One must bring his own ladder, lean it against the adobe wall, and go ahead and climb on over to get to Santa Fe.
This way to the Land of Enchantment, my friends.
Once within the walls, there is quite a lot for tourists to see and do. In the Plaza, or the main shop-til-you-drop-square, turquoise, leather, and sterling silver abound.
But as with most places, the real treasures are a little bit harder to come by. You’ve got to drive straight past all of the frequently visited cultural to-do’s, the historical churches, and keep going past the Walgreen’s, towards the airport to something that looks like a storage unit.
To gain admittance to this warehouse, I had to call ahead. After a lot of back and forth, a time and date was settled on. I felt a little pressure about having to buy something after making an appointment.
Please note: this was not for drugs.
This warehouse, Santa Fe Vintage, is the brain child/life’s work of Scott Corey. Inside are all the timeworn garments necessary to dress like an authentic cowboy.
A young woman, who pulled off a military jumpsuit, greeted us at the nondescript door. She told us to explore while she patched Levi’s from the 1950s.
The first room we entered was entirely dedicated to American indigo, to cotton pants that allow us to ride horses, that can be worn high, or regrettably low around the waist.
Denim is the only thing everyone can agree on. It’s comfortable, it’s durable, and it’s a really nice color. The old jeans (apparently they don’t make them like they used to) are quite coveted. They were stacked in piles, hung on hangers, all fastidiously organized.
Within this section, one could find everything needed for a Canadian Tuxedo look- jean shirts hung in rows next to matching cowgirl hats.
It was like a garage sale in there - but as if someone really cared about the items.
Behind the jeans was a military section, with vintage American Flags starring less states then we know now.
The little room in the back was most appealing to me with the largest tidy stack of red bandanas known to man, as well as Indian blankets in beautiful color combinations.
After being inspired by the fashionable woman with the jumpsuit, I tried on one. At first I loved it. It was from some garage, preowned by a Charlie, with Hercules written on the back. I tried it on and that’s when I noticed it was orange. Orange jumpsuits are not easy to wear, and I put it back where I found it.
This place is really special. I tried on the past, but decided it was better left for someone casting an old Western. I was really happy we got the chance to visit such an incredible collection.
After putting my ladder back on that adobe wall and crawling over - I did not return to Colorado with any shopping bags from Santa Fe Vintage. But I would hardly say I left empty handed. I learned something.
At a New Mexican restaurant of your choice, when the waitress asks you between chewing gum, “Green or Red Chili on those enchiladas?” Order it this way-“Christmas.”