Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer Staycation

By Wolf Schneider

Chaise lounges by the jacuzzi at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado today.
Sometimes the perfect Santa Fe day is the hubbub of Indian Market or the new IFAM spin-off market. Sometimes, it’s the relaxation of a spa day-pass at the lavish Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, sprawling over 57 pristine high-mountain acres.
First was a restorative slow-yoga class led by the enthusiastic Kat Sawyer, who specializes in Vinyasa flow-oriented yoga. We did eagle and warrior poses, and got into a calming, freeing groove. French doors opened onto the courtyard where a breeze rustled through aspens and birds conducted their subdued conversation in the morning sunlight. “It feels like we’re doing yoga on a lanai,” commented Sawyer.

Feeling grounded and at peace, I climbed onto a shiny Precor treadmill with its individual cardio theater for a 200-calorie burn off in the gym, and then wandered into the immaculate spa where I settled into a chaise lounge by the Jacuzzi to peruse this summer’s popular memoir, My Salinger Year. Lunch followed on the patio of the resort’s Terra Restaurant: splendid Santa Fe Style Chilaquiles with scrambled egg whites, smoked bacon, onions, cilantro, tomato, and green chiles, along with a spicy Virgin Mary with fresh horseradish. Gazing out onto the distant Jemez Mountains, I watched visitors pull up in a silver Airstream with Texas plates, a BMW from Colorado, and a Porsche that was New Mexico’s own. “We’re one of the smallest Four Seasons resorts with just 65 rooms. There’s a perception that we’re like Scottsdale, but our high season is summer,” friendly director of sales Frank Lococo told me. “People know about the art here, but they don’t always know about the fly fishing, rafting, mountain hiking, and mountain biking.”

My mission today was relaxation, remember, so I simply spent the rest of the afternoon stretched out on another chaise lounge, this one by the sparkling pool, watching puffy white clouds amass while reading about life as a literary agent. Calm and content.
Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, editor of Living West, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and also blogs at www.wolfschneiderusa.com.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Traveling Time

by Wolf Schneider

Horse talk in Tesuque this winter.
Used to be, flying from Santa Fe to LA meant embarking on the long haul down I-25 to Albuquerque Airport three or four hours before the flight. This last trip, I made the easy 30-minute drive across Rodeo Road for the 50-seat American Airlines direct flight out of tiny Santa Fe Airport. An intimate affair, the American Eagle flight is operating four days a week right now. Coming back was even better, navigating through giant LAX to come upon folks I knew at the small satellite terminal for the Santa Fe flight, including everyone's favorite Santa Fean, the gracious Ali MacGraw.

I was in LA for the #ICGLocal600 Annual Publicists Awards, where a thousand or so publicists and Hollywood glitterati showed up during LA's biggest downpour of the winter, traversing their way to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel amid mudslides in the canyons and flooded streets. I feel like this is the best event of the awards season for seeing all my lifelong friends and colleagues in the entertainment media. The Golden Globes, Spirit Awards, and Oscars are the crème de la crème, but at the Publicists Awards Luncheon the glamour quotient is perfectly calibrated at an amiable pitch, this year’s event highlighted by the participation of Tony Goldwyn, JoBeth Williams, and Shailene Woodley. Most of my LA schmoozing this trip took place in Studio City and Sherman Oaks, where I was lucky enough to stay at a friend’s house in the Sherman Oaks hills. It rained the whole time, with the orange trees plumping up while roses, geraniums, and wildflowers bloomed profusely.

Arriving back in Santa Fe, it was so great to get my gate-checked wheeled carry-on in less than five minutes, pull it on over to my car that was parked for $3 a day a few feet away, then drive home and make a big pot of Trisha Yearwood’s excellent chicken tortilla soup recipe, and watch the Oscars. Mixing up a Santa Fe life with an LA life might be the best of both worlds.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Movie publicist Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and can be followed on Twitter @wolfschneider1.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

by Wolf Schneider

Shopper in puffy jacket enters La Montanita Co-op today.

Now is the cold and quiet time in Santa Fe, when we stoke our fireplaces with piñon and cedar wood, and reflect on our lives with grounded energy as bare branches shudder outside. Santa Fe often goes its own way. So far we’ve escaped the polar vortex. It’s mostly in the teens and 20s when our days start and we’ve had some snow. We relish our 325 days a year of sunshine now, parking where sunlight streams into our vehicles. In January, town tends to be lightly occupied, mostly with locals in puffy jackets, some skiers, and business-suited legislators here for the session. The opulent Texans and Oklahomans in their sheepskin coats who contribute greatly to our economy were living it up during the holidays, but now they're gone. It's just us, reading new books like Cindy Chupack’s witty The Longest Date, glued to the new season of “Downton Abbey,” and taking comfort amongst ourselves.

We've got two new restaurants to do that at. At the high end is Joseph’s Culinary Pub (www.josephsofsantafe.com), with rustic fare like the Pumpkin, Kale, Corn, and Local Porcini Enchiladas ($22) and Crispy Duck ($28). Affordable to all is chef/owner Brian Knox’s new Shake Foundation, with a soft opening underway for its green chile cheeseburgers, starting at $3.95. Knox usually veers towards more highbrow establishments, like his legendary Café Escalera, Aqua Santa, and Standard Market, and everything he does is quality (his friend Bruce Nauman designed the logo for Standard Market; yes, that Bruce Nauman). Myself, I’ve developed a jones for the Field of Greens drink custom-blended at La Montanita Co-op (http://lamontanita.coop/). Only movie craft service key Ernie Montoya makes a better green drink. On the horizon is Santa Fe Souper Bowl XX on February 1, with more than 25 restaurants competing with a hot cuppa something imaginative.

Photographer: David Alfaya, Taken in Artist Studio: Gregory Lomayesva

Movie publicist Wolf Schneider has been editor in chief of the Santa Fean, consulting editor of Southwest Art, and can be followed on Twitter @wolfschneider1.