There are a lot of things I’m going to miss about New Mexico. Green chile is the biggest and most important thing. But I am also going to miss the adobe and the blue paint.
And the red chiles hanging from all of the doors. Not ALL of New Mexico looks like this, but a lot of it does. I wish that more of Albuquerque did. I don’t know if it’s the Mexican influence or if people who live in the bleak NM desert just need some color in their lives, but I don’t think there is anywhere else in America that does things quite like this.
Think about it.
If you were driving down the street in your town, would you be taken aback if the majority of the doors, windows, and trim were painted a vibrant shade of turquoise or royal blue? You would be, wouldn’t you?
It’s quirky. You feel like you’re in another country sometimes (the fact that you hear more Spanish than English also contributes to that feeling.)
I took all of these pictures in Santa Fe, where you can’t go 10 feet without stumbling over a glaringly colorful example of Southwestern architecture. I wish we had moved there instead.
Using adobe and other neutral colors don’t only make painted trim pop, it also draws your eyes to every single other piece of color there is. You notice color where you usually wouldn’t.
Anywhere else this would look like wildflowers in a ditch on the side of the road. It might be pretty but really nothing special. But here, it is a color oasis. A refreshing break from the sandy beige monotony.
These New Mexicans really know what they’re doing when it comes to color. Southwestern style doesn’t really make sense when you take it out of its natural environment (i.e. turquoise and pink tribal print in cheap motel rooms that haven’t been redecorated since 1990), but when you see it here where it belongs, you just get it. And then you can’t get enough of it.