But La Tienda itself is a precarious enterprise. It's a collection of shops and businesses that are community-run - a good gym, a consignment furniture store, a really excellent second hand book store that operates in aid of an NPO called Learning Mind, which runs educational projects for disadvantaged children and young adults in India, El Salvador, Morocco and Santa Fe. I dropped some books off there today, and promised that there would be more to come - "if we're still here," said the woman in charge, gloomily. "It's been very slow." Yesterday we tried out La Plancha, which promises El Salvadorean and New Mexican food - in the same premises as the ill-fated Brumby's - a great idea, but I doubt that we'll be going back: some things (El Salvadorean tamales, which could have been very tasty chunks of potato and cheese wrapped in banana leaves, for example) just turn dull and lumpy when withered in the microwave. I want so desperately for this enterprise to succeed: they put on live music (there was traditional Northern New Mexico music being played by a fiddler and a guitarist today at the market), and they have banished all chains - like the Subway and the Blockbuster that were there before. But it's not quite the most propitious climate for the local. It ought to be - but I heard the muttered protests around me at the cost of the wonderfully fresh vegetables.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Without doubt, this has been the summer of strangely organic sculptures. This one is in La Tienda, in Eldorado, and the Friday farmers' market is in the background. The market is much better than last year, and has been getting stronger all summer, too - I bought some excellent heirloom tomatoes today, and some expensive, but extremely fresh-from-the-ground fingerling potatoes. There are home made bird houses and honey, art work of mixed quality and sugar rub remedies and soaps, and a stall selling really great Indian street food - dosas and paratha and chicken tandoori (the family who run it are from Bombay).