Unlike most, I can vividly recall the actual approximate time modern Santa Fe “took off.” It coincided with an Esquire Magazine article, May 1981, showing an outdoorsy dude on the cover, extolling the fact they had discovered the “right place to live.” The rest was counter-culture history. The sleepy little burg that was New Mexico’s state capital, aka the “city different,” would never be the same.
Looney-tunes, trust-babies, wannabe artists, oil millionaires, and the Hollywood sparklies from far and wide descended in droves.
Living in Albuquerque I remember thinking, “well, this is cool” and of course, we talked it up to all the relatives and friends back East, who’d eventually make the journey and be amazed. Not anymore, amigos.
Fast forward to the present, and one realizes these people have now taken over the political power structure of Santa Fe.
Oh, there’s still some lingering vestige of classic New Mexico politics, as evidenced by the occasional corruption caper. Former County Public Works Director James Lujan was just busted for years of receiving bribes.