Baca Railyard block party
The Baca Railyard area shows its stuff with a block party on Friday, June 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. The owners of furniture showrooms, art and architecture studios, consignment and antique shops, tattoo and hair studios, and other businesses on Flagman Way, Shoofly Street, and Railfan Road open their doors for the free event.
“I put this in motion now because July and August are so busy,” said organizer Adriana Siso, the owner of Molecule Design. “I took it on to make something happen.” She described the neighborhood as “teeming with vitality and new energy” and said the block party celebrates “a great alliance of art and design businesses.”
The 12-acre Baca Railyard is at the southern end of the rail yards that served the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad (the “Chili Line”), and the New Mexico Central Railway in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Baca Railyard is connected by the Acequia Trail (running behind the New Mexico School for the Deaf) to the North Railyard, home to the Santa Fe Farmers Market, Warehouse 21, Violet Crown Cinema, and other popular venues. The city’s Railyard Master Plan calls for new buildings in the district to relate more to the history of the neighborhood’s warehouses than to the Spanish-Pueblo style downtown.
Siso built her marvelous Molecule Design showroom using 11 recycled international shipping containers and opened in 2010. Block-party revelers will get a glimpse of the district’s newest building: Opuntia Café. Its developers include Todd Spitzer, a former co-owner of Iconik Coffee Roasters; designer Jeanna Gienke; architect Tom Easterson-Bond; and landscape architect Solange Serquis and her husband, software developer Andres Paglayan. Spitzer (who is also the coffee consultant on the Sky Coffee shop coming to the North Railyard this summer) told Siso that Opuntia will feature world-class teas and Iconik coffees, as well as a menu by James Beard semifinalist Kim Muller, formerly of Izanami.
During the block party, Serquis will give a tour of the site and show the drawings for the new building, which will have offices and bed-andbreakfast units as well as the café. “Solange is also working with the city on the St. Francis Drive underpass, and that will finally directly link the two sections of the railyard,” Siso said.
Call 505-989-9806 for more information. — Paul Weideman
Two views of the Opuntia Café; renderings courtesy Wood Metal Concrete