Nature vs. nurture

In Santa Fe there's a city ordinance from all the way back in 1958 that all new buildings have to look like the rest of Santa Fe, with flat roofs and adobe walls (or "faux-dobe," as most of the newer buildings are). I'm wondering if there's an ordinance I don't know about, requiring the use of batik wall hangings, dream catchers, and Navajo blankets in all interior design. I'm guessing not.

Which brings to my philosophical question of the day: Do people who move here naturally have an affinity for combining silver and turquoise, and hanging drums as wall art, and handcrafted pottery? Or is it not until they are already here and have been wooed by the siren song of green chiles that they find themselves drawn to wrought iron door handles, and wall paint the color of egg yolks, and terracotta tiles? Is it nature, or is it nurture?

A friend of mine who has worked here for many years gave me only one piece of advice about summering in Santa Fe. "Resist the urge to buy home furnishings here," he told me, "because they ONLY look good in Santa Fe. I guarantee, whatever it is, it will not look good in your house."

I've only been here a week, but I seem to be resisting the urge quite easily. It all looks right here, like it's supposed to be here, but Santa Fe style is just not my thing.

I think I'm leaning toward nature.


  1. I think it would look great in Vienna! Or vice versa.

  2. I've enjoyed reading your blog for years now. Great writing. Aunt Bossy and I have spent a lot of time in Sante Fe and I remembered this great aproposter from years ago...


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