Monthly Archives: August 2012

Art’s Treasure Trove

Art's Treasure Trove, Albuquerque, New MexicoArt’s Treasure Trove on Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Across the parking lot from Art’s is Garcia’s, a Mexican food restaurant with a great neon sign that was featured on Breaking Bad. Anyway, I ate lunch at Garcia’s and had a friendly chat with the waitress, who recommended the brisket taco plate, which was very good. When I was done I decided to walk over to Art’s to see what it was. What it was was a bit of a disappointment. It’s nothing more than a garage sale these days. I bet in it’s heyday it was pretty cool, though.

As I was walking back to my car and decided to use the restroom in Garcia’s. When I was done, I headed out the door when the waitress stopped me asked if I had paid for lunch, apologizing for even insinuating that I might do such a thing. I thought for a moment, and realized she was right. Not only that, I planned to have huevos rancheros there the next morning. They would have though, “here comes that deadbeat!” She said she couldn’t believe I had walked out; I just didn’t look the type. I couldn’t believe it, either. :-) I paid up and stopped by the next morning, as planned.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Blue Doors

Blue doors and windows are a common sight in New Mexico, prompting visitors to wonder at their significance. According to Southwestern Homes and Living, “Blue painted doors and windows are a folkloric tradition, and the color’s exact meaning depends upon whom you ask.”

Most New Mexico abuelas (grandmothers) would tell you that the color wards off evil spirits. But because this is an oral tradition, it probably has many local variants. Cordelia Snow, historic sites archaeologist with the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, says blue doors and windows are found around the world in many cultures. “They are found throughout the area settled by the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch in the eastern United States, in Germany, and elsewhere in Europe,” she explains. Blue as well as other colored doors are also found in Morocco, an Islamic country with deep historical ties to Spain.

Blue has long been associated with the Virgin Mary, and a common explanation is that the color invokes her protection of the home. “But one account I read said the color was a fly and pest deterrent,” Snow says. Likewise, the particular shade of greenish blue may have no special meaning. It could simply be that the color was widely available. Dark blue also is common, and you’ll see many window and door frames in red, green, and even yellow. But whether the tradition is about religion, pest control, or just artistry, it is an important element in Southwestern culture and style.

I found these well-worn doors at the rear of a building along the main road in Encino, New Mexico.

Posted in Photography

The Chevy at Los Ojos

Whenever I’m in northern New Mexico, I try to swing by the small town of Los Ojos. And every time I notice the old Chevy parked in the front yard of one of the homes. I’ve never photographed it because I didn’t want to invade the owner’s privacy. But earlier this month I was shooting a neighboring business when a lady came out of the house to see what I was doing. I motioned that I was taking pictures, and she didn’t seem to mind. When I was done, I decided this was the perfect time to photograph the car. I walked over and knocked on her front door to ask permission. She opened the door before I knocked, and said it was okay. So I finally got to shoot the Chevy at Los Ojos.

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