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Warm feelings all round for Santa Fe

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, but not too late to take a look back at some things to remember fondly as we face the leftovers this weekend.

Just look around – Santa Fe and northern New Mexico are beautiful. Fall has been extended this year. That’s not good, unfortunately, for our ski areas, but great for other outdoor activities, including just going for a walk or sitting on a patio, porch or under a portal.

Let’s see … what’s new and good in Santa Fe this year?

Regardless of whether you’re inclined toward current-day modern art, check out the remodeled SITE Santa Fe building – it’s a new city landmark that looks something like the pointed bow of a big ship.

More generally, the Railyard acreage that the city spent millions on to purchase in the mid-1990s took steps toward reaching its full potential this year – apartments (not half-million-dollar condos, which for some reason were the first effort at Railyard housing) are going up. The bankruptcy battle over the Railyard’s biggest commercial building seems to have been resolved to a point where making plans for the property can start anew.

Elsewhere, Meow Wolf has exploded to the point it’s planning expansion to major cities. Is its “House of Eternal Return” real art or simply a lower-brow, all-ages funhouse? It doesn’t matter. Working totally outside the rules of old Santa Fe, the arts group – or business, more precisely – has created a new generation success, a good thing for the Ancient City. Let’s all hope the bubble doesn’t burst.

Staying on the creative side, in case you haven’t noticed, Santa Fe’s theater scene seems to be entering an impressive golden age. These days, it’s hard to count the number of groups providing or presenting serious drama around town. There’s been talk of creating a theater festival that could be plugged in as a tourist-attracter between Indian Market and the ski season. That would be a cherry on top of what’s already a really good thing.

We’ve lost a lot of Santa Fe’s classic eateries in recent years, but one thing about this town, there’s no shortage of people chomping at the bit to fill any restaurant void, so there are lots of new places to try. No Bert’s Burger Bowl, but now there’s the Taco Fundacion. Get out there and find new favorites.

On the government side … hmm. Let’s just thank a handful of local leaders – including Mayor Javier Gonzales, one of his rivals, City Councilor Ron Trujillo, and Councilor Sig Lindell – for being willing to suffer the slings and arrows that come with having opinions and presenting ideas while performing public service, even as some ideas (see soda tax) can backfire.

Up in Española, the school district, with a serious nudge from voters who turned over the school board, may have righted itself. A good superintendent who’d been run off for taking on an out-of-control basketball coach has been restored.

Again, don’t forget to get out into the divinely warm weather, expected to continue for some time. It may be caused by global warming but, hey, enjoy it while we can.