sushi in a 200 year-old adobe house (Source: TOURISM Santa Fe)

Shohko Café Seared Scallops (Source: TOURISM Santa Fe)

Last night my bride and I followed massages at Body Spa with a pitstop at Shohko Café to prolong the sybaritic pampering. In addition to being the original, longest running, and most reliable sushi restaurant in Santa Fe, Shohko Café offers another rather unique bonus. The whole establishment is fragrance-free. This policy was originally a response to the owner’s scent sensitivity, but it has grown into a welcome retreat for many Santa Feans like my bride who choose/need to avoid fragrances.

A demi-carafe of Kikumasamune Taru Sake Cedar Cask… Now my post-massage mellow shifted into overdrive!

My meal was—and always is—delicious. I started with some warm ginger tea followed by a demi-carafe of Kikumasamune Taru Sake Cedar Cask. Now my post-massage mellow shifted into overdrive!

My bride started with miso soup and a tempura oyster mushroom roll, and I enjoyed “Prawns Blanketed in Snow”, three sizable tiger prawns wrapped in rice flour and lightly fried. It’s gluten free! I swapped the chili miso sauce (which apparently has a trace of gluten), instead dipping my crisp prawns in gluten free tamari.

I followed my appetizer with a couple pieces of bluefin high toro nigiri sushi and then dove into the “Chef’s Choice”, an impressive roll that included too many exotic ingredients to make a proper accounting. It was melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

And one final recommendation…

Santa Fe Roll (Source: Clare M. via Yelp)

Santa Fe Roll (Source: Clare M. via Yelp)

A past favorite (before my gluten free shift) was the “Santa Fe Roll” comprised of green chile tempura, shrimp tempura, and avocado. Makes me miss the old days.

Welcome to Shohko Café

Shohko Cafe logo

Welcome to Shohko Café, Santa Fe’s original Japanese restaurant. Since our founding in 1975, we have strived to serve delicious and wholesome food. Our menu was developed with your utmost health in mind and abounds in organic and all-natural ingredients. We remain committed to serving you good food for good health. (Shohko and Hiro Fukuda, 2010)

The Fukuda family opened New Mexico’s first sushi bar, and they are dedicated to serving authentic Japanese cuisine as well as providing innovating new flavors inspired by the region. Take a look at their lunch menu, dinner menu, sake menu, and sushi menu to see the variety of meal combinations you can create.

Housed in a former 19th century bordello with 3-feet thick adobe walls and original vigas, the restaurant’s décor fuses simple Japanese and Northern New Mexican design elements. (Shohko Café)

Get a glimpse into the history of the Shohko Café by visiting their photo gallery. To learn more visit their website Or call (505) 982-9708. You can also visit the Shohko Café Facebook page.

Visit Shohko Café

Shohko Café is located at 321 Johnson Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Find it on the map below:

Casa Chimayo Restaurante

Casa Chimyo Restaurante (logo)

Casa Chimyo Restaurante (logo)

The Casa Chimayo Restaurante prepares authentic New Mexican food utilizing locally sourced ingredients and time honored methods following homemade recipes. Their specialty chile is a local favorite and their posole is award-winning.

The restaurant was even featured in a segment of Guy Fieri’s popular Food Network show, “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives,” titled, “Aces Of Authenticity.”

Take a look at the Casa Chimayo Restaurante’s Menu for a glimpse into this traditional, delicious Santa Fe cuisine that has been passed down generations.

The restaurant offers patio dining (that is dog friendly); free wifi; to-go orders; and specialty options for gluten-free and/or vegetarian dining.

Visit Casa Chimayo Restaurante

Hours of Operation:
Monday 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday-Sunday 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Casa Chimayo Restaurante is located at 409 West Water Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Find it on the map below:

Learn more at the restaurant’s website You can contact the restaurant at or (505) 428-0391. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter.