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

Flowers. Just flowers — but from San Miguel de Allende, Cape Cod, and Newport

In San Miguel de Allende, we call this the rainy season.

Many days, the clouds will roll in during the afternoon and by 5 p.m. or so, there will be rain, thunder, and lightning.

It is happening right now as I write about it. A little early in the day, 1:30 p.m. but nobody ever complains about the rain.

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

Clouds. Just clouds.

Sometimes, you just have to go with the material that is right in front of you.

Today, it is nothing more than clouds.

Just clouds.

“You should see the clouds,” Rose calls out to me. I am in my favorite chair, in a cool dark room, battling ignorance and mean people on Twitter. “They’re really beautiful.”

She is right. Rose knows her clouds.

Big beautiful fluffy, floating, languid, lazily hithering and dithering clouds.

Not “looks like rain” clouds. Not trouble-ahead clouds. Not massive gray-dark sheets of roiling angry wetness.

Just legions of marshmallow clouds floating over San Miguel de Allende on a summer’s afternoon.

The kind of clouds in which you can see famous faces, clowns, ghouls, horses, funny dogs, dragons, elephants, and cars.

The kind of clouds for which soft fields of grass were created, so you could lie on your back and see famous faces, clowns, ghouls, horses, funny dogs, dragons, elephants, and cars.

The kind of clouds that inspired Joni Mitchell to write “Both Sides Now.”

The kind of clouds that John Constable painted in sprawling vistas like “The Hay Wain” and “Wivenhoe Park.”

Where would poets be without clouds? Looking at you, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Maybe they are the same clouds, just recycled two centuries later?

Still hanging around, but posing now for iPhones.

Or, the kind of clouds under which young people fall in love and old people fall into reminiscing.

The kind of clouds for which the word “chiaroscuro” was invented.

Nobody can say that, back in the day, they had better clouds than these.

I’ve seen the evidence.

The best clouds ever — and always — are the ones that capture your imagination for a moment, just before morphing into whispy cotton candy swirls.

Timing is everything with clouds.

Pull your head up out of your cell phone, your busy works, your depression, your self-obsession, your shoe gazing — and look up.

Don’t let a day go by without observing the clouds, no matter how many or how few.

Don’t compare them to clouds past. That is not why they are here.

This is no cloud fashion show.

Clouds appear because they are trying to tell us something.

Seek out their shapeshifting secrets.

Learn their names, understand their reasons.

Follow the shadows they cast upon the ground.

You won’t find a pot of gold.

Maybe something better.

Love?

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Put more magic in your life!

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

In the Garden


And I turned to you and I said No guru, no method, no teacher

Just you and I and nature And the father in the garden

–VAN MORRISON, “IN THE GARDEN”


So I sit here in the garden, in the early summer light

A cup of coffee grows cold beside me

In the stillness that morning brings, fleeting stillness

The workers next door have not yet stirred to break the silence

With their hammers and saws and boisterous shouts.

There is still room for the birds in the dense green

To sing their songs, perform their magic,

Find love among the branches.

I don’t know the geography of this garden by name,

Only by the heart, defined by what my eyes take in:

The delicate flowers, the flirty birds, the twisty vines,

The shaded coolness of the branches. So many voices

of green, vying for my attention. I know

Only that it is too beautiful for me to rise and exert my will

Where it is unwanted, unasked for, upon another day.

An empty bag awaits upstairs with a ticket to somewhere far

And I only know I don’t want to leave the garden.

I want to sit here in the peace, in the coolness,

Listening to the plants breathing ever so lightly

Parsing out their secrets ever so lightly

Unlocking a state of grace ever so lightly,

Grace I can not achieve no matter how hard I try.

Outside, mothers and fathers walk their children

Hand in hand to school as church bells chime,

A touch of grace all its own.

I see their shadows pass on frosted windows,

And I sit and listen to the plants.

And listen to the birds.

And listen to the silence.

And my coffee grows cold for I dare not move

I can not move,

I don’t want to move.

I want only to become one

With the stillness.

In the garden.

While there is still time.

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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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