by Mark Glover
Taos – Black and white photos of Paris, Roma, and Mostar hang on the wall at a café in Taos. Bumper stickers for sale; “Round Up Monsanto”, “Defy Corporate Domination”. I look for “Re-Wolf Texas” but can’t find it. Salutations; “Have a nice day” “Thank yooooou,” punctuate the steady coffee drinking crowd where bicycles, talk of recipes, auras and carbon credits converge. A nest of tatterdemalions huddle at a corner table giving off egalitarian gas while pony-tailed execs wait in line. A huge Screw Bean Mesquite in full pod canopy shades the sidewalk, cars whirl by, mostly Subarus.
There are no edges in Taos. All things architectural are rounded; vigas, peripets, walls, — curvy streets and even the people, easy going.
Taos is a town of 25,000 people high in the mountains, nestled between Kit Carson National Forest, the Rio Grande Gorge, the Pueblo Indian Reservation and a sprawling community of Earth Ships on the high plains to the west.
A dude and his date drive up in a new Camaro with Texas plates. “Where can you get some breakfast around here?”
I point, “Try that Middle Eastern restaurant.”
“Whadda they got?”
“Cous-cous, hummus, babba ganosh”
He studies me. “We don’t do that,” he says and drives away.
My new friend Judd tells me everybody who works in Taos, works at a restaurant. But dentist Rivera tells me trustafarians rule.
If you got the bucks, Sid’s grocery is a good place to buy chai and organic figs and Patchouli oil and red fillets of salmon. Rural NM is another story, some of the town grocers there make Pueblo Marfa look HEBish.
There’s a city library, an alternative energy library, and at the University of New Mexico campus another library, sporting brochures of college courses at the front door. Where else can you get 3 hours of college credit for Intro to Fly Fishing or Balinese Traditional Massage or the History of Moroccan Cuisine?
We drive west out of Taos. A government billboard challenges smokers to get the patch – free and on the state. Quit if you can and we’ll help out.
There’s a different style to New Mexico, and the long serene stretches of road there, not unlike west Texas except they’re not in Texas, makes it a good place to turn-off the Texas state of mind and contemplate statehood ie check out the groove of another place.