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Taste the town at the annual Sabor

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By Birdie Jaworski

Submitted to the Optic

Hammered elongated rings connect with polished squares of earth’s time-forged beauty in Sandi Boyer’s Labradorite, astrophylite, fine and sterling silver wire-wrapped necklace or wrap bracelet.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Boyer now relishes the natural beauty and diversity in New Mexico, where she finds inspiration in the rich variety of semi-precious stones that she arranges in original designs.

Using a micro-torch until her fine silver wire fuses, Boyer then hammers each piece to harden it. A tumbler gently polishes the silver, resulting in distinctive jewelry that can be worn from the bedroom to the boardroom without missing a beat.

The interplay of silver’s blunt shine against the exotic dark echo of smooth stone reminds the viewer of the solar system, of the vast emptiness yet exotic lushness of space. At once otherworldly and deeply intimate, Boyer’s work examines themes of alienation, spiritual longing, interconnectedness, and the necessity of beauty.

Boyer’s work can be experienced this Saturday, Sept. 10, during her exhibit at El Zócalo Art Gallery as part of the monthly Second Saturday Artwalk. Coinciding with the eighth annual Sabor de Las Vegas, the event features galleries, restaurants, and special events in a symphony of art, culture, and beauty radiating from the Old Town Plaza throughout the town’s different art districts.

September’s flavors are captured by the Sabor de Las Vegas, sponsored by Las Vegas First Independent Business Alliance. Sabor means “taste” in Spanish. Local restaurants will set up booths under the Plaza’s generous shade trees, offering seven “tastes” for a ten dollar ticket if you purchase it in advance, and twelve dollars if you purchase it at the Plaza Park. Last year’s bounty included plates of green chile chicken enchiladas, miniature meatball submarine sandwiches dusted with rosemary, rich chocolate mousse under dollops of fresh-whipped cream, artfully crafted tiny cakes, and delicate empañadas stuffed with piñon and pork.

“The Green Chile Cheeseburger is a mainstay of New Mexican cuisine and we do one of the best there is right here,” says Landmark Grill Executive Chef John Young, about the bite-sized delights he plans to serve at Sabor. “We’re not just for tourists - we’re part of the community. We try to have a distinguished menu for the traveler, but we also do a lot of local dishes because we know where we live and the people we have to take care of.”

The Plaza Hotel’s flagship restaurant was named as a stop on the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail by the New Mexico Department of Tourism.

“We have nine restaurants participating in Sabor this year,” explains Vince Howell, one of the event coordinators. Participating restaurants include Abraham’s Tiendita, El Burro Catering, Grandma Joan’s Choke Cherry Jelly, Hillcrest Restaurant, Landmark Grill at the Plaza Hotel, La Piedra Grill, Maryann’s Famous Burritos, Smiling Faces, and Traveler’s Café. The event begins at 11 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m., time enough to get stuffed and enjoy the musical stylings of Abraham Garcia at 11 a.m., Steve Ledger and Los Tropicales at noon, and Pasión de los Tambores and 1 p.m. Las Vegas First will set up tables and chairs where patrons can sit to enjoy the food and music in the cooling shade.

The foodie lover’s paradise includes a salsa-making competition beginning at 12:30 p.m., after a half-hour registration for competitors, with first and second place cash prizes. The fiery contest is sure to be a crowd-pleasing hit, with budding Iron Chefs wielding knife and jalapeño in the hopes of winning the 50 dollar top award.

“Everything has to be fresh, made on sight,” explains last year’s organizer Tito Chavez. “Bring your own ingredients. We’re encouraging people to shop at the Tri-County Farmer’s Market. Entrants will have just fifteen minutes to make their very best salsa.”

The Farmer’s Market celebrates it’s 2nd Annual Fall Festival this Saturday with a host of exciting activities including a children’s activity booth with face-painting, food sampling curtesy of the LCC Culinary Arts Club and Adrienne O’Brien, raffles for baskets of goodies, and the agricultural goods of over 20 local vendors. The market resides at 6th and University, and opens at 7 a.m., remaining open until goods are sold, with on-site roasted chile sure to be a top seller this weekend. Festival goers can enjoy an incredible musical line-up, beginning at 8 a.m. with Toni Apodaca, and continuing through the morning with Los Tropicales, 10-year-old guitarist Andres Garcia, rounding out with Carl Bernstein and Marilyn Priddy.

Visitors to Sabor de Las Vegas can work off their indulgences while taking in some of Las Vegas’ artistic treats. The Las Vegas Arts District covers an easily walkable portion of the city - from the Railroad Depot where the horse-drawn trolleys once collected tired train travelers, through the new 5th, 6th and 7th Street Art District to National and Bridge streets, ending at the Old Town Plaza.

In addition to El Zócalo’s “Fruits of Our Labors” show, artist Todd Christenson will hold a reception for his new show at the Las Vegas Arts Council’s gallery, “This, That, and the Other” and the Ray Drew Gallery at NMHU will feature “The Hospitality of Chaos,” the sculptural work of Joshua Woodlee.

Tickets to Sabor de Las Vegas may be purchased in advance at the Plaza Hotel, Unikat, Titos and the Trujillo Agency. For a complete listing of events, visit www.postcardsfromtheplaza.com.