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.

I live a block from the Parroquia de San Antonio de Padua here in San Miguel. The church always seems to be blessing something — kids, pets, motorcycles, newlyweds, the living and the dead. If not blessing someone, then they are ringing bells madly and firing explosive rockets into the heavens, or dancing in the plaza.

I love this church.

On Sunday, as I walked by, the priest was blessing cowboys and their horses. This is no longer startling. It is just as it should be in Colonia San Antonio.

I’ve been passed on the sidewalk by all kinds of people and dogs. I’m not a fast walker; I’m an observer. Observing takes time. You can’t be rushed.

On Saturday I felt someone moving up on my left as I walked toward the entrance to Parque Juarez. So I moved over to the right.

Later, I mused, how often can you say you were passed by a colorfully dressed burro and its handler? Often enough in San Miguel, though usually in the street.

So, I’m sensing a theme growing here: I’m seeing a lot of backends of equine-types.

Here’s another equine backend — a Ford Mustang convertible.

You can’t see them but hidden behind the flowers is a newlywed couple. They had pulled into the Rosewood Hotel earlier for some photos.

OK, end of horse and donkey rear-ends.

Also at the Rosewood were these beauts:

Maybe they were part of the same wedding party — with a vintage vehicle theme.

Speaking of vintage.

In the Ford Mustang photo, you’ll notice a very colorfully decorated Volkwagon bus parked on the left. It belongs to one of the amazing artists who exhibit in Parque Juarez on weekends. The sight of his bus always makes me smile. You can’t have too much whimsy in this world.

Here are a few details from the VW bus:

So, we’re clearly moving away from any sort of theme here, as I’ve run out of horses and cars.

But the VW opens up a new theme: Skeletons.

They are all over the place in San Miguel as we approach Dia de Los Muertos, Nov. 1 & 2 — and even Halloween which is a U.S. holiday leaking into the Mexican culture.

Everywhere you walk these days, there are mojigangas, statues, and representations of dapper and whimsical skeletons, Catrinas (female) and Catrins (male). Soon these will give way to the living representations as parades break out all over the city.

(Click on individual photos to enlarge.)

Originally meant to lampoon the fashion and financial excesses of Mexico City’s Paris-conscious elite, the depiction of Catrinas is moving back in that direction as no expense will be spared in the costuming of some celebrators.

But that is still a few days away. For now, the above is a small sampling of some of the boneheads out on our streets.

So, let’s end with a little love, shall we?

Or the appearance of love.

It is not every day — for example, on a Saturday at 8:30 a.m. — that you see a couple dressed to the nines in an intimate street-corner clutch.

As we approach, the stories grow in my head:

— walked the whole night through?

— partied til dawn and can’t say goodbye?

— somebody lost the keys to the car?

— locked out of their B&B?

Then I see the photographer. It’s a pro shoot at the corner of Aldama and Terraplen. Photogs like this corner for fashion shoots and engagement pics. I see them there surprisingly often.

Which do you think it might be?


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