Different Perspective

Esparza building at Copper and 5th Ave

On a morning walk through downtown this past Saturday, I saw this wall that said “We believe every obstacle is an opportunity” (see picture above).  It is located behind an iron gate, and belongs to a business called Esparza.  The logo emblazoned in yellow across the front of their building says, “letsmakeascene.com”.  This advertising company’s presence on the corner of Copper and 5th makes me happy.  And their incredibly creative use of a dumpster to make a point impresses the heck out of me!

My Great-Aunt, Joan, and son enjoying ice cream in Nob Hill

I like to think of myself as a no-holds-barred optimist.  Seeing the good in things is a discipline I try to practice continuously.  My beloved great-aunt Joan is a great example to me in this endeavor.  She’ll say from time to time, “Mandy, I had a good talk with myself…” That statement always ends with a declaration of her will to see a situation differently, and to choose a more positive perspective.  What a difference that has made in her living a full and content life.

Roasting Chile at Downtown Farmers’ Market

I think New Mexico is a pretty darn great place to encourage positive perspectives!  Here in this quirky realm, we see rain, and immediately want to go outside to experience it.  We wake up to a good chill in the air, and we get giddy with excitement over the BEST and most beloved season in our beautiful spot on earth…FRESH ROASTED GREEN CHILE SEASON!  We see a yard comprised of various rocks, gravel, and pavers, and think, “Wow, nice landscaping!”.  We see a line ¼ mile long, backing up traffic as you approach a Golden Pride, and we think, “Ahhhh it’s Friday morning breakfast burrito time!”.

I’m impressed by so much here…the kind people who look you in the eye, smile, and say hi when you pass by; the incredible entrepreneurial spirit fostered here; the celebrations we have of our rich history and unique past; the beautiful blend of so many endearing cultures; the slow and steady progress of becoming a place on the map that people from all over WANT to come visit (many times staying!).

View from the end of my block of ART construction

So, when I walk to the end of my block and see lots of orange and white stripes, old pavement dug up, new pavement being laid down, and cautious drivers trying to navigate the ever-changing temporary lanes of traffic…I choose to smile as I see the obstacle as an opportunity for progress.  I revel in seeing this place I’ve grown proud to call home become a more and more exciting place to be.

For today…this is MY Vista Encantada!

-Mandy Herzog

Skies so big, even mountains look small…

Our David Gilmore here at Vista Encantada shared this photo he captured on his phone. 

Those beloved Sandia Mountains emerge over 10,000 feet into the fresh skies above.  Yet in this incredible sunset panoramic taken from the Rio Grande Bosque, the majesty of the mountain is almost usurped by that incredible wide open sky.  It’s so beautiful!  Yet, had someone painted this scene, you would almost think the artist took a bit too much liberty with the colors, the setting, the perfectly placed clouds illuminated in pastel hues against the cobalt sky.

This image captures the type of vista encantada (enchanted view) one would feel privileged to see once in a lifetime.  Yet anyone who lives here will tell you, “No really, this is the kind of thing we get to see on a regular basis here.”

How honored we are for this privilege – to live in a place surrounded by such beauty, and to have as my Vista Encantada.

-Mandy Herzog, Marketing

Summer Nights

I love summer nights in Albuquerque.  They are the gifts given so freely that we might come to take them for granted. But I don’t.

I revel in them.  The air is so soft you can’t feel it, but you know it is there, as little cool breezes pop up now and then to stir a leaf or your bangs, and disappear out into the darkness.   Perfect!

I end each day on the patio in a blanket of that soft air with the dense darkness of our ever present mountain showing me it’s there by the lights of the restaurant on top shining like some kind of lighthouse in an ocean of Albuquerque darkness.

I hear crickets and cicadas and then much later, coyotes yipping their coyote songs.  I imagine them sitting around a campfire deep in the grounds of the Academy telling coyote stories.

If we are lucky, our fifth season monsoons roll in and add thunder to the song the night sings.

Not long ago my brother was visiting from California.  We were sitting out on a glorious night telling people stories when suddenly Kurt exclaimed, “Listen to that!! It is beautiful!”.  I thought I was losing my hearing because I couldn’t hear anything at all!  I was kind of alarmed when I said “What?? Hear what??!”.  “ Silence, he said!  And crickets!”   Though he was raised here he has been away for 25 years.  And then he said, “And I can see the stars!!  I haven’t see the stars in years!”.

I worry about my brother living in California for many reasons, but this added a new one to my list.  How can it be that a cricket is a foreign sound and you haven’t seen the stars in years???  Who lives in a place like that?  (They also tax your garbage by the way).

I heard a saying that has stayed with me.  “That which goes uncelebrated will exit your life.”

I write this as a celebration of the night.  Of the simple beauty of soft air and crickets.    I write this as a celebration of the simple things.  Simple things that are miraculous when you think of it, and complex if you think of creation.  With a world in chaos, I find peace in knowing that each day will end and with that end comes the night.  The beautiful Albuquerque summer night.

By Kurstin Johnson, Owner of Vista Encantada Realtors, LLC