I am in no position whatsoever to make this declaration, but qualification is such a silly thing to stand in a person’s way. So I’m going to say it: Madrid (pronounced with a short a, first syllable emphasis) is the best town in New Mexico. A former coal mining town that was essentially taken over and revived by artists, Madrid is in no way fancy. It’s just totally amazing. It’s like a Wild West town with a Willy Wonka makeover: dirt streets, haphazard buildings and random interestingness everywhere. And NICE, LOVELY, DARLING people. Everyone we met was so engaging and friendly. We even met a little girl who was selling jewelry and baked goods to finance her People to People trip to Washington D.C. For those who don’t know, which might be all of you besides Mom, I was a teacher on a People to People trip in 2002. My friend Allene and I took 40 8th and 9th graders to England, Ireland and Wales for three weeks. It was one of the most challenging, inspiring, beautiful trips I will ever take.
Anyway, Mom bought some jewelry, of course, and then we talked to the little girl for a while about why she was taking the trip (“Because it’s for kids who have leadership POtential.” Adorable.)
Madrid is too wonderful to belabor with words, so I took some pictures. And you should go. Forget Santa Fe.