I passed out for a few hours only to be woken up by a phone call from Zeus at 3 a.m. (4 a.m. Louisiana time). He was walking home and passed through the Quad on campus and was reminded of our moment singing Bohemian Rhapsody on top of the Bill of Rights at a similar hour. We talked for a bit and then I slept for a few more hours.
Nick sounded like death sleeping next to me. He didn’t stop drinking after the espresso, but rather had a few more beers and what we called a “milk-martini” rather than a white Russian.
After a few hours of trying to get moving, we decided a light lunch was the way to go in order to alleviate the pain in both of our stomachs. We strolled through the plaza–sunglasses hiding the blaring sun–when we saw a sign for The Rooftop Cafe. It was fairly breezy outside, so it seemed like a good option.
The place wasn’t full and we landed a great table on the deck outside. The menu was filled with gourmet pizza recipes and organic salads. We chose to split a spinach salad with a sundried tomato basil dressing and an eggplant/vegetarian pizza. The salad was pretty standard as far as spinach salads go, but the pizza was like a deliciously ripe garden in your mouth. The crust was so light and not at all greasy. There was fresh eggplant, squash, artichoke hearts, garlic and sundried tomatoes.
We decided not to shop, considering we both had spent at least $60 on booze the night before (I won’t say how much he spent). Instead, we walked to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum.
Museums are a great way to pass time in cities and if you have a student i.d., it’s cheaper. It only cost us $4 to get in.
I had seen some of her work earlier this year during my Culture of Man class, but I really liked being able to focus on one artist. I watched two short documentaries on her before I glided through the exhibit. I didn’t realize she had posed in some pretty sensual photographs for her husband, Alfred Stieglitz. By the time her art arrived, many critics assumed there was more symbolism to her flowers, than there really was.
Almost everyone I talked to mentioned the association between the flowers and vaginas. I don’t care what she really meant it to be, those paintings are amazing. My favorite part of the exhibit were quotes from O’Keeffe throughout the years. She was such a feisty woman. She had very bold original work for the time and she was a woman. Maybe that’s why I have such an appreciation for her courage. If I had her talent and her beauty, I would have done the same things she did.
Plus, after her Stieglitz died, she reinvented her work once she discovered the mountains and desert of New Mexico. She lived to be quite old and was still a firecracker to the end. Talk about inspirational. But I can appreciate any artist who can stand by their work.
Nick still felt a little queezy after lunch and went lounge around the Inn. I grabbed my laptop and went write in the Starbucks around the corner. It started to get late and I just walked around the plaza admiring the city.
The plaza is such a great space for people watching. There are so many tourists and natives sharing the same space. Some of the natives dress in traditional attire and dance, while some locals play guitars or violins while sitting around the monument in the center. By no means is there a city feel to this either. There is such an endearing feeling about the Santa Fe plaza.
The sun was starting to set, so I decided to walk back to the Inn. There was this beatnik looking hat at a shop that caught my eye the previous three days and I just couldn’t resist trying it on. $20 later, it was mine.
Nick was hungry and feeling well enough to venture out of the room, so we went to dinner at the Ore House, another authentic restaurant in the plaza. We split prime rib quessedillas and an ahi spinach salad. For dessert, we walked next door to the Plaza Cafe and had a slice of three-milk tres leche cake.
All we could do after that splurge was lay in our beds at the Inn and watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. I know…big party-goers. But hey, I had a long day of driving ahead of me and needed all of the rest I could get.