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Monday, March 30, 2009

Horse Shoes In Santa Fe

On any typical night here in Santa Fe we are constantly looking for new and interesting activities to do around our apartment. Last nights adventures led us to Wal-Mart in search of some board games. After perusing the aisles for quite some time we were unable to find a cost savvy yet still fun game to play. Then as if it were some sort of miracle come to save us from boredom we found the greatest invention known to man. Giant pink plastic horseshoes.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A New Geometry

Experiencing the works of Michael Leyton, is an example of reasonable intelligence and over developed ego. Presenting on the concept of symmetry in geometry and how art was a method of data storage. While the opening explanations of how complex symmetry was defined in geometric objects, the remainder of the presentation dealt way too much with the speakers ego to be truly appealing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Manipulated Images at the Complex

Last night's presentation was a visual extravaganza with just about every technological visual representation imaginable. I'm not going to lie, I didn't understand a large portion of what was going on. I assume that it's because I'm uncultured. A lot of the videos I felt could have stood to be shorter.

TV On The Radio "Staring At The Sun" from benton-c bainbridge on Vimeo.

There were 5 artists showcased, 3 of them local artists. Susanna Carlisle, David Stout, and Cory Metcalf were among the local artists featured, and the other 2 artists, Matt Marello and Benton C. Bainbridge.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Acequia Interview and Site visit with J.J. Gonzales

This past Thursday, the 19th of March, JP Gonzales, Andrew Tremblay and I (Dave) visited the Gonzales family property for a tour and interviewed JP's father, J.J. Gonzales (pictured above with JP). He gave us an extensive general history and background of acequias, water rights as well as local La Cienega history of acequias.

Their family is preparing for an "acequia dig", which happens each year. Twigs and leaves are cleaned out of the waterway and a fresh trench is dug out in preparation for the rainy/harvest season. The leftovers from the winter need to be cleaned out of the acequia pictured above. The picture below shows the remnants of controlled fires clearing out the ditch.

The text of the interview is here, and the audio will be edited and posted soon. AND BY SOON WE MEAN RIGHT NOW


download Part 1


download Part 2


download Part 3


download Part 4


download Part 5


download Part 6


download Part 7


download Part 8


download Part 9

I pardon the length but the entire interview is about an hour long, so sit back and enjoy it while I try to make/locate an Mp3 widget with a playlist option.

Zia Diner by Sam

Zia Diner offers a wide selection of food encompassing both the native Santa Fe diet as well as a multitude of other ethnic foods. It is open 7AM-10PM daily. So far the group favorite is the breakfast burrito, Christmas style, which you can find on the online menu found here. We also seemed to enjoy the gingerbread and pumpkin spice milkshakes. Although it does cost five dollars it can be shared by multiple people.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Music at Meow/Wolf: A Night of Hip-Hop, Ambient Rock, and Shenanigans

To prove that the only thing to do at night in Santa Fe is not just hanging out in bars and eating at restaraunts, I decided to check out the music scene and see what all the young people are listening to these days.

Meow Wolf is a self-defined artist collective off of second street that deals in a lot of performance and location art, and their studio does not leave a lot not to the imagination.

Initials BR opened with a slurred but intricate rap sequence. The music streaming on his website was much clearer than how he sang at Meow Wolf, but it's more the music that you allow to wash over you in waves of syllables, which was certainly the experience tonight.

We Drew Lightning followed, but since they do not exist at all on the Internet they are not worth mentioning other than their presence.

Microfiche closed the evening with music that can only be experienced. So Here.

The night was cold, but the place was warm, the people fun, and the music great.

Ojo Caliente: A Dearth of Discomfort

For the first weekend of all of us here at the complex we decided to do the manliest thing we could think of.
You guessed it: Spa treatment.

Ojo Caliente Hot Springs lies a little more than an hour out of Santa Fe and has been regarded as a sacred healing place by many Native American tribes for hundreds, if not thousands of years. At some point after colonization the inhabitants evolved it into a very lovely spa. As you can see from the previous posts we concluded that all of the stress from meetings and Acequia tours and skiing and St. Patty's Day celebrations was really getting to us, so we decided to treat ourselves to a bit of mud.

After arriving, we paid an entrance fee equivalent to most theme parks, showered, and entered the main area. A quiet place with "Whispering Only" signs omnipresent, it first appeared to be an overdecorated private pool. We split off into groups and entered the different enclosed bathing pools, of which there were several. The one I entered first appeared very popular, including a description that bathing in this particular pool would help in digestive problems, improve your skin complexion, cure all ailments and boost your vitality and wisdom by one point each. I felt I couldn't pass the opportunity up.

Like most great things, the experience was vivid in the way that is not easy to describe. I initially approached the idea of Ojo Caliente with a reluctant distrust, but after losing track of the minutes spent submerged in mana-replenishing minerals I didn't want to get out.

The mud bath was out of order at the time, but the soda bath was working just fine. As were the arsenic baths and the natural water pools. Each provided a slightly different temperature to treat you in, varying from tepid to almost unbearably hot. Each pool also provided a slightly different flavor, though I could not conclude if that was solely the effect of the natural spring or the bathers therein.

The gang reconvened at the largest pool, which felt the coldest at the time, due of course to our somatosensory system and it's foolish, foolish thermoreceptors.

We also spent a good while in the hammocks strung around the place, sweated in the steam rooms and saunas, and the bravest of us actually drank from the hand pump in the middle of the spring, which had signs that stated the spring has been believed for hundreds of years to hold healing properties for those who drink it (but the establishment and administration is not responsible for any adverse health effects resulting from the imbibing of the spring). Sam, our food and restaurant critic, described the taste eloquently as "warm ass".

Overall, Ojo Caliente is a great place for people who think they have to pay for something to relax, as well as for people who think they don't.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Artistic Inspiration

With the mini-MQP being devoted to interactive "Web 2.0" art-work, the sight web-urbanist has a very interesting collection of 1.0 style artwork that could act as a starting point for the goal of interactive art work for the city of Santa Fe.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ski Santa Fe

Ski Santa Fe
Renting Skis, poles, and boots: $22
Half Day Afternoon Lift Pass: $42
Lunch at Totemoff's Bar and Grill, 2 hot dogs, a 20 oz soda, one snickers, and a large hot chocolate, about $15, you should remember there is nothing preventing you from bringing your own food and drinks.
Spring Time skiing, according to overheard conversations is generally better in the morning as the sun hasn't had time to partially melt the snow.
While I am far from a professional skiers, before yesterday it had been roughly 6 years since I had last went skiing, I did manage to try three of the four difficulty levels available at Ski Santa Fe.

Green Circle Trails, for those unfamiliar with the standard rating of ski trails, are considered the first step up from practicing on the bunny hill. Along these routes you will generally see the most inexperienced skiers on the mountain and as such you should expect to have a rather slow trip down the mountain, for those who are out of practice taking a short run down a green trail may be a safe way to re-acclimate to the sport. Traveling down the Santa Fe Trail you are provided with ample opportunities to explore blue square and black diamond trails.

Blue Square trails are the next progression of ski trail difficulty, while the trails are generally smooth, they are steeper and still filled with a decent number of other skiers and as such your main challenge will be avoiding colliding with others. The Gay Way trail was decently paced and at least for a Thursday afternoon, relatively unoccupied. Like the Santa Fe Trail, Gay Way trail connects with both higher and lower difficulty level trails if you choose to diversify.

Black Diamond Trails are considered the hardest trails non professional skiers should attempt, at Ski Santa Fe the most defining trait of Black Diamond trails that was seen were moguls, and for any skier who has never had to use moguls before, it is apparent that they are in no way your friend.

La Cienega

Yesterday Dearth, Dave, and I (Dan) had our first field trip out into the wild. We spent a few hours in the town of La Cienega. a short drive south of Santa Fe proper. This is a far cry from the relative urbanity of Santa Fe. Much of La Cienega and its surrounding area is undisturbed wilderness.

The main attraction of La Cienega to non-residents is El Rancho de las Golondrinas, which is spanish for Ranch of the Swallows. This was once the last stop for traders en route to Santa Fe from Mexico D.F. (Mexico City for you gringos) along the route known as El Camino Real. Today, this area has been designated as a "living museum" and during tourist season it is open to the public, with tour guides dressing in clothes from the 1800s and baking their own tortillas.

It is not currently tourist season, and as such we shouldn't have been able to get a tour. Fortunately for us JP was able to give us the VIP Tour. The highlight of our trip was the acequia, which is on the register of historic places. If you have been following our project, you know that one of our Mini-IQPs is concerning the acequia system of New Mexico.

Also on the ranch were a few root cellars, two places of worship, one of which holds a statue of San Isidro Labrador. There was a working mill, an authentic adobe horno, and of course some sheep.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Complexity & Arts Meeting

This afternoon, Stephen presented some basic methods and background of complexity software. A freeware program that accomplishes this is NetLogo, which can be downloaded here. JP recommended that the Acequia mini-IQP group download this program and complete the tutorial, though it would probably be beneficial for all six of us. The complexity discussion will continue each Wednesday at 2:20 in the SF Complex Commons.

We then progressed into an Arts Meeting led by Orlando where Ahni from Spaces for Peace presented the objectives of Spaces for Peace. It is mainly a peace and arts literacy project that could possibly be integrated into the SF Complex Mission.

St. Patty's Day in Santa Fe

Being from the Boston area, there was concern that there would be a dearth of festivities for the St. Patrick's Day Holiday. Luckily for us, the kind people of the Santa Fe Complex were able to recommend The Cowgirl. The Cowgirl is a mix of Texas style BBQ with Santa Fe spice. The Buffalo burger is not spicy! There is a cover charge of $3.00, but there are ways around that. On Tuesday nights, the Cowgirl features techno, deals on food, and more. Although there was no green beer, it was still a very festive atmosphere.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The City of Santa Fe

To make the city of Santa Fe more accessible to the trends and goals of the municipal government, an annual report is released in an easy to read document "Santa Fe Trends". This article gives straight forward statistics on many of the major factors influencing the development potential of the city of Santa Fe. The document also out lines the city government's goal of creating an energy neutral sustainable city by 2030.