Santa Fe, New Mexico, January-February 2002

Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., founded in 1608 under Spanish rule. Some buildings from the early 17th century still survive, including the oldest church in the U.S. The city later belonged to Mexico and passed to the U.S. in the mid-19th century. Initially, buildings in the area were constructed of adobe, and in the early 20th century it was decided that all new buildings in the downtown area should adopt the same “adobe look,” even if they weren't actually made of that material. This makes the city very special. It is now an arts center, with probably the highest concentration of art galleries per capita in the U.S. But it is also a science center, with the Santa Fe Institute in the city and the famous Los Alamos Lab, where the atomic bomb was created, nearby (many Los Alamos scientists actually live in Santa Fe). I attended a conference organized by the Los Alamos Lab. There were quite a few well-known scientists, including one Nobel Laureate. With my friend Ming Lei, we also had time to explore the city and visit a few museums, including the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (I do not have any pictures from these, though).

The city

The conference