Santa Fe Weird
The definition of weird is broad. When weird is defined, adjectives such as uncanny, unnatural, unusual and strange are listed as synonyms. Strange works for me. Synonyms for that word include: extraordinary, out of the ordinary, curious, bizarre, funny and weird. We’ve come full circle on the synonym trail, a bizarre route unless, of course, you’re looking for absurdities. That’s exactly what I’m doing. Looking for amusing absurdities, the stranger the better.
My sidekick, Kyle, a Cool Dog with attitude, who insists on hanging out where the funny stuff happens, will join me. Together, Kyle and I will celebrate the extraordinary in Santa Fe as we seek bizarre, funny and weird people, places and happenings. In Santa Fe, we don’t have to look far. My cousin, Laura Helmich, an accomplished artist, drew Kyle’s likeness so his contributions can be acknowledged.
Santa Fe is not the only city where weirdness is celebrated. Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregon also celebrate weird. By so doing, these stalwart citizens, like Santa Feans, are celebrating the unique character of their individual towns as well as the broad diversity of our nation, where our differences really do enrich and strengthen us.
Let’s begin at Meow Wolf, a place that’s downright strange and fun and cool and downright trippy and educational – really.
The Meow Wolf Art Complex on Rufina Circle used to be a bowling alley. Writer George R.R. Martin, the Game of Thrones guy, bought the place. Now it houses The House of Eternal Return, a 20,000-foot interactive art experience, the Creative Maker Studio, a learning center and a non-profit educational outreach program.
Think rabbit-hole when you enter. A very deep rabbit-hole. Let yourself fall into Wonderland. When you land, you can choose your path: Walk, crawl or climb through the 70 rooms within the house, created by 500 artists, whose imaginations have traveled to other universes and beyond. Visitors are encouraged to take their own trip. You will. You can’t avoid it. Never fear, you will return, not only to the front door but to Meow Wolf, where creativity and innovation rule the universe.
Meow Wolf opened in March of 2016. There’s talk already of expansion. A manufacturing center is planned here. Talks are underway with people in Denver, Austin, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Minnesota’s Twin Cities as possible expansion sites. All good places, where the extraordinary thrives.