Let’s get this right out into the open: Santa Fe is a touristy town. The art, the architecture, the history—Santa Fe has been selling itself as a world-class vacation destination, and people are buying. There’s no point in denying the facts, and tourism in Santa Fe is a fact. Another fact is that tourism isn’t the city’s only commodity. Now, now, don’t let your bias get in the way. Santa Fe isn’t only for rich yuppies with money to burn, nor is it full of stinky hippies who wish it was still the ’60s. And you Santa Feans—you know you harbor bias toward the Burqueños, too. Albuquerque is not void of culture, nor is it a cesspool for crime. There are plenty of reasons for residents of both cities to visit the other, from cultural events to culinary decadence, artistic gatherings to outdoor adventure. The long-standing sibling rivalry may never end, but isn’t it nice to sit and have a chat with your slightly overbearing sister over tea, even if you go straight home and bitch about her yappy dog? You know she’s talking smack about your hairdo, but family is family.
As a Santa Fe native turned Albuquerque resident, I feel like the girl who’s befriended both sisters and finds herself in the middle, screaming at the two of them about the triviality of it all. Albuquerque: You have your urban Downtown, the sports stadiums, the State Fair grounds, an amusement park, huge movie screens and so many other enviable commodities. Santa Fe doesn’t have those big, civic wonders (she knows it, and she’s jealous), but she’s got her own life. She is, in fact, the City Different and the City of Holy Faith. That’s a pretty big role to fill, never mind being the state capitol, so cut her some slack. Santa Fe: You’ve got to chill out, too. Albuquerque is blooming into the internationally known city she’s been striving to become, and there is so much going on, it’s hard to get away sometimes. Again, let’s face the facts: Some folks in the Duke City just don’t know much about you beyond your touristy exterior. So, whether as a means to end this rivalry or as an act of futility, I’ll share some of the reasons why I like to go back to my hometown for an occasional weekend getaway. Some things Burque folks may already know. Some may be new, but they sure do remind me that this rivalry is just plain silliness.