San Miguel de Allende

Up against the wall, Mojigangas!

IMG_0318What’s a mojiganga, you might ask.

They are giant paper mache and fabric figures mounted on the shoulders of a person who twirls, whirls, bows, and bobs and weaves and dances the puppet to life. They can tower as high as 18 feet and still dazzle you with the lightness of their feet.

A really good mojiganga puppeteer will bring their character to life with a spry step, whirling arms, and surprising dance moves. Yes, the person inside the suit becomes the character. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Sending a photo through artsy filters unearths emotions missed in the original — but is it art?

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This is what you get when you step out your front door around 7 a.m. in San Miguel de Allende. Not every day but when it happens you whisper a little prayer of thanks to the photography gods. (Then curse the limitations of your sad and old iPhone.) But taking the photo is just the beginning of what you can do.

I am not a photographer. I am a guy with a used iPhone who takes pictures.

I emphasize “used” because the newest phones seem to be veering awfully close to mimicking the abilities of a decent camera.

Mine is not in that class.

Even if I had a new phone with the latest camera technology, or even if I owned a halfway decent camera, I would never call myself a photographer. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Sam Donaldson agrees: The ‘warm-up band’ (Alison Wright) stole the show

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Photographer Alison Wright and ABC newsman Sam Donaldson share a moment after delivering their talks in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, on Feb.29.

While globe-trotting photographer Alison Wright billed herself as “the warm-up band for Sam Donaldson” and begged the audience not to boo her off stage with shouts of “Sam! Sam! Sam!,” the retired ABC newsman had a whole other take on the evening.

Wright and Donaldson were co-headliners before a packed Literary Society house in the HRM Ballroom in San Miguel de Allende on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

When Donaldson stood up to speak, he was clearly awed by the sometimes harrowing tales and stunning photographs presented by Wright, a featured National Geographic photographer.

“I’ve always believed that you don’t follow dogs or children onstage,” intoned Donaldson, “to which I’ll add, ‘Don’t follow Alison Wright!’ “ Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende

Miss the parade? Well, just hang around for a while …

IMG_9970Well, I missed the civic and military parade today.

As I turned on to the Ancha, I could see in the distance the bright green uniforms of the municipal sanitation crew, standing politely — and at a distance — behind the last of the horseback riders.

The horses always take up the rear of any San Miguel de Allende parade. And for good reason.

This parade celebrates the 1769 birth of Ignacio Allende — the city’s namesake and among the heroes who launched the War of Independence in 1810 that eventually drove Spain from the country. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

In San Miguel’s Centro: Our Lady of the Steps

She sits on the cold stone stoop. She looks neither left nor right.

Her head is bowed, mostly, her left hand extends for alms.

The hand rests on her knee. It is rigid and curled into an unnatural cup. A shape carved over a lifetime. A boney cup meant to hold, pesos, centavos.

Give or don’t give. It is all the same. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende

Why I love San Miguel: Walked down the Ancha to get the mail … and this is what I saw

IMG_9112Something was a little off when Moppit and I reached the Ancha on our walk early this morning. Not a single car was parked on the normally busy thoroughfare that divides Centro from Colonia San Antonio.

On any other day, both curbs would be lined with cars.

Either somebody was going to be moving a giant house down the street on a flatbed — or there was a parade scheduled. 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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