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

Crazies galore: Watching half the Locos parade … until the very end

That’s true. I only saw half the Crazies parade this morning in San Miguel de Allende.

The upper half.

Even at 6-foot-2 I wasn’t tall enough, or close enough to watch the Dia de Los Locos parade with such an unobstructed view. Man, there were a lot of people out there, and they got to the curb long before I did. What’s fair is fair.

Therefore, you may notice that many of my photographs are filtered through a variety of hairstyles, various hats, the occasional waving hands and fingers, hands holding iPhones in front of my iPhone, and the odd umbrella.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

Update, Saturday night fever: The drums beat, the tribes dance, the final procession to Parroquia de San Antonio is a stunner

I thought the day began at 5:30 a.m. with a massively loud fusillade of fireworks from the Parroquia de San Antonio grounds, about a block away from my home in Colonia San Antonio. That’s what sent me upright in my bed and nearly over the side.

The explosions kept up every 10 minutes or so for the next couple of hours.

My friend Bob Cooksey, who lives directly across the street from the church, says the celebration began an hour earlier with a 30-piece marching band heading out from the church grounds and down the street in front of his home.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

The jewel of Colonia San Antonio

Parroquia de de San Antonio de Padua in Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

The fireworks began late last night from the Parroquia de San Antonio d Padua grounds. The ongoing celebration of the Feast of Saint Anthony seems to be building strength as the day draws closer.

The music was more lively, the singing was louder, and the roars from a happy crowd were freighted with joy. Every night, the people gather at the church as the evening’s procession draws near. Different processions from different parts of San Miguel de Allende have been taking place since June 3. They will continue until June 18.

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

In Colonia San Antonio: Los pequeños locos make my day

This thing about San Miguel de Allende is you just never know when a parade might break out.

Like this morning.

I was on my way to Pilates. (I know this woman who rocks at teaching floor Pilates. …) As I turned off Calle San Antonio and headed down Calle Allende there was a distinct change in the atmosphere. People of the parental type were hanging on the corners near the church and all looking down the street.

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

A world away, next door: Instituto Allende’s garden campus of tranquility inspires creativity

Lost and found art, seen through a workshop window near the sculpture complex.

When I first heard that the Instituto Allende and I were born in the same year I had some mixed feelings.

I mean this venerated arts center on the Ancha de San Antonio in San Miguel de Allende looks ancient. Old stone and mortar. Buildings and walls that go back centuries. An architectural graybeard.

And me, well, I’m … I’m … well, never mind.

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Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende

Dance, dance, dance in the streets for San Antonio

Every evening until June 19, there are different groups parading through San Miguel de Allende (shortly after 6 p.m.) and ending up at the Parroquia de San Antonio de Padua in Colonia San Antonio.

These are little parades and processions but colorful, a mix of religious and locos imagery, with fun and traditional costuming, and each night promises to be different. The photos here are from two different evenings this week.

It is all in celebration of namesake Saint Anthony, and a run-up to the giant Dia De Los Locos Parade on Sunday, June 19. (Think of these little parades as pieces of that giant puzzle — The Day of the Crazies.)

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Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized

My Studio/Mi Estudio neighborhood art walk returns to Colonia San Antonio, July 16 and 17

Colonia San Antonio mural on Calle Esperanza.

The popular Colonia San Antonio art walk, MyStudio/MiEstudio, will be back bigger and better than ever this year, July 16 and 17, from noon to 5 p.m. on both days.

Like so many events, the tour of neighborhood studios and galleries went on hiatus during the Covid lockdown. It returned last October as a down-sized two-day pop-up art show at the Institutio Allende, Ancha #22, attracting about 30 artists. 

This year, MyStudio/MiEstudio returns to the neighborhood streets and organizers are expecting the biggest show yet – more artists, more studios, more galleries, more sponsorship opportunities, more restaurants, and cafes. 

“There will also be a preview exhibit at Instituto Allende,” confirms Instituto director of operations Zara Fernandez, the event organizer with Peter A Davis.

“This is a very well-attended community event,” says Fernandez. “Visitors will want to lunch and shop all through Colonia San Antonio during this event.”

In the last couple of years, San Antonio has enjoyed a boom in restaurants, cafes, bakeries, tiendas, and especially a stunning array of street murals, and is gaining a reputation as one of San Miguel de Allende’s most walkable neighborhoods.

My Studio Art Walk got its start in 2013 as the San Antonio Open Studios Art Walk. The event has undergone a couple of changes in name and changes in organizers but the goal has always been the same — to connect the rich wealth of artists in San Antonio with the greater community.

A few years ago, the art walkabout felt like something out on the frontier. Even so, by 2019 there were 51 artists exhibiting in the Colonia and the event drew thousands of people. It has grown into a highly anticipated opportunity to meet with artists in their studios, homes, and galleries, talk with them about their work, and even pick up some prized pieces at surprisingly good prices.

Organizers anticipate that many participating sponsor restaurants and eateries will offer specials during the event.

The variety of art on offer has grown as well.

“In their studios, you will see a broad variety of materials and an eclectic expression of these materials,” says Fernandez. “Paintings are large and small, abstract and figurative. Clayworks and sculptures are varied. Jewelry embraces beautiful beading, and recycled and unconventional metal pieces. Photography ranges from traditional to digitally manipulated. You will see mixed media mandalas, weird wonderful masks, calligraphy with collage, printmaking, and drawing.”

MyStudio/MiEstudio will be printing up 5,000 colorful maps of the Colonia with the locations of all artists and participating restaurants, cafes, and shops – all marked and numbered for an easy stroll through the neighborhood.

To enhance the exposure of the exhibitors,  MyStudio/MiEstudio will create short interview videos with each registered participant. Interviews will be held at the Instituto Allende on June 12th and 13th from Noon to  5 pm. The Instituto Allende website NEWS section will also carry bios of the exhibiting artists and examples of their artwork.

An outreach program to encourage native Mexican artists living in Colonia San Antonio to exhibit their art during MyStudio/MiEstudio has been revived. The entry fee ($850 pesos) will be waived for eligible participants.

The deadline for all artists to submit applications and fees is June 10.

To qualify as an exhibitor, artists must live and/or work in Colonia San Antonio, and have done so for at least the past six months. Those who lived in San Antonio before the Covid pandemic and showed in previous MyStudio/MiEstudio events are also eligible to exhibit.

For more details, contact MyStudio/MiEstudio at mystudio@instituto-allende.edu.mx .

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photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Midnight serenade in Colonia San Antonio

The sound penetrated a deep sleep and scattered dreams. A car radio? The cantina on the corner? A passing boom box?

No, no, and no.

It was the real deal. At midnight a mariachi band was poised in a half-circle in front of our neighbor’s door serenading her in song here in Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende.

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photography, San Miguel de Allende

Sunday morning in San Miguel: Tale of two churches

Templo De San Juan de Dios on San Antonio Abad, Zona Centro, San Miguel de Allende, prepares for Mass in the times of Covid and social distancing. Just before 9 a.m., as Moppit and I walked by, the church courtyard was filled with temporary outdoor seating. Not comfortable, but functional.
Meanwhile, at Parroquia de San Antonio de Padua in Colonia San Antonio, a New Years Day tradition was resurrected on Saturday, the sawdust art pathway to the church. Seen here on Sunday morning, around 9:30 a.m.
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photography, San Miguel de Allende

Christmas in the times of Pastorela and Posadas

Updated with a list of public Posadas in San Miguel de Allende, courtesy of San Miguel FAQ

Monday afternoon, the children are in full-dress on the plaza of Parroquia San Antonio de Padua, in Colonia San Antonio for the traditional Pastorela. They have been rehearsing on the same patio most afternoons. They would sit in a circle and run through their parts with several ladies who show great gentleness, humor, and patience.

The Pastorela pageant recounts the adventures of the shepherds as they head to Bethlehem to worship the newly born baby Jesus on Christmas Day. They face numerous temptations — as you can see, an exuberant band of devils — and in some tellings, it is St. Michael who comes to their rescue. Go, San Miguel!

The Pastorela as a theatrical piece and oral story tradition has been embellished, modernized, changed in tone, and grown as any living, breathing thing — but the essential tale of trials, temptation, salvation, and redemption remains the same.

Another wonderful tradition, Las Posadas, will be celebrated in Mexico on Dec. 16-24 and follows the journey of Jesus and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem. On each of the nine nights, the procession heads out to a specific home seeking comfortable lodging for Mary to give birth. Families, children, musicians, singers, and others follow Mary and Joseph each night.

Of course, they are turned away (but rarely without treats and beverages.) When they end up back at the church, the children are given the chance to crack open star-shaped pinatas and scramble for the treats that spill to the ground.

Las Posadas tradition has existed for 440 years in Spain and Mexico.

Here is a list of public Posadas in San Miguel de Allende, courtesy of San Miguel FAQ:

  • December 16 : Corn Valley . Atrium of the temple. 6:30 pm
  • December 17: Colonia San Luis Rey . Atrium of the temple. 6:30 pm
  • December 18: Colonia San Rafael . Atrium of the temple. 6:30 pm
  • December 19: Colonias Infonavit Allende . Atrium of the temple. 6:30 pm
  • December 20: Colonia La Aurora . Atrium of the temple. 6:30 pm
  • December 21: Colonia Allende . Atrium of the temple. 6:30 pm
  • December 22: Colonia Guadalupe . Atrium of the temple. 6:30 pm (there will be Pastorela)
  • December 23: Colonia San Felipe Neri . Atrium of the temple. 6:30 pm (there will be Pastorela)
  • December 24: Historic Center . Nativity in the Main Garden. 6:30 pm

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