photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Dia de Muertos parade No. 2: Dead can dance

I should know better, but I showed up at 5 p.m. today anyway for the start of San Miguel de Allende’s second Day of the Dead parade in as many days.

(Here are photos from Tuesday night’s Rosewood Hotel Dia de Muertos parade.)

And there were very very few people on Calle El Cardo, the supposed staging area. And very few of those people looked like they would be marching in a parade. Although, some of those people were horses, meant to pull carriages so that was a good sign. And several bands were sitting in the shade where ever they could find it up and down the street.

There were a lot of people on cell phones typing in things like “Where does the parade start?”

It dawned on me soon enough.

Continue reading
Standard
photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Night of the living-it-up dead

Parading around as elegantly dressed skeletons is so much fun in San Miguel de Allende that apparently, it takes two parades over two days to fit it all in this year.

In the past, it was sufficient to stage one parade of promenading Calaveras, Catrinas, and Catrins — and a variety of other-worldly subsets in various manifestations of theatricality.

Last year, after the wastelands of Covid had subsided and a rebirth of traditions signaled a new dawn, the annual Dia de Muertos parade was a joyous traffic jam of humanity. Skeletons paraded en mass down the Ancha. Preciously costumed Catrinas and their cohorts, led by a masterful and exuberant Mariachi band, exited the sanctuary of the Rosewood and paraded toward the Ancha.

The two masses converged and ground to a halt as paraders funneled up the narrower Zacateras, made narrower by the density of the watchers on both sides of the road. It was a slow slog up to the Jardin where seeing and being seen is the endgame of the evening.

Continue reading
Standard
photography, San Miguel de Allende

Into the woods

I was walking in the park, late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For creatures appeared just over the rise
And suddenly to my surprise

They did the mash, they did the San Miguel mash
The San Miguel mash, it was a graveyard smash
They did the mash, it caught on in a flash
They did the mash, they did the San Miguel mash

— Apologies to Bobby “Boris” Pickett


Tell me. And be honest. When you go for a walk, do you come across sights like this?

Now, I’m not talking about those days when you light up a ginormous blunt, or drop way too much Psilocybin or Ayahuasca. Lord knows what can be seen on those days.

No, I’m talking about your normal everyday walk through the woods when you encounter dancing skeletons, talking rabbits, bobble-headed Scotsmen, cabbage-headed kings and queens, and struttin’-stuffin’ dogs. Accompanied by a Mariachi band with some pretty hot licks.

You know.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende

A guest video blogger offers a fresh look at San Miguel … and our home

img_8644

My guest video blogger Caira Button is the Catrina on the right. Her lovely assistant is Catrina Rose Alcantara. Facial art is by our talented friend and neighbor Jimmy Hickey.

Good news, Musings & Magic fans, we have a guest blogger today!

A guest VIDEO blogger.

Let me introduce Caira Button, daughter of my dear wife, Rose Alcantara, and an accomplished video blogger who lives in Chicago. Continue reading

Standard
San Miguel de Allende

What else would you do after having your face painted but mount horses and ride into the sunset?

IMG_8644 (1)Our downstairs neighbor Jimmy Hickey painted Rose and Caira for Dia de Muertos on Saturday (last day of a three-day observance.)

Jimmy favors the more-colorful “sugar skull” Catrina look, rather than the scarier black-and-white skulls. I think it works with these two!

We’re blessed to have such creative neighbors! Jimmy and his wife, Gina Bradley, both worked in the animation industry. He was an artist and she was a production manager, most recently called out of retirement by Disney to work on “Frozen II.” Jimmy worked for Hanna-Barbera, Pixar and a lot of freelance animation. Continue reading

Standard
San Miguel de Allende

Miss Rose weighs in with photos from last night’s Dia de Muertos parade in San Miguel

IMG_0446A lot of people don’t know this but Rose Alcantara is a shy person. You wouldn’t think it if you ever took one of her pilates or yoga classes.

But that shyness extends to her photography, too.

Whereas I take lots of pictures and post them willy-nilly to the blog, my wife sits down with her iPhone and hits delete, delete, delete, delete, delete. Continue reading

Standard
San Miguel de Allende

Faces in the crowd – and a guy with a duck – in San Miguel de Allende on Dia de Muertos

Walking around San Miguel de Allende — or probably most anywhere in Mexico — is a bit surreal today.¬† And magical. And joyful. And curious. And beautiful. And heartwarming.

¬°Feliz Dia de Muertos!

Catrinas and Catrines are everywhere. Not in the eye-popping costuming they’ll wear tonight as they parade about town. No, this afternoon the town was filled with skeletons walking around in shorts and t-shirts, school uniforms — you know extraordinary faces in ordinary clothes. Continue reading

Standard