Santa Fe's Historic Plaza is smack dab in the middle of downtown, surrounded by fantastic shopping, galleries and musuems. Everyone goes there when they're in town and many seasonal and cultural events are "staged" there. It's a happening place. And you never know what you might find.
Here's what I found yesterday...
Looking like they just stepped off of a movie set, these two, larger-than-life characters appeared.
Michael in a full length duster and attitude.
And Doc - he's got a PHD - was tricked-out in fur.
I just love Santa Fe!



 The Flea at El Museo - formerly the Flea at the Downs - is a great vintage romp. There are about 80 vendors and lots of nifty stuff - vintage clothes, Native American jewelry, rare books, Mexican pottery, and glorious kitsch. Here goes, I'll start with the stuff and move on to the great faces.

Silversmith Tom Dewitt has been making gorgeous silver jewelry for 42 years. Looks like old pawn, but it's not. Well worth the trip to The Flea to see his work. Wonderful charm bracelets too. T - 505.204.2444

Shirley Jacobson - Books Unlimited - is a vintage print book dealer and she's been doing it for two decades. Her inventory is "oceanic" with more than a thousand volumes to chose from. If you're looking for something special, give her a call or e-mail with a request - 505.989.8966  booksanta@cybermesa.com.  I loved the 3-inch miniature book of memoirs by
Fritz Scholder. 
She also has some great children's books that would make dandy holiday gifts.
Beautiful Indian quilts with amazing stitching.

And, if you're looking for vintage turquoise jewelry or old concho belts, Nancy Elby's booth has it all - vintage Ralph Lauren too. See photos with all the rings and bracelets below. 248.390.6063
And now some of the Faces of the Flea
Nancy Elby's rings 

And her bracelets
And her boots.
THE FLEA at El Museio
Saturday & Sunday Dec. 18 & 19
Call for 2011 schedule: 505.982.2671


The Oldest House - Full of Sweet Delights

Tucked inside the Oldest House in the United States - built in 1646 - is Santa Fe's newest coffee bar. And it is filled with history, freshly-baked goodies and the delightful presence of  proprietor, Evelyn Roybal. 
The space is unexpected and charming and in addition to hot coffee, cocoa, tea, lemonade and a bevy of snacks, there's enough wonderful kitsch to engage your attention while nibbling on a red chili pecan brownie or some buttery biscochitos or a lovely slab of jalapeno peanut brittle.

The Oldest House sits just around the corner from the San Miguel Mission, the Oldest Church in the U.S., and  Evelyn added some religions touches.
The coffee bar with the cozy stools and the big screen TV on the wall above, was originally an altar that she found and resurrected with a bit of  paint.
A photo of the original altar is framed and sits on top of the "bar".
A charming bookcase along one wall is filled with family portraits. "I wanted people to feel at home," says Evelyn.
And I did mention the snacks,  right?

Shelves and shelves of politically incorrect snacks.
And when you're finished with your coffee and your sweet, you can take a tour of the Oldest House. It's free, but a donation would be lovely. The money goes towards upkeep and restoration.
At the Oldest House
215 E. de Vargas


Oleaceae - You may not be able to pronounce the name of this wonderful shop - oh lee ay’ see eye - but you will have no difficulty knowing that you have just found - olive oil, balsamic vinegar & sea salt heaven. Co-owned by Santa Fe resident Samantha Bailey-Smith (above) and her long-time friend, Diane Romley, the shop promises a delightful culinary romp
 the moment you walk through the door.
There are more than 40 flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and 15 to 20 flavored salts; and like a child in a candy shop - you can taste them all. And who wouldn't want to taste a luscious extra virgin olive oil infused with Persian limes, blood oranges or porcini mushrooms?
 Or fig, blackberry ginger, dark chocolate or juniper berry balsamic vinegar? 
Mosey down the center of the shop where rows of fustis - stainless steel vats - keep the beautiful olive oil and vinegar dark and cool;
and choose which oils or vinegars you'd like to taste.
If you'd like your very own fusti, they come in smaller sizes and would be
perfect plopped onto a kitchen counter.
And then there are the sea salts - espresso, Yakima apple wood, Durango hickory, Maldon, Himalayan, black truffle and Bali pyramid, just to name a few.
And there are even thick sea salt slabs that are heated on top of the stove or on a barbecue and then used as a cooking surface to sear seafood (or other delights) to perfection, imparting a subtle salty flavor in the process.
And if you haven't a clue what to do with these yummy oils, vinegars and salts, just ask Samantha or one of her charming assistants - Paul on the left  Ahmed on the right - and they'll clue you in.

All in all, this is one delicious shop that you'll want to visit again and again. And, if you happen to buy some raspberry or dark chocolate balsamic vinegar or  blood orange olive oil, they are swell - according to the duo above - on a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh my!
at La Fonda on the Plaza
Old Santa Fe Trail

505.819.0887 or 505.795.7780
And don't forget to pick up one of these...