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Culture and unique architecture meet in Santa Fe, N.M.

Olivier Rey/Red Dirt Report
The San Miguel Chapel, oldest church in the continental United States.
Fertile Ground Compost Service
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NORMAN, Okla. – Living in Oklahoma for more than two years, I can say that most of the cities that I have visited in this state have similar architecture- buildings made of wood and bricks. On our way to Durango, my wife and I stopped in Santa Fe, New Mexico and our perceptions of U.S. architecture and culture were completely changed. 

Santa Fe, New Mexico's capital city, was founded in 1610 by the Spanish making it one of the oldest cities in North America. The Spanish adopted the native Pueblo Indians' construction methods and began incorporating adobe in construction. The melding of Native American with Spanish architectural influences gave rise to the Pueblo style, also known as Spanish Pueblo.

The result of the historic architecture and the accompanying city is visiting feels like going to a completely different country. The buildings look vastly different than the buildings I am familiar with in Oklahoma. Homes made from adobe bricks in earth tone colors, true Southweastern-style adobe architecture and historic buildings and churches wherever you go make you feel like you are stepping onto a giant movie set. 

Santa Fe is an oasis in this architectural desert- a breath of culture, a taste of beauty. It's no wonder it attracts artists from around the world looking to draw inspiration from their surroundings. 

Santa Fe also has a vibrant art scene as well. Multiple markets offer local artwork, handmade jewelry, and crafts of all sorts. While visiting the Palace of the Governors, local Pueblo Native Americans sold their handmade jewelry made of copper, silver and turquoise. 

With only 70,000 inhabitants, Santa Fe offers travelers sights, activities, and experiences on par with much larger cities. 

One of the best parts of the trip was discovering Santa Fe's restaurants and dining.

One of my favorites: “Cafe Pasqual’s”, named in honor of the saint of Mexican and New Mexican kitchens and cooks, San Pasqual, situated in the core of the downtown.

The restaurant, small in size with a capacity of only 50 persons, propose great menus. We had two-mole enchiladas with mole sauce, organic shredded chicken, spinach and zucchini in rolled tortillas. Plus a grilled free range chicken breast sandwich composed of a grilled marinated organic chicken breast, melted manchego cheese, caramelized onions, jalapeños, mayo with toasted chile-cornbread. And as it was not enough we took for dessert an apricot pie with vanilla bean ice cream and a raspberry cake.

Bonne Appétit!

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About the Author

Olivier Rey

Olivier has traveled in 20 countries on six continents before landing in Norman. Native French...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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