San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Up against the wall: 10 San Miguel de Allende murals with a message to mask up

A pandemic of new murals all over San Miguel de Allende, many with iconic images from pop culture and high art, carry a simple message: Put on a mask.

If Frida, Van Gogh, the Girl With the Pearl Earring, Klimt’s stylish “Lady in Gold,” and Mona Lisa and her Botero-esque alter-ego can put on masks — and look fabulous — so can we.

That’s the hope, anyway, of the city’s Directorate for Culture and Tradition which has sponsored the creation of the 10 murals.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende, Writings

A lesson from the butterfly’s second life

Butterflies are one of the “two sweetest passions known to man.”

So says Vladimir Nabokov. The other is literature.

A day watching butterflies flutter amid the flower boughs

Never feels misspent.

Nor does a day with a good book.

Literature lasts forever. No so, the butterfly.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Mama Mia makes a move and it is spectacular

Rose and I happened to walk by the new Mama Mia’s restaurant today.

That’s right, the NEW one.

One of San Miguel de Allende’s most popular restaurants has moved from the heart of Centro to Dr. Hernández Macías # 91.

Really, just around the corner, but worlds away a huge improvement.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Look through any window

Very few people — children, mostly — know that all around San Miguel de Allende there are portals that can transport you to unimaginable places.

No, sorry. That’s not right.

You have to imagine a place before you can be transported to it.

That’s why children — who still possess great imaginations — are most-aware of these magical conveyances.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende, Uncategorized, Writings

Welcome to Wally’s World

Wallace George Hawkins

+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++ +++++

I’d like you to meet Wally, full name Wallace George Hawkins. He was born on Saturday at 6:54 p.m. in Kaiser Hospital, San Diego, weighing in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

Mother, Larisa, and father, Ryan, are as over the moon — as we are!

Wally and parents were home by Sunday evening and Wally got to meet his big brother, Augie.

Ryan is my second-oldest son, born between Brendan and Christopher. Wally joins three grandsons — Brody (Brendan and Cami), Tallac (Chris and Katie), and of course big brother, Augie (pictured above).

+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++ +++++

As one of eight brothers and one sister, to me the production of sons and grandsons seems a foregone conclusion although some of my brothers and their wives, somehow, have brought daughters into this world.

There is nothing like a new-born baby to remind you of how unique, amazing and beautiful is every child. This has to be my all-time favorite miracle available on this planet.

Rose Alcantara and I are so filled with joy.

Rose right away suggested sending flowers and naturally found just the right bouquet on Amazon. I think they are arriving today (Tuesday). Say what you will, this is an amazing world.

I bought a second gift for the family — a non-contact, infrared, instant-read thermometer — bundled with 50 disposable face masks. Just seems like a gift for these days, especially with the inevitable number of visitors they will likely get.

Now comes the tricky part: how to schedule a visit to meet Wally in person in this wild and crazy Covid world. I’m looking forward to crossing at Tijuana and isolating for two weeks in San Diego before Wally and I get to hang out.

It makes sense, too, once “certified” COVID-free, to drive to Northern California to visit with Brody and Tallac and their parents while already in the States.

Not the family reunion we were all talking about at the beginning of the year but this is love and joy and family in the new reality.

Whatever it takes. I’m ok with it.

Standard
San Miguel de Allende, Writings

In the garden: A meditation

I have so many pictures of the flowers and plants that fill our courtyard that I want to share with you. This oasis. This sanctuary. This place where we find peace and solitude during the global crisis.

This home in Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Flowers speak for themselves. They don’t need words to make themselves more beautiful. Unless the words are contained in a song.

Flowers and songs work well togther.

And no song is better than Van Morrison’s “In the Garden.”

Continue reading
Standard
Memoirs -- fact and fiction, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Schultzie’s transistor radio started a revolt

Pocket-sized transistor radios were probably one of the first great subversive technologies. And smuggling one into a culturally hermetic community could spark a revolution.

That’s what happened when rock ‘n’ roll invaded the cloistered walls of my seminary.

Thank God.

As an eighth-grader I felt God was calling me to the priesthood. Two years later I realized that he had dialed a wrong number and I had, regrettably, answered.

I went all in: a missionary order whose Latin name translated to Society of the Divine Word (SVD).  The order had a very gothic looking building about 20 miles south of Erie, Pa., where they educated their high school recruits.

Continue reading
Standard
Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Murals with a message say it loud: I mask-up and I’m proud

Frida is cool with wearing a mask. Just ask her. New Mural on 28 de Abril, just up the street from Orizaba.

_______________________________________________________________

Masks as art in the window of Abrazos, the fabric store on Zacateros.

A cynic might say there are more murals, statues and pictures wearing masks in San Miguel de Allende than actual people.

I wouldn’t know.

Lately, the only people I hang out with are murals, statues, and pictures. And they all seem to be wearing masks.

Which is why I prefer their company to that of people who will not wear masks. They even look smarter than people without masks.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Little escapes: Seventeen San Miguel experiences you can enjoy while sitting on your couch

Since the beginning of the Covid sequestration, I’ve been taking the occasional walkabout here in San Miguel de Allende. I’ve even taken some that were inspired by my beloved city but strictly products of the mind.

Honestly, we’re all kind of feeling like we are at the “break out” point.

I hope this will help.

Below is a selection of the walks — real and fantasy — that I’ve enjoyed over the past few months.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Putting on a nice lunch for the crew rebuilding our street, because ‘We are Mexican’

My whole neighborhood put on a lunch for about 30 hungry and hard-working guys today.

They have been with us for a while now,  long enough to know many of them by sight and wish each other a good day. These are the guys who tore up our street, right down to the dirt, and installed new utilities — sewer,water, fiber-optic.

Continue reading
Standard