Thursday, September 25, 2008

And the Question of the Week Answer is.....

ANSWER: It's Spirit Winds, 2260 Locust St. And P.S. If you're new in town, you might not know that their coffee, tea, lunches and snacks are a great treat after a long walk, too.
Now: What's the question? Read on to find about about teeny knights in semi-shining plastic armor and more.

Fall is the perfect time for an urban amble

By S. Derrickson Moore
Sun-News reporter
LAS CRUCES — Fall brings the days that make you want to go “Ahhh!”
We’re all ready for a respite after a summer that consisted mostly of dusty wind storms followed by months — not a day here and there or even the usually couple of weeks — but months of monsoons and hot, sticky, stronger-than-swamp-coolers, humid weather.
It was a season-long siege of the kind of barometric pressure that drove me from the Pacific Northwest and the relentless humidity that made me glad to say good-bye to Jamaica and South Florida.
But it looks like most of that’s behind us now. We have passed the crucial transition that my sister Sally used to call “Magic Day” in South Florida, a time when you could finally exit your air-conditioned building or car without being “muggied” by an instant blast of heat and humidity.
Magic Day seemed the best-ever this year, since it offered a relief not only from the triple digit temps that seem somehow natural in high desert summers, but also from this season’s 80 to 100 percent humidity, which seemed downright perverse.
Now is the perfect time of year to linger on the patio with friends, ignoring the weeds if you can, or clearing them out in cool morning hours that tempt you to garden a little longer. It’s a great time to choose the outdoor seats for lunch, brunch or an evening meal at your favorite restaurant. (If they don’t have al fresco seating, this is the best time to try to talk them into adding some patio tables and chairs.).
And it’s prime time for one of my favorite activities, the state-of-the-city urban amble.
Start our with a walk around your neighborhood. You’ll notice things you never see, zipping by at morning drive time, or even on a bicycle.
Not that you can’t multitask during your urban hikes.
Combine your stroll with a fiesta visit, for instance. Check out what’s new, or features you’ve forgotten, around the Meerscheidt Recreation Center, while you’re waiting for Roberto to finish the world’s largest enchilada at the Whole Enchilada Fiesta today.
Budget some extra time to wander around downtown Las Cruces while you’re visiting the Wednesday or Saturday morning Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Markets or the Downtown Ramble through galleries and museums the first Friday of each month. Walk from the Downtown Mall to the library, and while you’re at it, see how the new Las Cruces City Hall is coming along and don’t miss all the entertaining art from the City of Artists Promotional Association lining the construction fence.
Or take a hike from the Mercado de la Mesilla to the Mesilla Plaza while you’re visiting Thursday and Sunday Mercados or one of the upcoming plaza fiestas, like next weekend’s Mesilla Jazz Happening.
Park on a side street and walk Picacho Avenue to check out the antique and second hand shops. Don’t miss Coyote Traders new location, right across from Sweet Old Bob’s S.O.B.. Antiques.
There are lots of fun places to investigate on and around the NMSU campus, too.
During your downtown stroll, stop by the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau and pick up more ideas, like the free Las Cruces Historical Districts pamphlet, with info for a walking tour of historic buildings in the downtown area , including the Mesquite Historic District and the Alameda Depot Historic District.
Bon voyage.
Introducing the Question of the Week:
My ambles have turned up some intriguing people and places and fun factoids.
Did you know, for instance, that there is a place in Las Cruces where some remarkable tiny objects are neatly organized in several small drawers with labels like “knights” and “duck devils” and two kinds of winged sprites: “regular” and “glow” fairies? If your computer or birthday cake could be improved with a tiny knight in armor or a luminescent Tinkerbell, do you know where to look? Welcome to my new Las Cruces Question of the Week feature. See answer above.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at, (575) 541-5450

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