San Miguel de Allende

Met Opera regional finalists concert was the night of the sopranos in San Miguel

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Metropolitan Opera regional finalists and program producer Rodrigo Garciarroyo accept the ovations after an encore performance Sunday night at St. Paul’s Church in San Miguel de Allende.

“Something wonderful is happening here,”  said Rodrigo Garciarroyo last night, after eight of Mexico’s finest young opera singers performed for more than two and a half hours before a very full house in St. Paul’s Church last night.

Producer and host Garciarroyo is a big man, in size and personality, and I don’t think he is given to understatement but then, we were all reaching for superlatives after this concert.

And all of us felt we were coming up a bit short. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende

In San Miguel, it is always one thing, then another, and another

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The pied pipers of San Miguel, leading a birthday party down Cuna de Allende on Thursday evening, November 7, 2019.

The thing about San Miguel de Allende is, when you set off to do one thing, something else pops up along the way.

Then something else.

Then something else again.

And so on, until you are back home again. Continue reading

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Camino: Porto to Santiago, Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

Birds on a wire

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The view from my terrace this evening, Doves on the wire in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. November 2019.

Like a bird on the wire,
Like a drunk in some old midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

— Leonard Cohen – “Bird on the Wire,” 1979

What can possibly be more free than birds on a wire?

They come. They go. They gather. They fly off on a whim.

Doves gather and coo sweet nothings in each others’ ears.

But mostly they sit silently,  thinking thoughts beyond our reach and ken.

They enjoy the buzzy thrum of power surging beneath their feet.

They face forward, into the weather, keeping feathers unruffled.

Much as we wish we could go through life.

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Blackbirds watch the world whiz by from a safe perch in Porto, Portugal. October 2019.

The next best thing to birds on a wire?

Birds on a rail.

Eleven blackbirds all in a row.

What a conversation up there!

Blackbirds tell each other the most inappropriate jokes. They make fun of the tourists passing below.

They insult each other and slap each other on the back before flying off in search of a beer.

Separately.

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Illusions. Tui, Spain. October 2019.

We walk past buildings and see loose wires, draped across the front.

“An unsightly mess,” we think. Then we walk on.

Into the unsightly mess that is our lives.

The rare soul sees art, or the opportunity for art.

Even rarer is the one who commits the act of art.

Enabling the rest of us, who have passed the same wire for untold ages,

to smile, to chuckle, to enjoy the whimsy of an artistic soul/warrior.

Commit art where and when you can.

Be like Leonard Cohen.

Express yourself.

Let the rest of the world figure it out.

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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

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San Miguel de Allende

Catrinas and Catrines are coming to life in San Miguel de Allende — for Halloween!

IMG_8219Day of the Dead is ramping up in San Miguel de Allende.

Some stores are draping their entrances in beautiful floral designs. Marigolds are everywhere. Altars to loved ones who have passed away are being erected in household doorways, on staircases, and in the cemeteries and parks.

And, of course, the Catrinas and Catrines are beginning to come alive.

Last week, the only Catrinas in town were in store windows and displays — and they are beautiful. Now, their walking and talking embodiments are hitting the streets!

At least, the face painting is going on all over San Miguel — especially in Centro where outdoor art studios are set up in the streets and scores of people are waiting their turn for the magical transformation to take place.

Here are a few pictures from this afternoon in Centro! Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, Uncategorized

Flashback: Halloween on St Lucia, but with tricks and treats you wouldn’t believe

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View from the deck of our bungalow in the jungle canopy at Anse Chastanet on St Lucia, our home for two weeks in 2011, exactly eight years ago this week. Rose is teaching yoga at Jade Resort, up the mountain from us and at Anse Chastanet, right on the beach. My first visit to the Caribbean and it is off to a fantastic start. (Rose taught here five years ago.) The peaks in the distance are the Pitons, also the name of the local beer, a light lager, perfect for the tropics.

Here’s the situation:

You know that you are going to get married on February 12, 2012. In Los Barriles, Mexico, a quiet little fishing village just 40 kilometers up the coast from the craziness of Cabo San Lucas.

The invitations have already been sent out. 

It was a photograph with the inscription, “If you can make it, you’re invited.” More than 40 family and friends took us up on that offer. But that is another story. (See the invite at the bottom of this page!) Continue reading

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Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende

Welcome to the Cobblestone Pocket Museum of Tiny Found Objects which might be magical

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The current contents of the Cobblestone Museum pouch.

Welcome to Cobblestone Pocket Museum, the traveling collection of tiny found objects which may or may not have magical properties.

The museum is housed in a gray felt pouch big enough to hold one pair of sunglasses. It does not because sunglasses even if found would never qualify as “tiny.”

The bag has a zipper at one end and the rubber tab on the zipper says “Jet Blue,” which I used to fly whenever possible when the airline first launched. Continue reading

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