San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Shadowboxing and other enchanting things that catch the eye in San Miguel de Allende


It is no revelation that San Miguel de Allende is awash in beauty. A photographer’s playground, a selfie’s sandbox, a dilettante’s garden of earthly delights.

Like shooting into a herd of buffalo. Aim your camera in any direction and you will hit the mark, as often as not.

How many people arrive in San Miguel and launch into the uber project — snapping photos of every attractive doorway, every brass knocker, with the objective of creating the perfect coffeetable book?

I did.

Only the object of my obsession was Our Lady of Guadalupe and all her virginal variations — in alcoves, in niches, on the front of casas, in churches, over doors, behind vegetation, in grottos, in parks, on altars, on dashboards, tattoos, in paintings, on the roof above bus drivers, in decals on the back of taxis. The lady is everywhere.

I got over it.

Well, not over her. I love the sight of the good Lady. I just stopped taking her picture.

It felt too much like pinning a butterfly on a velvet display board.

These days, I look for the unexpected, the ugly, the unusual.

Like the image at the top of this post,  from my bedroom porch.

Sunrise on a cloudless morning offers endless possibilities. In our courtyard, the wall to the west becomes a blank canvas on which shadows paint an ever-changing scene. The owl doesn’t give a hoot, but I do.

Like the next image (above) from inside the courtyard of the Instituto Allende on the Ancha. The wedding reception was long over but the canopy in Sunday’s sun, over the massive bouquet of white roses was irresistible.  It just took getting on my knees like a less-than-nimble alter boy and looking upward, through the lens.

Something celestial in all that.

+++++      +++++     +++++      +++++     +++++

Like the Volkswagen Vocho, below, on the left.

There is a class of anti-cars around that set out to be as decadently ugly as possible, and thus become a thing of beauty. It says, “Love me for what I am.” (I picture the polar opposite of this Bug to be the 1977 Canary Yellow Super Beetle convertible, driven by a Scandinavian blonde wearing Ice Queen frosted lipstick and an all-girls Catholic School class ring. … I don’t know why this is so specific.)

As much as I love this Bug for exactly what it is, a work of raw, calculated, art, I could not resist toying with it in LunaPic. The watercolor2 filter gave it the best makeover, I think.

+++++     ++++++      ++++++      ++++++      ++++++

Like this tree in the front yard of the Anglican Church on Calle El Cardo. Last week we were in their community room for a special fundraiser for a group called Young Life, which is trying to do wonderful things with San Miguel’s youths.

I don’t know if the tree is always lit up like this, or if this was just for the occasion but one glance up and my heart grew branches. I’ve walked by the church and that tree a thousand times and it never hit me quite like that.

IMG_0278 (1)

Beneath this tree were these mariachis:

+++++     +++++     +++++     +++++     +++++

Like this young woman posing next to the mariachis who were catching a little shade after their performance in the Jardin. I liked the original, on the left, well enough but I love the emotion pumped into it after being run through a filter on the LunaPic app.

+++++     +++++     ++++++      ++++++      ++++++

Maybe I am getting used to looking up at the hot-air balloons as I walk Moppit the Philosopher Dog in the early morning.

I posted this one to Facebook last week and was surprised by the positive response.

No, I’ll never tire of looking at the balloons. The landscape beneath them is ever-changing, giving them a fresh perspective. It is like an old picture fitted with a new frame every morning.


+++++     +++++     +++++     +++++     +++++

The paper flower and egg-shell ladies are filling the courtyard around the entrance to the Parroquia as the season nears Lent. Nothing fancy or special here. Just an explosion of lovely colors early on Sunday morning.


One of many stands set up around the Jardin Principal and the Parroquia to sell paper flowers, puppets, and eggshells in advance of the arrival of Lent.


2 thoughts on “Shadowboxing and other enchanting things that catch the eye in San Miguel de Allende

  1. Pingback: Shadowboxing and other enchanting things that catch the eye in San Miguel de Allende « Bound for Belize

  2. Pingback: Little escapes: Seventeen San Miguel experiences you can enjoy while sitting on your couch | Musings, Magic, San Miguel and More

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s