Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

In San Miguel’s Centro: Our Lady of the Steps

She sits on the cold stone stoop. She looks neither left nor right.

Her head is bowed, mostly, her left hand extends for alms.

The hand rests on her knee. It is rigid and curled into an unnatural cup. A shape carved over a lifetime. A boney cup meant to hold, pesos, centavos.

Give or don’t give. It is all the same. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende

Why I love San Miguel: Walked down the Ancha to get the mail … and this is what I saw

IMG_9112Something was a little off when Moppit and I reached the Ancha on our walk early this morning. Not a single car was parked on the normally busy thoroughfare that divides Centro from Colonia San Antonio.

On any other day, both curbs would be lined with cars.

Either somebody was going to be moving a giant house down the street on a flatbed — or there was a parade scheduled. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

I know why the caged flowers sing

IMG_9029What crimes were perpetrated upon society, so heinous that such innocent-looking flowers should be locked behind bars?

I ask you.

Are they behind these bars for our protection?

Are they the offspring of legendary Bella Donna? Kin to the deadly sweet-smelling Nerium Oleander? Gang members of Titan Arum, alias the stinky “corpse plant”? Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

Pickup art: Bed-time stories

artpickupThe bed of a pickup truck is probably the last place most of us would go looking for art.

The pickup truck has one job: to haul things. We fill the beds with wood, bricks, dirt, furniture, boxes, people, camping gear, tools, food, stuff and more stuff  … then we haul it from Point A to Point B.

Job well done. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende

A guest video blogger offers a fresh look at San Miguel … and our home

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My guest video blogger Caira Button is the Catrina on the right. Her lovely assistant is Catrina Rose Alcantara. Facial art is by our talented friend and neighbor Jimmy Hickey.

Good news, Musings & Magic fans, we have a guest blogger today!

A guest VIDEO blogger.

Let me introduce Caira Button, daughter of my dear wife, Rose Alcantara, and an accomplished video blogger who lives in Chicago. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

‘I rescue hummingbirds’

IMG_8932Hummingbirds are drawn to the atrium at the top of our stairwell.

The blue glass lantern looks like a feeder, I think.

But the atrium is like a fish wier.  Once a bird flies in, it can’t get out.

There is something sad and poetic about this, as they flutter from corner to corner. Like little feathered Marcel Marceaus, they feel the edges of the glass box, probe the invisible, flap wings against the glass.

Freedom is a fraction of an inch away but the glass will not yield to their perceptions.

Sometimes, on the outside, a mate flies up to the glass. You can feel the concern. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende

Seeing San Miguel in new and fresh ways through sketching, cooking, and dichos

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The collection of images in this post have no specific relevance to this post, other than they are “things” I have noticed since Thursday’s Literary Sala. For example, how often to you see a Sue Grafton book sitting on a window ledge? Especially themed well with the window display was “K is for Killer.”

I went to the Literary Sala this week to learn about urban sketching and Mexican cuisine but, more than that, I learned how to see San Miguel through new, fresh, and exciting  eyes.

Susan Dorf has been drawing San Miguel scenes and people for a decade and many know her through the colorful sketchpad images that appear in the weekly bi-lingual paper, Atencion. Her eye for detail is extraordinary and her ability to capture the essence of street scenes in ink and watercolor rivals the hundreds of iPhones trying to do the same.

Patricia Juana Merrill Márquez is a San Miguel native with roots going back 400 years. She is an architect, a hotelier, and a champion for Mexican cuisine. She also collects dichos — Mexican idioms and aphorisms that open a window onto this unique culture.  “The Buen Provecho Book,” is a mix of recipes and lively insight into Mexican culture.

I guarantee that few of us see the same San Miguel as these two. Continue reading

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