San Miguel de Allende

Dancing for the lives of all women

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Just before 4 p.m. on a brilliant and blazing Sunday afternoon in San Miguel de Allende the sound of a boombox rose above the usual bustle and cacophony of the Jardin Principal.

As if on cue, the several venders with their bright balloons and bouncing pencils were swept away like neon flotsam and jetsam on the shore.

A lone, tall, leggy blonde in jeans and a black top stepped to center stage and began to dance. She got the attention of the milling crowd. A second woman, all in black, bounded into the open space and the two danced as one. (Full disclosure: Woman No. 2 was my wife, Rose Alcantara.) Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende

A night with author Colum McCann in 21 cantos

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Colum McCann signing books after his talk at the San Miguel Writers’ Conference this week.

Colm McCann came to the United States as a young man to write the great novel. When he got there he discovered he had nothing to say. So he bought a bicycle and pedaled out of Boston in search of a Muse. A year and a half and 8,000 miles and many flat tires later, he rolled into San Francisco a changed man.

Along the way, he collected hundreds of stories and made some profound discoveries about people and himself.

Everyone should try that at least once. (My recommendation, not necessarily Colum’s.)

Or, try this. When Tommy Orange was writing “There There,” and found himself in a hole, he’d strap on his running shoes and go for a long-distance run. He ended up with “good solutions and really bad poetry.”

OK, let’s stop here for a moment. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, Writings

History is on the side of Nancy Pelosi

moses-cow“Whoa, man. Did you hear about Moses?”

“Hear? He hasn’t been around for weeks. I thought he’s split for the coast or something.”

“No. He was up on top of some mountain. At any rate, he came down the mountain last night and totally freaked out when he saw a bunch of the younger crowd idolizing a golden calf or something.”

“Yeah, definitely a golden calf. I saw it last week. Very realistic, considering we’re stuck out here in the desert and proper tools are hard to find. Somebody did a nice job on it. The people all made caps with a slogan like ‘Make cows great again’ which I totally do not understand. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Hedrick Smith to i3 audience: U.S. political reform can happen but it is up to YOU, not somebody else

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Hedrick Smith speaks to a full house on “Reforming our ailing political system.”

Is there anything better than Nancy Pelosi tearing up the text of President Trump’s State of the Union speech as he basked in the golden shower of applause from Republicans on Tuesday night?

At the moment, no.

But Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith brought some good news to San Miguel de Allende on Tuesday night: All is not lost.

In a brief speech and documentary presentation titled “Reforming our Ailing Political System,” Smith said to look to the hinterlands, to the grassroots, at the state level,  to see where real reform is going on.

And after three years of crisscrossing the United States, Smith reports that a real revolution is going on  — and it is transcending political parties and racial and economic divides. And it is being overlooked by most of America’s major media outlets. 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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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

How I learned to tell the difference between decorative stone slabs and chicharrones — and you can, too

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Truck carrying decorative stone moves up the Libramente. Also a weird self-portrait.

Many people know that I have a sense of humor that can best be described as “curious.” And at worse, “idiotic.”

Nobody has said that to my face –unless you count Facebook. It is what I tell myself in social situations when I find myself babbling on about … “oh god, what was I just saying? Idiot!”

Continue reading

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Rants and raves, Uncategorized

Where ignorance is still bliss: MAGArians are the new Abecedarians

Inspiration comes from almost any direction — if you remain open to the process.

For example, around noon today, I was still deeply regretting the day-old creme doughnut that I ate earlier in the morning — about a half-hour before yoga, to be exact. 

I was marveling how at 2 a.m. I awoke with the startling realization that the Panio doughnut was still in my backpack into which I’d slipped it yesterday with plans to eat it on the way home from Centro. Long story short, I got distracted by a haircut and forgot all about it. Until 2 a.m.

Funny how the mind works. Continue reading

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