photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Sunday sunset over San Miguel

People are taking to the rooftops of San Miguel like never before. Some head there to dine. Some to drink and dance. Some to watch the sunset. Some to watch the center of San Miguel transform into something else almost on the hour. Some, just to stop time for a little while.

We were on a rooftop on Sunday to watch two dear friends get married.

The sunset, the incredible cloud formation, the view — that was all extra.

I couldn’t resist rushing this photo onto Facebook to share but now it is in its proper place — a big and beautiful display on the blog.

If you like people-watching, those people dining across the street are there for you. Notice the two women with their Dia de Muertos headdresses on, the couples dining alone, the tables of friends. The unspoken anticipation that soon lamps will be lit and seats will be filled with banter, laughter, quiet sips of wine, brow-knitting scans of the menu, scurrying waiters, and exuberant music.

The audience is assembling. The air will soon cool. The lights are about to dim. The curtain is about to rise.

And the show — and San Miguel is a bona-fide long-running show — is about to begin on another night in Centro.

The photo was taken from Terraza Trinitate on Cuna de Allende 10, Zona Centro, San Miguel de Allende.
The view across the street is part of the lively rooftop dining scene in Centro.

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photography, San Miguel de Allende

Into the woods

I was walking in the park, late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For creatures appeared just over the rise
And suddenly to my surprise

They did the mash, they did the San Miguel mash
The San Miguel mash, it was a graveyard smash
They did the mash, it caught on in a flash
They did the mash, they did the San Miguel mash

— Apologies to Bobby “Boris” Pickett


Tell me. And be honest. When you go for a walk, do you come across sights like this?

Now, I’m not talking about those days when you light up a ginormous blunt, or drop way too much Psilocybin or Ayahuasca. Lord knows what can be seen on those days.

No, I’m talking about your normal everyday walk through the woods when you encounter dancing skeletons, talking rabbits, bobble-headed Scotsmen, cabbage-headed kings and queens, and struttin’-stuffin’ dogs. Accompanied by a Mariachi band with some pretty hot licks.

You know.

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Uncategorized, San Miguel de Allende, Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Writings

That time Jerry Lee Lewis talked to God atop the Peabody Hotel in Memphis — and God listened

This is Jerry Lee Lewis, live in England, in 1964. It is all-video, all-animal energy, all-Jerry Lee. Punk before punk was ever a word.

Like the kids in this video, I stood at the very edge of Jerry Lee’s piano while he played. Inches from the 88th key and his left hand.

The year was 1989 though, not 1964, and the setting was more subdued.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Farm fresh, a fountain fantasia, and ‘love lies bleeding’

Life is like a box of farm-fresh vegetables. You never know what you are going to get.

I know. I know. I can hear Rose Alcantara’s voice already, “Don’t play with your food!”

I can’t help it. Such an abundance. It demands a shot at Still Life before it is reduced to gourmet.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

The things you see in San Miguel de Allende

My name is … well, never mind my name.

Just know that I walk these cobblestone streets and … I see things.

Things I can’t explain. Things that need no explanation. Things that are new to me but are as old as time. Things that are marked down 20 percent for this day only. Things that are here today and gone tomorrow, probably back to the United States. Things that say something. Things that have nothing to say but will buy you a drink, just for the company. Things that I find interesting but my dog doesn’t.

You know, things.

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photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Festival de Vivos Y Muertos: Kids bring art to life in the Belles Artes

Give a child a paintbrush … and you’ll be wiping down walls for months.

Ah, but give a child a paintbrush and a mission and soon enough the child will be creating art.

On Sunday at Belles Artes, there was a whole lot of art going on. Two stories worth of bristling, carefree, happy kids unleashed into a crafty and colorful world of creativity.

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

That time I tried to overthrow the local government at a Tiblisi puppet show

Editor’s note: In a newsletter for former Union-Tribune newspaper staffers, a colleague in San Diego recently recalled a review I once wrote that outraged the mayor and her staff. Jack Reber, the editor of the newsletter, asked if I would fill everyone in.

Glad to do it. But, as in my online days with SignOnSanDiego.com, I take great pleasure in scooping mainstream media. So, you will read it first, here on my own blog. My newspaper friends may get it at midnight tonight. (Sorry, Jack. I can’t help myself.)


Ah, the Russian Arts Festival of 1989. Gather round kids and I’ll tell you as much as is permitted by the several nondisclosure agreements I signed to gain a generous separation bonus from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Obviously, I kid. There was no bonus.

My one assignment during the Festival was the Tiblisi State Puppet Theatre, under the direction of the great and late-Rezo Gabriadze (below with some of his creations). Georgean puppets aren’t like the Muppets, Shari Lewis and Lambchop, or Punch ‘n Judy. They tell real and elaborate stories, often tragic, and even violent or sexually mature.

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photography, San Miguel de Allende

Hey, let’s play some Doors and Hot Tuna — with photos, it’s all rock and roll to me

Do not look for rhyme nor reason in these photographs.

If they have anything in common, you could file them under “things that caught my eye this morning.”

That, and the fact that they were all taken in San Miguel de Allende.

Did I mention they were all taken today?

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Thoughts upon taking a leak …well, taking a picture of a leak

This is my kitchen faucet.

Well, one of them.

There are four — two basins with two faucets each, two hot, and two cold.

Earlier today, this one — the hot tap in the left basin — was leaking.

The drip was annoying as hell. I was trying to distract myself from the need to write.

And the drip, drip, drip kept breaking my lack of concentration.

“I need a plumber,” thinks I, thinking of great thoughts.

So I start to take a photo to send to our property manager.

But at this moment, the sun reaches around the corner of the country kitchen window.

And catches the gleaming brass in its grasp.

“This is rather beautiful,” I think.

“Not annoying at all.”

The brass faucet floats in the air, like a shiny spaceship lost in the cosmos

Meanwhile, I’ve been carrying full pots of water out into the courtyard.

And nominating various plants as “Most Needy” before

Showering them with water, like the beauty queens they are.

“This is art,” I say to no one. “And any moment, a guy with a tool belt and rubber washers

Is going to end this lovely presentation like some emotionally-damaged art critic for the New Yorker.”

I know what I have to do: Capture this hommage to Paul Cézanne.

If a dripping faucet can be likened to a still-life study of fruits and bottles.

So this is it.

It only took about 30 tries to get the dripping water just right.

“Leak more, you bastard!” I shout.

No, not really. I can be a very patient guy when I’m in mindfulness mode.

I was OK with it when the plumber arrived.

Though feeling a little like he’s come to put my dog down.

“Be gentle with my leaking faucet,” I urge.

(Not really. Seriously? You thought I’d say that to a guy who rips out pipes for a living?)

It takes about five minutes, with the right parts, to nip the drip.

Kind of sad.

And yet, look! It is raining out right now.

The Creator’s own leaky faucet.

Though it lacks the brass of my kitchen sink.

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