By Susan Froyd – Westword.com – Photo: Chicano Humanities And Arts Council.
Photo: CHAC Gallery on Santa Fe Drive, in better times.
Santa Fe, New Mexico – Twenty years ago if you had walked down the Denver byway that’s become the Art District on Santa Fe, you’d see a barrio in flux. Between Tenth and Sixth avenues along Santa Fe Drive, there was Dragon Lowriders, a gathering place for neighborhood kids dreaming of glittery bikes with all the bells and whistles; Bota de Oro, which sold butter-soft Mexican leather cowboy boots, some with exotic origins; and on the same block, Botanica Oschun, a variety shop up front that dealt herbal remedies in back. You could order up a Mexican hamburger at Joe’s Buffet, or purchase a custom zoot suit at Suavecitos. Those spots are all gone.