Monday Morning

02021-10-04 | Touring | 12 comments

After driving to Santa Fe from Denver on Saturday I stayed in a Ramada on Yale close to the airport in Albuquerque. When I made arrangements for this trip all hotels for this weekend were surprisingly expensive, especially in Santa Fe. Later, Jon figured out that this was due to the Balloon Festival, which happens on the first weekend in October. I had picked one of the cheaper hotels by the airport and planned on driving back to Santa Fe on Sunday for some business I had to attend to. Monday I would fly home from Albuquerque.

On Monday morning I woke up around 0515 and read People of the Book until a few minutes past 0600. Then I walked 0.9 miles to the Starbucks on Gibson. It was still dark, about 45′ before sunrise. Encountered three people, one of whom was talking to themselves. Arrived at Starbucks only to discover that the doors were all locked. There was a sign on the door saying that for security reasons the cafe was closed until sunrise. The Starbucks app, however, claimed that the place would open at 0500. I stood by the front entrance observing dozens of cars order coffee in the drive-through. Considered walking through the drive-through lane and ordering coffee. Then one of the five or six employees opened the door and asked whether I was there to pick up a mobile order. I said no, I wasn’t, but I could make a mobile order, if that’s what it took. I told him I had walked for twenty minutes to get there. He seemed incredulous (((what? people walk? in the dark??))) but let me into the store and locked the door behind me. Perhaps really not the safest neighborhood?!

I ordered a large coffee and a pair of kale egg bites. After I received the food I walked back to the hotel. The person talking to themselves had turned to arguing, but not quite screaming, with a post, as I hurried by. I gave another person coming towards me a wide berth by walking through a parking lot. I was relieved when I reached my hotel.

Reading on my laptop and sipping the coffee – the egg bites had already been consumed – I noticed this object on the wall, near the ceiling. It looks like a smoke detector that was wrapped in cling wrap to prevent smoke from getting into it? Room #345 of the Ramada hotel. If you worry about smoke inhalation you best avoid that room.
Smoke Detector
I think it is good to stay in questionable hotels from time to time, if only to properly appreciate the nice ones… :-)

PS: the books is really good! It describes the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war.

Less flash and more substance than The Da Vinci Code . . . The stories of the Sarajevo Haggadah, both factual and fictional, are stirring testaments to the people of many faiths who risked all to save this priceless work.

– USA Today


  1. JaneParhamKatz

    Ottmar, I think you have shared a nightmare with us!

  2. Anne

    Sometimes a walk in the dark is not advisable. In a blink of an eye – everything can change.

    (Sometimes driving a short distance is not wise either –
    I got a $50 parking ticket yesterday …cause i drove to a spot closer to the river – I usually walk.)

    • Anne

      at first glance, book reminded me of he early Christian and Gnostic manuscripts discovered in Nag Hammadi in 1945.

      did a little research re the historical context …

      “HAGGADAH is the Jewish book of rites, a collection of biblical stories, prayers and psalms related to Pesah, important Jewish holiday. It is named after an ancient Jewish prophet Haggai”

      “Haggai prophesied in 520 BCE Jerusalem, about the people needing to complete building the Temple. The new Temple was bound to exceed the awesomeness of the previous Temple. He claimed if the Temple was not built there would be poverty, famine and drought affecting the Jewish nation.”

      “He may have been one of the captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He began God’s prophecy about sixteen years after the return of the Jews to Judah (ca. 520 BCE).”


      • Anne

        v. interesting tracing the historical facts.
        the world sure has changed. Whats next, i wonder..

        • Anne

          miserable world cracks open?

  3. Nancy

    Oh Ottmar, I can sympathize. I traveled for business for 32 years and I could tell you stories about things that happened in hotels, restaurants and in the town I was working in etc. I was always super careful about walking and who was around me. Some places only had basic hotels. Glad you are safely on your way home. Wished I could have attended one of your concerts.

  4. Pamela

    I wondered when you wrote “Monday I would fly home from Albuquerque” how you felt about leaving New Mexico to fly to your new home after living in Santa Fe for so many years?

  5. Diran Cancik

    Hi,Pamela Iwas going to ask the same question???

  6. Y.

    Sounds like you had an understanding employee help you with your coffee.

    • Anne

      “He seemed incredulous (((what? people walk? in the dark??))) ” and from that observation…..

      (Maybe ottmar could also write…likes to stir imaginations)

    • Boris

      When I went to see Ottmar in Westhampton in early December 2005 (with the string quartet), we had gone there by train from Manhattan. We had the whole afternoon free before the show. A guy working in a coffee shop close to the venue described us how to get to the beach. You go by car?, he asked, and in obvious astonishment then told us, how to walk there. People do not walk in the US, it seemed, they all have cars, and the distances are usually bigger than in Europe. :-)

    • ottmar

      Perhaps. He didn’t seem happy about it. You shouldn’t show that you are open on the company’s app and then lock the doors anyway. But, you are right, he could have stuck to his decision and I am glad he made the exception.


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