Gotta Love Cafe LOKA

Yes, you’ve gotta love Taos’ Cafe LOKA if you like an artful environment with great WiFi. Let’s face it Taos can get a little intense. Here you can forget about it for an hour or so. Their chai tea is great and they offer pots of interesting teas for a reasonable price. Besides the espresso coffee drinks, (it is a cafe) they serve breakfast and lunch. I sometimes wish they stayed open later than 3. I work at home and sometimes by the time I look at the clock to see if I have time to make it to LOKA I have missed my opportunity. Darn.

LOKA has a great outdoor patio in what’s actually a courtyard that includes a yoga studio and a hair salon. It’s one of those places that has a sense of place. Once you enter you feel you are in a place that has thought of what would feel good to a human and there you are. The owner is often around and his presence is quiet and thoughtful, somewhat like his cafe. And don’t miss the door to the restroom. It’s a work of contemporary art but in a Zen kind of way.

Another place I’ve found nearby is a little workspace/gallery called Pocket. It was opened this spring by Kristin and her friend, Clare. Kristin is one of the first people I met when visiting Taos to locate a rental home back in March. We met at an art opening and she gave me her card. I visited Pocket a few days later and when I saw the kind of art that she and Clare were doing I was entranced. Kristin will fearlessly paint a decorative design on a huge wall (as in the clothing store, Substance, just off the Plaza) or work with stencils. She also paints and can probably make anything in an artful way–see the egg chandelier, next photo.

I used to have a small business that relied entirely on stencils–a hand painted T-shirt company. Later I moved to Sonoma County, CA, and worked part time as a stencil-cutting specialist for a decorative arts company called Art for Architecture. The owner took me under her wing and often I would stay with her family when a job lasted several days.

I spied this beauty while driving along Maestas Rd. on a shortcut to Talpa from Canyon. I swear I have seen (and photographed) the same flower in Baja in late spring. As you can see (if you squint) the plant is a thistle of some kind so it would like an arid location and climate. Luckily for me and my camera this plant was growing right along the side of the road, making access possible, even easy. What a planet we live on!

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