As you drive from Española east to Chimayó -- in non-COVID-19 times, you might be heading to Rancho de Chimayó, the area's best New Mexican restaurant -- many of the street names, of course, are Spanish.
That's no surprise: this area is one of the oldest white-settled parts of the United States (of course, the Puebloans had been living in the area for centuries), starting in 1598 when Don Juan de Oñate declared it the capital of Santa Fe de Nuevo México, though the capital moved to La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís (modern-day Santa Fe) twelve years later. The area remained under Spanish, and then Mexican, rule until 1848 when it was ceded to the United States.
So you're driving along, moving from the little village of Santa Cruz into the equally small Cuartalez, passing street names like Avenida Fernandez, Calle de la Capilla, Fresquez Ln, Je Martinez Ln, Calle de Esquibel -- and then right after Calle de Esquibel, there's another street sign: Eh Ski Vel Ln.
It always makes me laugh, and wonder what the story was. Some Esquibel kids moved to neighboring properties and wanted a similar, but different, street name? Quarrels among the Esquibels? An Esquibel who was tired of Americanos pronouncing their name like "Ess quibble"?
I'll probably never know the real story. But it's one of many points brightening the drive through this small-town slice of history to Chimayó.
[ 12:25 Apr 03, 2020 More humor | permalink to this entry | comments ]