jin_chocolate…chocolate, NM wine, NM green chile: a trifecta of ‘yum’; add to that a David Byrne concert in Santa Fe and a visit with family and relatives and it makes for one fine month.

For my birthday, at the start of the month, I got an awesome birthday treat at the office: “Inspiration”: a salted caramel, dark chocolate, ganache/cake/chocolate grenade (say-no-more) from Jin Patisserie – just up the street – along with a stirring choral performance of “Happy Birthday” and lunch out too. Viva la ‘Risa! Many thanks comrades!

d_byrneMid-month, John and I flew into New Mexico and drove up to Santa Fe for the David Byrne concert at the Lensic. I had a BLAST! The Lensic is an older, smaller theater off the plaza with Spanish Baroque-deco detailing; pretty dazzling. It took a while for the audience to getup, standup – for their right to dance – as we were advised to be considerate of our fellow audience members (and not block the view). I worried the band wasn’t getting their due feedback of energy and I certainly was feeling the urge to “stir-the-punch” (so to speak). davidbyrnercFinally, the swell hit and the audience was on their feet – phew! The music was fantastic. So were the dancers. We were treated to several encores – the second (or third?) of which delivered the Talking Heads classic: Burning Down the House (pictured). WOW. The possibility, would he? YES! Stirring the audience to the climatic frenzy for the evening he then closed, with tantric erudition, with “Everything that Happens” – a lullabye energy to send the audience off in a released-and-then-calmed afterglow. Eno, Byrne, musicians, singers, dancers (choreographer): fabulous synchronicity.

@ Overland Sheepskin Co., Taos, NM

@ Overland Sheepskin Co., Taos, NM

Back to Albuquerque the next day to visit with family. Not only to visit with my awesome mom, but got to see my wonderful uncle, aunt, and cousin too, not to mention my near-and-dear bro., sista-in-law Mary, nephew and niece. Bro., cousin, and I headed up to Taos the next day. The trip was great: the visit along the drive, the sky, the landscape, the food (breakfast burrito smothered in green chile at Joann’s in Española). I managed to score John’s new “briefcase” at Overland Sheepskin Company there in Taos after a few phonecalls and cellphone photos. He likes it in person too.

On the way back we ducked into the Vivac Winery tasting room. I bought the Tempranillo with its complex layering of rich flavors and a box of their artisanal chocolates, and regret (and still think about) not getting a bottle of the tart, “old world,” rose´.

Saturday included a visit to Old Town (Albuquerque) w/ Mary and niece and nephew. I was worried visiting in late June it would be hot and glarey (NM is prone to brief, solstice heatwaves) but the air felt great and the light was wonderful: late afternoon with marginally monsoon weather – a light breeze, spritz of rain, and diffuse daylight through gently moody clouds to make it cool and softly bright. There was a wedding on the plaza too to add a dash of ceremony and festivity. I regret not having my camera.

Sunday I was out and about with mom and sent off with a batch of green chile to take home to LA (thanks Mary!). I went through it so fast and selfishly I already have my pre-order in for a modest 5 lb. delivery in August (Berridge Farms). I prefer mild summers and absorbing the heat through NM chile. I’ll let you know if it’s worth it’s season. June was.