San Miguel de Allende, Writings

For 2023, I wish you a thousand little milagros

This cross sits to the right of my desk, on an empty chair. It is one of many crosses that we have inherited. Our home in San Miguel de Allende comes with crosses, cow skulls, pottery and milagros pegged to doors here and there.

Milagros are those little tin objects you see on the cross that look as though they might be Monopoly board pieces.

While I have always been aware of the cross — lord knows I’ve moved it around often enough — I never really paid close attention to it.

Until this morning.

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photography, Reviews, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

It’s Tuesday: To market, to market to buy a blue suit; home again, home again, jiggety-scoot

I do not shop. I do not wander into stores and glide up and down aisles looking for just the right … thing. I don’t compare prices. I don’t compare similar products. I don’t read labels. I don’t calculate the savings between the Jumbo and Family sizes. I don’t clip coupons.

I buy local because I’m too lazy to walk to a cheaper store. I shop to survive, not to find pleasure.

But you don’t have to twist my arm to get me up the hill to the Tuesday Market.

I love the hustle and bustle. I love the jockeying for position at a tabletop clothing dump. I love to hear the shouts of “Barata! Barata! Barato!” and “Venta! Venta! Venta!” I love the smell of the food, the fish on ice, the produce, the fresh piles of strawberries. The piles of hardware and kitchenware and racks of hats, and row upon row of shoes, and … well, just name it, there’s a pile of it somewhere.

And such a deal I have for you.

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

Christmas Eve, 1967–Hunting for Perry Como

To understand the significance of Perry Como passing through our town on Christmas Eve in 1967 – no, not just passing but actually stopping – you have to understand the insignificance of Brookville, Pennsylvania. 

The town that I fondly, though inaccurately, call my hometown, was in the middle of nowhere until the honking huge Interstate-80 was laid north of town and sucked up all traffic and little remaining interest in Brookville. Though you could see and hear thousands of cars and trucks pass by daily, Brookville was deeper into nowhere than ever before.

And, I think, most people seemed OK with that.

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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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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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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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photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Hail to the (little) chief

So many many people pose on the steps of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, for so many reasons.

Social media queens and generational portraits, tourists and families, engaged couples and newlyweds, tarts and saints, models and misfits, quinceañeras and brides.

The backdrop is so iconic that it lends gravitas to any poser. The pink spires seal a special moment in the lives of so many, day after day after day. People clearly travel a long way just to pose in front of this church.

This youngster was working the steps this morning, for Dad and his iPhone and clearly enjoying the process. This felt like a coming-of-age moment for an indigenous tribe’s future leader.

I love seeing people having fun with photos in the public square.

_______________________________________________________________________

Put more magic in your life!

If you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing and passing on the link to friends. It is all free. To subscribe, click on the three-bar thing at the top of this page (in the red circle). Feel free to share this post!

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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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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Glorious voices lift heaven-ward in the San Miguel premiere of Michael Hoppé’s ‘Requiem for Peace and Reconciliation’

Michael and Monica Hoppé watch the performance of his “Requiem for Peace and Reconciliation.” on Wednesday afternoon in the Templo de la Tercera Orden in Centro.

“You know, I haven’t even heard it yet. I’m as clueless as everyone else today! I don’t know what to expect.”

The speaker on Wednesday afternoon was Michael Hoppé and the occasion was the San Miguel de Allende premiere of his sonorous and introspective Latin Mass for chorus and strings, “Requiem for Peace and Reconciliation.”

The perfect music for Dia de Muertos and these very troubled times.

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