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.
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)
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