Monday, August 4, 2008

Taos, New Mexico - A My Kind of Town Monday Post

The word Taos means "People of the Red Willow" in the Tiwa language.

There are actually three different parts to Taos. The actual town, population 4700, the nearby ski valley, and the 1000 year old Taos Pueblo and reservation. For this post, I am only going to focus mostly on the town itself with a few pictures of the surrounding scenery. Here is a shot of the road bewtween Questa, New Mexico and Taos.


Taos came into being as a result of the Spanish conquests of the Indian pueblos in the area. Years of unrest, between the Spanish and the various Indian tribes, occurred until the United States took over the State of New Mexico in 1847. That occupation led to the Taos revolt of which you can read more about here.

In 1899 artists began to settle in the town and they eventually created the Taos Society of Arts. The Taos art scene is very much alive and vibrant to this day. Most of the galleries frown on pictures but here is a shot of a weird creation that I captured through the front glass.


The Taos Plaza also has the distinction of being one of a handful of places congress has granted the right to fly the American flag both night and day. The story goes as such ...

In 1861, Southern sympathizers ripped down the flag over the Plaza. A US Army Captain named Smith Simpson, along with the famed Kit Carson picked the tattered flag up off the ground and nailed it to the top of a tall cottonwood pole and raised it over the Plaza. They threatened to shoot anyone who tried to do the flag harm. Backing up their threat they guarded the flag both day and night. Word spread and congress later granted official permission to fly the flag at Taos Plaza round-the-clock

English novelist, D.H. Lawrence traded the original manuscript of his self-biographical novel Sons and Lovers to New York socialite Maybe Dodge Luhan for a ranch in the area. (Here's hoping I can one day trade one of my manuscripts for a ranch in the mountains.) The author's ashes lie in a memorial bearing his name at the ranch. Lawrence was also an artist. In 1929 thirteen of his paintings were confiscated by London police. Nine of those forbidden painting can be viewed at the La Fonda de Taos.

I could go on and on talking about the various rebel, free spirits and artists who have called Taos home, but the thing I love the most is that the town still has that creative vibe to it. Walking around stories and characters idea fill my head. It is something that has to be experienced as there are no words to capture the town's true essence.

The smell of pinon, the occasional whiff of reefer (Taos was home to two separate Hippie communes back in the 60's) , the pine-filled breeze of the mountains. In Taos, uniqueness is rewarded and favored. The uncommon is applauded, the creative cheered, and the questioning respected. It truly is an artisan's town.

Julia Roberts, Val Kilmer, and Donald Rumsfled (seems like an odd fit, but then again he is said to be an avid fisherman and the area certainly offer that) own homes here.

Now here are a bunch more shots I took from the area. If you get picture overload be sure to scroll down to find the links to this week's My Town Monday participants.

The following bookstore is located right on the square. It is a nice smallish store that sells mostly books of a local flair but they also carry classics and a nice children's selection.

Now this next bookstore is off of the main square. Don't you love that name. They have a nice fiction selection upstairs.

Look what I found. Lottery by fellow blogger Patricia Woods. For those of you who haven't read this novel yet what are you waiting for. It's out in softcover now. Read it you won't be sorry.

Speaking of books. Look what I spotted on a stop sign. I had to circle the block three times before Jennifer got a good shot.


Here is a shot of a Catholic church and an approaching rainstorm.
























A shot of my wife's favorite restaurant. She recommends the stuffed sopapilla I prefer the blue corn flower and pinon nut pancakes. But stay away from that nut in the gaudy shirt. (He's my father-in-law)





The last two shots are of the Rio Grande River as viewed from a steel span bridge. Yes, that is the same Rio Grande that eventually separates our country from Mexico. No, I did not hike down there to fish.

MY TOWN MONDAYERS

J.L. Krueger -- Kabul, Afghanistan

David Cranmer -- Rayne Louisiana
Patti Abbott -- Detroit Michigan
Barbara Martin -- Toronto, Canada
Clair Dickson -- Livingston County, Michigan
Reb -- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Lyzzydee -- Welwyn Garden City, England
WordVixen -- Lititz, Pennsylvania
Clare2E(Women of Mystery) Mamaroneck, New York
PretZel - Saylorville Lake, Iowa
Debra -- Blue Mountain Lake, New York
Barrie Summy -- Fenelon Falls, Ontario

32 comments:

spyscribbler said...

Okay, now I want to move there, definitely!

Joshua said...

wow, very cool!

David Cranmer said...

Beautiful pics and a wonderful history. It does give you an immediate wish to live there.

I'll have a MTM for you tomorrow morning.

yellowdog granny said...

if i ever decided to move from west,texas that's where i'd move to...well, either there or the isle of Ischia, off of Italy.
thanks for the pictures, they are beautiful...

Anonymous said...

Jenn says:

Ohh how I love Taos. There is the coolest toy store there as well called Twirl. (They have a toy there with metal beads in a plastic sphere. You have all kinds of things to do with this ...word of wisdom do not buy said toy for your child and then go on a 4 hour road trip with them. Cool toy...not a toy for the car.) Oh and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory pinion caramel apples. I got some beads in a store to make a necklace. Travis should be proud to say everyone in Taos will eat and pay their utilities again because we were there. hahaha

pattinase (abbott) said...

My abbreviated one is up tomorrow. I love Taos, it truly is another world up there.

holly said...

what a cool place! and any place that has a shop called moby dickens... i must visit!

Charles Gramlich said...

Taos just went way up on my list of places to visit. Would love to check out those art stores, and Moby Dickens.

Barbara Martin said...

Very nice photos, Travis. You really have to be careful what you say about your father-in-law...he looks like a fine gent.

The place looks restful in that charming way of country places. Thanks for the great post.

My own MTM post is up.

Clair Dickson said...

Nice pictures. Though, looks a little dry. Oh, wait, I'm used to not-desert. ;-)

My MTM post for Livingston County is up (early!)

Reb said...

Oh, what more could a person want? Desert and art and cool bookstores. Sounds wonderful.

Mine is up.

The SUV Bitch said...

Rock on, Voldemort stop signs!

I wish I could say I had visited Taos when I lived closer, but alas...

Your pictures and desciptions are wonderful!

lyzzydee said...

You always have the most beautiful of scenery!! Love the history that goes with it. When you described your favourite dishes from the restaurant, I have never heard of any of the dishes, don't have a clue what you were eating!!!!
My post is up, the last one for a couple of weeks I am off with Debbie lou to hit Holland, Holland is simply not prepared!!!!

WordVixen said...

You have great shots of the river! And I very much appreciate your patience in driving around so long to get that stop sign picture- it's priceless!

I actually put up a MTM post this week! http://questtowrite.blogspot.com/2008/08/lititz-pennsylvania-philly-pretzel.html

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Travis,

Taos sounds mega interesting.

Clare 2E has a MTM post up on Women of Mystery.

Terrie

Clare2e said...

Travis-

Great pictures! You're giving us good glimpses of the quirky charms of Taos. I know I went as a kid, but I'm long overdue for a return visit. My Texas heart just read the word magic word sopapillas and I was kilt ded, destroyed!

Monnik said...

Love the stop volemort sign! Great pics and another good MTM post. Keep 'em coming!

preTzel said...

I loved the post Travis. It's beautiful there and I hope we can one day visit.

My MTM post is up and this week I'm taking you to Saylorville Lake in Iowa. :D

debra said...

I made it!!!!!!! My post is up, Travis.

Mary said...

Thanks for the great photos!

jerseygirl89 said...

Oh, I want to go there now.

Lana Gramlich said...

The "weird creation" SURE looks like one of the knights who say NEE, to me...

Carleen Brice said...

Did that sign say Stop Voldemort from having a 3-way? If so, I agree--Voldemort should not be allowed 3-ways! :)

inherwritemind1 said...

Hello, you old sweet thing. Just popped in to say hi and howzit going with those queries? Fingers crossed for you.

Tena

sybil law said...

Freaking beautiful.

Robyn said...

Thanks for the tour! I love reading about a town I have never been too! I love it! And even better is that it is chuck full of artists.
Thanks for stopping by and giving me some blog love! It is great to see you visit!
Hugs,
Robyn

Joshua said...

thanks man, means alot

Bina said...

Great story and beautiful place. I LOVE the picture of the church and the last two of the Rio Grande. Just absolutely beautiful.

Barrie said...

You just never knew what that DH Lawrence would get up to!!

Hey, my Monday post is finally up! I'm currently in the wilds of Canada. And had a really really tough time finding internet service! :)

Linda McLaughlin said...

Great post and pictures, Travis. I've only been to Taos once, back in the 1970's, and enjoyed the trip. I don't remember where my friend and I ate, but we had sopapillas and three alarm chili that was so hot I had tears running down my face. :)

Linda

Shauna Roberts said...

Breathtaking pictures of the Rio Grande, Travis. Looks like you had a great vacation. Did you have time to visit the pueblo? Fascinating place and fascinating history.

Mary said...

A fabulous post! Makes me wish I was there...