May 28, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Who you tryin’ to get crazy with ese? Don’t you know I’m “local”?

"Being a genuine local is like being in a really large, crazy family. You don’t have a choice that you’re in it. You spend a lot of time thinking about fleeing from it. But in the end you’ll bleed for it"

By José Smith

The Beans & Chile

José Smith is a writer, stay-at-home dad and fiend of excellent essays.

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The phrase “local” in Santa Fe brings to mind images of sedimentary rocks in strata, with each subsurface being more local than the one above it. While the culture of a city is not as clear cut as a deposit of sediments, anyone who’s been somewhere long enough knows that variation in locals is a clearly stratified business, one that is often debated too.

The definition (the noun, not the adjective) of the word "local" is an inhabitant of a particular area or neighborhood, yet I don’t think this is good enough to be considered “local” for many people in Santa Fe. It’s more about being inhabited by a place, as opposed to just inhabiting it. My own definition leans more towards one who’s self and family has been here long enough to, how can I say...unwillingly be impacted by its mores and ways.

Being a genuine local is like being in a really large, crazy family. You don’t have a choice that you’re in it. You spend a lot of time thinking about fleeing from it. But in the end you’ll bleed for it. I think this analogy helps to draw a clear line through the strata, distinguishing what I believe to be who is and who isn’t a “local” in Santa Fe.

This is the first in a series of posts that explores the implications of being a Santa Fe local.

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