Reviews, San Miguel de Allende

With the stroke of David Mendoza’s bow across his violin, the holiday season begins

David Mendoza on violin and Sharon Itoi on keyboard on Monday night at Tres Fuentes hotel in San Miguel de Allende.

Sometimes you do a thing over and over because it is simply fun. The next thing you know, years pass, and the thing you enjoy so much becomes a tradition.

Last night, David Mendoza’s annual Christmas concert solidly became a tradition.

Imagine our surprise in realizing that the stunning young violinist has been producing his family Christmas concert for three years now, in the garden setting of Tres Fuentes hotel. We — Rose Alcantara and I — haven’t missed a one. But, oh, how time flies. Three years!

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

Humbling exercise in devotion, just a step beyond the front door — Our Lady of Guadalupe has her day

I’ve said it before: You want magic in San Miguel de Allende? Then just step out your front door.

Today, it was the arrival of the procession honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe. The cavalcade of the holy and horses turned onto Callejon San Antonio at noon sharp and proceeded to walk in stops and starts toward the Parroquia de San Antonio de Padua.

Progress was halting because there were hundreds of people attempting to fill the already busy square for the celebration of the Mass.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

¡Que tengas una feliz navidad!

The Christmas tree went up yesterday in the public square. Right beside the pink gothic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel here in San Miguel de Allende.

Bit by bit, the city begins to embrace the holiday.

All of the streets leading into the Jardin Principal are strung with tin stars and twinkling lights. The gazebo and trees in the little park are a Christmas wonderland.

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

Review: If it’s ‘Wednesday,’ it must be Netflix

One of Wednesday’s (Jenna Ortego) many talents — besides deadly martial arts skills, frightening visions, icy stares, enormous eye rolls, and a disdain for all things human — is playing the cello. There is something very Sherlock Holmes about that.

You want to know what makes my day?

“Wednesday.”

Not the day, necessarily. The movie series that is on Netflix.

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photography, San Miguel de Allende

Once upon a time …

In the land of Mexico, princesses abound.

Here are some to see. Two from San Miguel de Allende. Two from Mexico City.

So much casual beauty, posing before the photographer’s lens.

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

Movie review: ‘Spirited’ away

Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell sing and dance their way through “Spirited” en route to making a classic holiday comedy movie.

Let the Christmas movie season begin!

Contrary to first impressions, not all holiday movies this year are about:

  1. A high-powered, stressed out, high-pressure, mid-30s, professional urban woman who …
  2. Returns home to Hickville to help her Mom/Dad/kid sister/orphaned niece …
  3. To move into a rest home/restore a failing business/take over the family B&B/adopt a child …
  4. And falls in love with the hunky fireman/hunky plumber/hunky school teacher /hunky yoga teacher …
  5. Who really has a PhD/feeds the poor/is secretly wealthy/makes Christmas toys for needy kids/builds wooden boat/is Santa.
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photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Something beautiful this way comes

Lilies in bloom, Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Because, after this week, you deserve something beautiful.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Drink in the colors and shapes.

Fall into the petals and let your imagination

Slide down the slopes,

Through the anthers and filaments,

A pollen forest of serenity.

Shimmy up the style,

Sit atop the style,

You kins and queens of your own world.

Once again, breathe in, breathe out.

With lilies about, peace grows

In the heart’s garden.

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Put more magic in your life!

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photography, San Miguel de Allende

Czech this out

The Janáček Quartet continued the celebration of its 75th anniversary by performing exhilarating compositions from its namesake Leoš Janáček, as well as Antonin Dvořák and Béla Bartók, at Casa Europa in Centro on Wednesday night.

“Of course, we are the second generation,” said Milos Vacek, first violinist, with a sly grin.

That explains the youthful vitality, seasoned with the wisdom of veteran performers and the intuitive interplay of long-time partners.

Their performance was transportive, to say the least. At times it felt cinematic, film noir cinematic. Deeply cerebral, psychologically probing, introspective. A crisp roller-coaster of a conversation between melody and dissonance.

The finale, Dvořák’s “American Suite” was a low-elevation drone flight across the continent (the continent of 1895), inferencing the vast Western expanses and hustle of bustling cities, masted ships in harbor and prairie schooners in search of new lands.

The musicians are (from left) Miloš Vacek, first violin; Vítězslav Zavadilík, 2nd violin; Břetislav Vybíra, cello; and Jan Řezníček, viola.

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