Time is convoluted in Santa Fe. That is what happens when you live in one of North America's oldest towns. Time is taken from the long view. Time is extended, drawn out and fluid in its flow. What else would you expect of a Spanish villa built in an area Native Americans had called home for thousands of years?
Santa Fe is celebrating its 400th anniversary over three years, starting this month and continuing through the big party in 2010. Jamestown was founded by the British in 1607, the French established Quebec in 1608 and the Spanish settled Santa Fe in 1609.
As early as 1608 Spanish Conquistadors relocated from farther north in the region to what would become La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis but now we just say Santa Fe, with the accent on the last syllable. Former New Mexico State Historian Tom Chavez uncovered documents in Spain indicating a European settlement near Santa Fe existed as early as 1607 but whatever, exactly, doesn't really matter because we'll be celebrating for quite awhile.
Some people come here for arts or ambiance or the light. Santa Fe ranked #1 in number of arts businesses per capita. Somewhere between one and two million visitors come here each year and summer is the height of the tourist season.
Readers of "Travel + Leisure" have ranked Santa Fe the fifth most popular travel city in the continental United States and Canada. The city was ranked fourth last year and has consistently been among the Top Ten for seven years. The top four cities were New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Charleston, S.C.
Having grown up in Oklahoma City, a town that literally went from nothing to something in a single day on the Land Run of April 1889, the experience of living in a little city with a long history is a daily delight, especially after moving here from NYC.