I have a very soft spot for Silver City, in southwestern New Mexico, where we stopped for coffee etc today, and spent a long time wandering round the many little art galleries in town (and indeed, purchased some excellent jewelry, and a print, and a tea towel, and some other interesting things,* about which I'm sure I'll write in the next day or so). It's also the home to Western NM State U, and has a big artists' supply shop - the only thing that disappointed was Alotta Gelato (v bad pun) that was very good seven years ago, but oddly glutinous and headache inducing this time. There are also huge open cast mining areas on the outskirts of town - I took some photos there when I visited before, which were truly successful, and which, I think, sparked my ongoing interest in the relations between photography and art and the natural environment. But the light was very flat today, and not reflecting off all the copper and other deposits in the ground - which, however, suited very well some of the more somber elements of Silver City's own architecture. There's lots of unrestored and restored subdued Art Deco here, and one of the things that I love about the place is that it's impossible in some cases to tell what's near post-modern irony, and what simply is dated and/or accidental - like this store front, which in fact has the kind of clothes store that I remember from the early 60s below it.
* "some other interesting things" coming after the word "tea towel" poses the same kind of problem as this store front - is it an ironically used phrase, or not? Not. It is, in fact, a wonderful teatowel, but there's something even more (!) creative that I have up my sleeve for a later post.