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July 24, 2011 / bastiak

A beautiful day in the neighborhood…

I had a very interesting day just kind of exploring the town of Taos with Josh today. We moved to Taos (after a couple other short stints in the past) in November, and in the beginning of summer we actually moved into “downtown” itself. It has been really cool to be to able to walk around and check out galleries, boutiques, coffee shops, etc. all on foot. Especially when you also live a few minutes from mountains and alpine trails, world-class skiing and rafting, rock climbing…the list of outdoor pursuits goes on. It is the perfect dichotomy of wilderness and culture for me.

Today was my first attempt at exploring the town on a bicycle. I have to give kudos to all of you who commute on a bike regularly in an actual major city. Yet, maybe our little town is more dangerous in some ways. Although there are some sporadic bike lanes, I wouldn’t exactly call Taos bike friendly to the inexperienced town biker. I appreciate biking as a mode of transportation and as an alternative to a car, but I don’t need to get squashed in the process. Drivers here aren’t the best I’ve ever seen. I have found myself way more on point driving here than anywhere. Someone pulls out in front of me at close range and possibly going way too fast and without a turn signal about once a week. And that is in a car.

My anxiety aside, I did really enjoy meeting some very positive and interesting people in our community today. The owners’ of a book store, for example, chatted with us while we watched a parade that we had no idea was going to happen. Here we are going for a walk, and suddenly there are people in silver conquistador costumes on horses! Whoa! Alright, I’ll take it. I mean, the idea of today was to go on an adventure, see new things, and get to know the community. Why not? Josh even had the great idea to make a little check list/scavenger hunt. It was a great idea for a date or something to do with kids for an afternoon. We checked off : “bakery”, “don’t use a car”, “a gallery on each side of town”, “learn something new,” etc. We talked about education theory, real estate, photography, and Taos with some people we just met…and then we were on our way again. We had meaningful conversations with 5 people today on the street. Only one of which we actually knew from before. Some people say it is hard to survive here as a new comer, but we have had good luck so far.

The more I get out into the community, the more I realize how much of a community there really is here. I’m sure any town is like this if you can take the time and have the courage to start interacting with strangers and smile at people. I don’t want to get all Mr. Rogers, but it really was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

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