Considering life in Santa Fe, either permanently or as part-time resident? Once the proverbial door closes behind you, another opens wide in Santa Fe…reinvigorating dreams and ideas that may have been on hold. If you’ve ever strolled on the Santa Fe Plaza and thought to yourself “What would it be like to live here?” then this site is for you. Here, you’ll have a chance to peer behind the curtain of chili ristras for a fresh perspective on life in the City Different.
Once the proverbial door
closes behind you,
another opens wide
in Santa Fe…
It’s the ‘different’ that most people credit when asked why they chose to move to Santa Fe. Once you’ve navigated the plaza and the surrounding downtown you get the picture— Santa Fe, at its historic core, is one of the most unique, postcard beautiful cities in the United States. The human scale of the buildings circling the central plaza, with cathedral bells chiming on the hour, is seductive enough. While other Western cities conjure the past by trying to look old, Santa Fe is old, rooted in 400+ years of history and the ancient pueblo cultures that preceded it. Despite its reliance on tourism, there is a vital town beneath the beauty that locals love and protect. Nobody is going to block the view of Mt Baldy peering over the downtown rooftops without a big fight – at least not since the Eldorado Hotel was built in the mid 1980’s.
Life in a town that national and international travel magazines consistently rank as one of the top 10 travel destinations in the United States, has other advantages too. No need to fear not seeing the family and friends left behind—they WILL come to visit. Why do you think so many homes in Santa Fe have guesthouses? It’s all here—art, a rich cultural tapestry, skiing, hiking, spas, golf, a great walking environment, unique shopping, and yes, astrological readings. It’s a multigenerational city too, not just multicultural. Your grandchildren will love it as much as your nephew, the extreme sports dude, and your mother, the collector.
Residing in a popular travel destination offers distinct advantages to resident Santa Feans. Spas, restaurants and some hotels offer a locals’ discount, especially in the off-season. At any time of year the weekly entertainment guides have listings for art events, music, literary readings, and movie selections that rival listings in larger cities. The complaint during peak season (June-October) is scheduling conflicts—you can’t do it all. During the summer there is music and dancing on the plaza –no charge. Locals are known to take a vacation at home in Santa Fe, shopping, getting a massage, checking out one of Santa Fe’s many museums, and even waiting in line like a tourist for breakfast at Café Pasqual’s. The year-round mix of front-and-center tickets to the Santa Fe Opera, and free community events means that Santa Feans are out and about, not just the tourists.
If the Santa Fe Opera got you to Santa Fe in the first place, you’ll appreciate the drama of life that takes place here. It’s hard to say if Santa Feans invented Santa Fe Style or if it was the other way around. Immersed in the creative spirit of the place, a fusion is at work here as it has been for centuries. Santa Fe is a designated UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) ‘creative city’, which is to say a lot of creative minds are at work here - many of whom opted to retire to Santa Fe to reinvent themselves. The wildly successful Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, now in its second decade and going strong, is a testament to the city’s world wide reputation as a crossroads of creativity. Independence, imagination, tolerance, entrepreneurial savvy and a healthy dose of ‘carpe manana’ are valued in Santa Fe. Moving to Santa Fe, at any age, is saying “Yes” to your muse and “No” to the clock.
Despite the usual influx of fast walkers and talkers that are inevitably attracted to Santa Fe, the City Different is still ‘laid back’. There was once a lapel button seen frequently around town that proclaimed “We don’t care how they do it in New York”. Ironically, transplanted New Yorkers seemed most inclined to wear the button. To live in style, Santa Fe style that is, you’ll need to recalibrate. Leisure is in the air we breathe and the views we take in—all it takes is to look up at the night sky to get your priorities realigned.
The attraction for so many moving to Santa Fe, lay not in the easy living Santa Fe offers (go with the predictable ‘senior golf community’ if you want easy) but in the aliveness of this place. It’s just edgy enough to keep us close to the elements and the questions of life rather than the answers. There is confounding space all around, enough to get lost in-- the good kind of lost that heightens gratitude for the freedom to be digitally connected to the world while watching the sunset reflected on the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Call this retired? Hardly. No wonder boomers we love it!
Yes, the sidewalks can be icy in winter, traffic signals are senseless, and many restaurants are closed on Sundays. Santa Fe’s just enough of a hassle to keep the unsavory elements out, namely those intent on making it the ‘City Same’. Retiring to Santa Fe makes you part of the postcard you used to send home while visiting. Go to a city council meeting, read, or better yet, write a letter to the editor of The New Mexican, our independently owned daily paper. Take action! Move to Santa Fe and you’re at the crossroads where walk meets talk. Don’t’ be deceived by its exceptional cultural offerings and 5 star restaurants- it’s still a small city and you will be heard. Viva Santa Fe!
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