This is my house, the one that I live in. Hello, house! It doesn’t look exactly like this now, but we’re going back in time.
With everyone pretty much everywhere feeling anxious and angry and sad and scared right now—and, hopefully, staying put as much as they possibly can—I feel like maybe this is a good time to share where I’m living now. I guess that feeling is coming from my own renewed focus on my surroundings because of what’s going on, and thinking about how I feel safe and comfortable in my own home, and how grateful I am for that. Maybe it’s a good distraction? At the very least, it’s a place to start.
So. When last we spoke of my whereabouts, I was living in a rented 1939 Spanish revival-style bungalow in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I don’t live there anymore. No, you didn’t miss anything, I just didn’t tell the internet I was moving. It felt like too personal a moment to share. It’s hard for me to articulate, but there have been times in my life when I just need to keep everything for me. When just the energy it takes to explain something simple seems like it’s too hard. And then the week I thought I needed to myself turns into a month, and another month…and then it’s been almost two years. Life happens. To everyone.
I live in Sante Fe now, which is about an 60 miles northeast of Albuquerque. It’s the capital of New Mexico (and the oldest capital city in the country, despite New Mexico being the 4th-newest of these United States), but the population is only about 85,000—compared to Albuquerque’s 560,000. So it’s a small city. You can get a brief history of Santa Fe’s 400-year history here, if you’re curious.
After about two years of living in Albuquerque, I was really starting to find my footing there. I think I’ll probably always feel like an out-of-place New Yorker, but I did finally learn how to drive!!! Yes, it’s true. At the age of 41, I got my learner’s permit and signed up to take driving lessons and now I can DRIVE A CAR. I’ve only been doing it for three years so far, but honestly? I think I’m pretty good at it. I also kind of now think everyone should wait until they’re over 40 to learn how to drive.
Anyway, I love Albuquerque. It’s a fantastic, affordable city, and I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to recommend it to someone looking to relocate to another part of the country. I also loved the house I was renting there. But my boyfriend—yes, I have one of those—bought a little house in Santa Fe, and I decided to move here and live together with him in his little house. So that’s where I live now, and that’s why it’s hard for me to answer the “Do you own or rent?” question. Kind of both? He owns the house and I pay him monthly “rent,” but it’s not like he’s my landlord. Does that clear things up a little bit?
The basics on the house itself: It was built in 1950, and it’s Pueblo Revival style, also known as Santa Fe style (fittingly). It has vigas on the ceiling and a kiva fireplace and the outside kind of looks like a loaf of bread and all of that. I love this house. LOVE. The builder was a guy named Allen Stamm, who’s kind of a legend in these parts for having built really good quality affordable housing after WW2. When you say you have a “Stamm Home” to people familiar with Santa Fe, they know what your front door looks like, what kind of windows you have, and so on. These houses are specific to Santa Fe, and that makes me happy. My home makes me feel like I’m a part of where I live in the broader sense, just like Door Sixteen—my rowhouse in Newburgh—did. *something something vernacular architecture something*
Anyway, welcome! I have a whole lot to share with you about this sweet little house, and honestly? Even after two years, it’s really just the beginning.