San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Up against the wall: 10 San Miguel de Allende murals with a message to mask up

A pandemic of new murals all over San Miguel de Allende, many with iconic images from pop culture and high art, carry a simple message: Put on a mask.

If Frida, Vincent van Gogh, Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” Klimt’s stylish “Lady in Gold,” and da Vinci’s mysterious “Mona Lisa” and her Botero-esque alter-ego can put on masks — and look fabulous — so can we.

That’s the hope, anyway, of the city’s Directorate for Culture and Tradition which has sponsored the creation of the 10 murals.

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

A lesson from the butterfly’s second life

Butterflies are one of the “two sweetest passions known to man.”

So says Vladimir Nabokov. The other is literature.

A day watching butterflies flutter amid the flower boughs

Never feels misspent.

Nor does a day with a good book.

Literature lasts forever. No so, the butterfly.

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

One thing leads to another: A mural grows in Colonia San Antonio

The bicycle mural of Efrain Gonzalez at the corner of Orizaba and Refugio in Colonia San Antonio. The joy is spreading from this corner to other parts of San Miguel.

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This is how things work in magical San Miguel de Allende:

Susan Campbell Skinner lives on the corner of Refugio and  Orizaba in Colonia San Antonio.  Across the street is Dona Rosa’s tienda where she buys organic eggs, produce, and fresh squeezed orange juice.

Susan does not know Rosa well but she feels a kindred spirit. She feels like Rosa is always looking out for her and her casa when she is away. This is what neighbors do for each other here in San Miguel de Allende.

So, Susan wanted to do something nice for her neighbor. 

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Happy Birthday, Rose

I didn’t even know we had roses.

Well, a rose. This one you see above.

It bloomed on Saturday. One of a kind. A lone rose.

It bloomed just hours before the Running of the Roses.

And it bloomed for my Rose,

Who celebrates her birthday on Monday.

Also a one-of-a-kind Rose.

Which raises my once-a-year question:

What do you give to the woman who IS everything?

A woman for whom a rose blooms on cue?

The pandemic has changed what is really important.

Instead of a new dress with nowhere to wear it,

I want to offer her security in an uncertain world.

Instead of a 1,000-piece puzzle of an exotic destination,

I want to offer her unwavering devotion in a fickle world.

Instead of a nifty new pasta maker with seven attachments,

I want to offer her unconditional love in a divided world.

Instead of a store-bought birthday card,

I want to offer her this, a rose not quite as beautiful as her soul.

And my humble words.

Happy birthday, Rose, the woman who is everything.

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Mama Mia makes a move and it is spectacular

Rose and I happened to walk by the new Mama Mia’s restaurant today.

That’s right, the NEW one.

One of San Miguel de Allende’s most popular restaurants has moved from the heart of Centro to Dr. Hernández Macías # 91.

Really, just around the corner, but worlds away a huge improvement.

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Look through any window

Very few people — children, mostly — know that all around San Miguel de Allende there are portals that can transport you to unimaginable places.

No, sorry. That’s not right.

You have to imagine a place before you can be transported to it.

That’s why children — who still possess great imaginations — are most-aware of these magical conveyances.

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Evil counts on the public to stop trying

It is government that built the highways and bridges, managed the airwaves, created law enforcement to keep the peace, raised military to protect the nation, educated the workers and business people, created order out of chaos, kept the air and water clean — without which the selfish bastards who cling to their cash and say “Nobody tells me what to do with MY hard-earned money!” would not have any cash.

Newsbreak: Without government, you would not have “hard-earned cash” because business and labor can not function without government support — just as government can not function without the support of the people.

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San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Welcome to Wally’s World

Wallace George Hawkins

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I’d like you to meet Wally, full name Wallace George Hawkins. He was born on Saturday at 6:54 p.m. in Kaiser Hospital, San Diego, weighing in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

Mother, Larisa, and father, Ryan, are as over the moon — as we are!

Wally and parents were home by Sunday evening and Wally got to meet his big brother, Augie.

Ryan is my second-oldest son, born between Brendan and Christopher. Wally joins three grandsons — Brody (Brendan and Cami), Tallac (Chris and Katie), and of course big brother, Augie (pictured above).

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As one of eight brothers and one sister, to me the production of sons and grandsons seems a foregone conclusion although some of my brothers and their wives, somehow, have brought daughters into this world.

There is nothing like a new-born baby to remind you of how unique, amazing and beautiful is every child. This has to be my all-time favorite miracle available on this planet.

Rose Alcantara and I are so filled with joy.

Rose right away suggested sending flowers and naturally found just the right bouquet on Amazon. I think they are arriving today (Tuesday). Say what you will, this is an amazing world.

I bought a second gift for the family — a non-contact, infrared, instant-read thermometer — bundled with 50 disposable face masks. Just seems like a gift for these days, especially with the inevitable number of visitors they will likely get.

Now comes the tricky part: how to schedule a visit to meet Wally in person in this wild and crazy Covid world. I’m looking forward to crossing at Tijuana and isolating for two weeks in San Diego before Wally and I get to hang out.

It makes sense, too, once “certified” COVID-free, to drive to Northern California to visit with Brody and Tallac and their parents while already in the States.

Not the family reunion we were all talking about at the beginning of the year but this is love and joy and family in the new reality.

Whatever it takes. I’m ok with it.

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

In the garden: A meditation

I have so many pictures of the flowers and plants that fill our courtyard that I want to share with you. This oasis. This sanctuary. This place where we find peace and solitude during the global crisis.

This home in Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Flowers speak for themselves. They don’t need words to make themselves more beautiful. Unless the words are contained in a song.

Flowers and songs work well togther.

And no song is better than Van Morrison’s “In the Garden.”

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