Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

Howl’s Moving Castle it isn’t

Tried a CBD oil concoction for enabling sleep last night, then I ended up on the roof, mesmerized by the lighting around Parroquia San Antonio de Padua. I couldn’t stop staring at it, so I took this photograph.

The church is about a block away. When celebrations call for fireworks, as they often do, this is a great rooftop patio on which to be.

If the church looks other-worldly, it may be because my head was in an other-worldly place.

My sleep didn’t improve. Not yet anyway.

Though my dreams were weirder than normal, which, if you know my dreams, is saying a lot.

We’ll see what tonight brings.

Or doesn’t bring.

Meanwhile, sleep well. Embrace the new day. Do good works. Think kindly of others. Embrace second chances. Never shirk from responsibilities. Choose the right outfit for the occasion. Never take the last of the yogurt, even the store-bought kind. Don’t second-guess motivations in people who seem meaner than you. Smile and make eye contact with everyone. Frequent more than one bakery. When you tip someone, surprise yourself and go big. Try to remember the name of at least one person you meet this week.

Now, say good night.

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

Hey, buster, who are you calling the ‘friendliest city in the world’?

News item: Conde Nast Traveler names San Miguel de Allende the “friendliest city in the world.” It beats out Dublin, Lisbon, Bangkok, Copenhagen, Mexico City, and Bruges among others. The media company previously named San Miguel the “best small city in the world.”

This can’t be good.

I was asked to respond to all this by an otherwise sharp and responsible newspaper colleague. And so …

All right, the next guy who says San Miguel de Allende is the friendliest city in the world gets a punch in the nose, see?

A city with a reputation like that could get itself hurt, see? A city could pick up a rep-u-tation with talk like that, and not the good kind, see?

Other cities start thinking it’s a patsy and start aping all that friendly stuff and the next thing you know, you’ve got a six-way tie for the friendliest city. 

And that ain’t good for nobody, see?

Why, if everybody is friendly, then what’s this world coming to?

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

At San Miguel de Allende’s alpha creche, all is calm and bright, all is ready for Christmas Eve

At this time of year, you can’t pass a window or a storefront without stopping to admire the Nativity scenes. One of the charms (this time of year, at least) of houses that are right up against the sidewalk, is that you are practically walking in your neighbor’s living room. You learn not to casually glance to the right for fear of invading someone’s privacy.

Except for now.

Residents and businesses put their Nativities in the front windows for all to admire, reflect upon, and appreciate the aesthetic spectrum. The Nativity is an expression of art as much as an expression of devotion or mythos appreciation.

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

Gilding the Lily

Did I go too far? This Calla lily is in bloom just outside the kitchen door.

It stops me in my tracks every morning when I enter for breakfast. It has been in full bloom for nearly a week now and shows no signs of fading. A hardy one, for sure.

The original photograph, taken Wednesday, Nov. 2, is a bit flatter and duller than this. I’ll post it below. I blame it on the ambient light and the limits of the iPhone camera. And my own limitations as a photographer.

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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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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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Put more magic in your life!

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