Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pluto fiesta and more visions for 2014

By Derrickson Moore on Twitter
What would you like to see in Las Cruces in 2014?
While we’re making New Year’s resolutions and goals for ourselves, why not brainstorm a few dreams for our city?
I hope we form an official committee and start planning soon to get ready for Plutopalooza, the fiesta I’ve proposed to celebrate the “arrival” of our very own space pioneer to the region he discovered nearly a century ago. On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons probe, which was launched on Jan. 19, 2006 with Clyde Tombaugh’s ashes on board, will arrive at Pluto.
Maybe we should get the Spaceport involved and see how many luminaries we can enlist and how many T-shirt designs we can devise. (I’m still partial to “PLUTO. PLANET. DAMMIT.”)
We’ll need a lot of lead time to do justice to Clyde and our favorite planet. Let’s show ’em what a big fiesta a “dwarf” planet can generate.
I have less cosmic goals for 2014, too.
I’d like to see the Downtown area continue to make progress. I’m personally resolving to visit the Downtown Ramble the first Friday of every month in 2014. I always find something new and intriguing and run into amigos I haven’t seen as often as I’d like.
It would be nice to see some new restaurants in the ’hood, and I hope the proposed Friday food truck roundup takes hold and prospers.
It’s always nice to see new galleries and specialty shops anywhere in the Mesilla Valley, from the East Mesa to Mesilla.
I want to go to more plays, concerts, gallery openings, special events and fiestas.
It’s great to see that we keep adding events, from beer fests to the Las Cruces Country Music Festival.
I’d like to see us generate even more fiestas, particularly in the little downtime gaps, in January and late summer. 
I’ve always wanted to see a fiesta dedicated to the my favorite high desert critter, the roadrunner, for instance. And it seems like we could come up with some ideas that lend themselves to indoor celebrations at, say, the Las Cruces Convention Center and the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, thus doing away with the excuse that it’s too cold in January and too hot in late July and August to have a great fiesta.
I’m looking forward to hearing more from the recently-formed Creative Economy committee, which is working on ways to bring more life and art to our city with innovative ideas like rent-free or low-cost “pop-up” stores that could give artists and entrepreneurs a chance to try out new ideas.
There are inklings that visions of an upscale boutique hotel are gaining ground, and I’ve heard rumors of proposed locations that include Picacho Peak, or transformative renovations of the old Multnomah County Building, the old Las Cruces City Hall and the Amador Hotel. I say, one or all, let’s do it!
When Lady Gaga, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, the Justins (Bieber and Timberlake) and the rest of the superstars make their maiden voyages from Spaceport, we don’t want them thinking they have to commute from Albuquerque or Santa Fe.
And yes, we still want a Trader Joe’s. I’ve had a hankering for Whole Foods, too, but after visiting their store in Santa Fe recently, I think we can make do with the resources of our own exotic combo of Toucan, Mountain View Market and colorful Pro’s Ranch.
I used to miss Santa Fe’s Jackalope, but I’ve found a lot of equally wonderful stuff at diverse locations round the Mesilla Valley, and it’s lots of fun making the rounds. I haven’t managed to make it to La Tienda Rosa (the Pink Store) in Palomas, Mexico, lately, and I’m looking forward to seeing their new store in Silver City.
Which brings me to resolutions both personal and professional. I used to pay a visit at least once a year to Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Truth or Consequences, Columbus/Palomas and to sites of many of our sister newspapers, including Deming, Silver City, Alamogordo, Ruidoso and Carlsbad.
I looked forward to visiting their museums, galleries, restaurants, lodging and leading tourist attractions and meeting their artists and colorful characters.
And then writing features telling you about what’s new, old and entertaining throughout the Land of Enchantment as well as in my enduring querencia, right here.
I hope to do more of that in 2014. And I’d like to hear about your visions and goals for the Mesilla Valley.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at, at Derrickson Moore on Twitter or call 575-541-5450.

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