I left off last time with us just finishing lunch after watching some aristocrats courting a guillotine and annoying Sans-culottes everywhere.(1) Great fun was had by all.
Where was I? Oh, yes. So we left the restaurant and headed back along the street. We visited a few more shops. There was, for instance, Ceremony Botanical Studio, a plant nursery and interior design store (https://ceremonybotanical.com/) we’d seen on previous trips, but we’d never gone in. It was interesting, definitely worth a visit. There were on display several innovative combinations of living plants and artistic embellishments. Some of these I found really quite appealing. Others, frankly, I found a little spooky--for example, combinations of plants and found objects, such as animal bones. Like I say, not my speed. But that’s just me. Others might find them rather charming in a gothic and mystic sort of way.
We then drifted along the street. We went past Rancho Deluxe (https://www.facebook.com/Rancho-Deluxe-429380833793708/), which has been one of our favorites. It offers objets de art, decoration and gifts, and much of its stock comes from New Mexico, so it has an old home feel to us. But, we decided not to go in, just because we wanted to see something new.
We also saw, but, again, chose not to enter Wall Street Western, which is a boutique that specializes in “museum pieces, new & vintage clothing and boots” (https://wall-st-western.myshopify.com/). Martha has been in a couple of times and I gather she likes some of the clothing they offer.
Me, by contrast, well, I don’t wear boots, and cowboy hats just make me look like an ambulatory mushroom with sneaker socks and nasal hair. Not Gentleman’s Quarterly material, decidedly. (2)
We then turned back around and headed back down the other side of the street. We finally ended up at yet another art gallery -- Art on 12, another co-op art gallery run by artists themselves (https://arton12.com/). We had a pleasant time browsing the works and chatting with the artists who were, if you will, on duty at the moment. I was happy to learn that some of the people who had been at the Bent Tree Gallery (you’ll recall I mentioned that it was gone) were now showing their works here.(3)
About The Photos: Just two today. First, Martha at the Dos Olivos just before our meals came.
Finishing up, we realized it was now late afternoon. We decided to head back to the hotel. Once there, we decided to collect up books and go sit in the outdoor/indoor courtyard (remember? The one with the bird and blue lights at night and everything?) and enjoy the cool breezes and shade. So, we set up shop in two of the comfortable chairs and started to read. I forget what Martha had at the time. I had one of my interminable history texts full of war and scheming. Like LOTR but with fewer orcs and more treachery. Best show in town.(4)
But, of course, fairly soon, after the day in the sun, we found ourselves falling asleep.
Which was just fine. In fact, it was downright cozy...
Except for the little fact that...er, ah....about fifteen minutes later...
...our hostess brought in a young couple (honeymooners?) who had rented a room on the other side of the courtyard.
I woke up with snort and at the sound of a muffled chortle. The hostess and the young couple were on the other side of the courtyard. The hostess was trying to hurry them on their way. The couple was trying not to look amused...but it was a losing battle at best.
Our hostess was saying, “And this is our courtyard. You see that it is ...uh...”
I smiled and said, “It’s very peaceful. And comfortable. Definitely give it a try.” At that, all three of them headed off down the way and to one of the other doors. They were moving quickly. Not exactly running. But decidedly not hanging around to have a conversation with what appeared to be the resident lunatic of the area -- i.e., me.
I sighed. Oh, well, I thought. Not the first time people have reacted to my conversational style that way. And, I’m sure, it won’t be the last.
I’m good that way. Some call it a gift.
More next time.
And, second, a rather long video clip of the courtyard at the Square Inn. Think of it as an experience in ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response). It will explain why we went to sleep so quickly.
1. The Sans-culottes were the common people of the lower classes during the French Revolution. They supplied the muscle for Revolution itself, and were noted for their zeal.
Oh, and btw, the name Sans-Culotte means “those without breeches,” so-called because aristocratic men wore silk breeches (like stockings) where-as working men wore trousers.
2. We did have an amusing encounter there once, though. We were looking at the jewelry on offer and much of it was Indian-made. There was a young clerk and Martha asked her if it were “pawn.” The clerk seemed shocked and offended. Nothing they had was mere “pawn,” she assured us, annoyed. We didn’t tell her that “Pawn Jewelry” is a technical term for jewelry which Native Americans -- Navajo -- made not for the tourist trade but as a store of wealth. In times of need, it could be pawned at the local trading post and then reclaimed when times were better. Thus it is considered more authentic and usually more valuable than some other forms of jewelry.
3. Special note: I have just discovered a little more information on the Bent Tree Gallery. It still has a Facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/BentTreeGallery/. But, more importantly, on that page is a link to yet another page on “how to contact Bent Tree Artists,” which is here: https://mailchi.mp/98ce364708fc/gentle-reopening-10110353?e=2cfb5849dc&fbclid=IwAR3FVKTrzT4qOnSGQXCGciF-rJf8UnwMPntpeZV0S8O05q5E4Qkxf8wG0Lo
So, while the gallery may be gone, the artists are still going!
4. I was reading Agents of Empire: Knights, Corsairs, Jesuits and Spies in the Sixteenth-Century Mediterranean World by Noel Malcolm. Very cool book. All about several families of cunning Italo-Albanians who made great careers (and sometimes greater fortunes) acting as intermediaries between the Ottoman Empire and the city of Venice. Lots of intrigue, romance, and back-stabbing. What more could you ask?
Copyright©2023 Michael Jay Tucker
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