So here we are now at 6,200 feet enjoying incredibly mild weather yearlong, a severe drought and growing water shortage, unrestrained development, and a once-exuberant city that has almost withered away under the relentless grind of Covid restrictions.
Signs of life are returning to San Miguel de Allende.
Of all the words to describe this peculiar existence we are in today, I have the most trouble with “quarantine.” I simply can not recall this word when describing how we are living these days.
It is blocked from my memory. Unlike the actual quarantine which we live minute by minute in our homes.
Ah well, I’m not here to summarize 2020 — nor analyze. I can offer no grand insights, survival tip, recipes, bromides, earned wisdom, nor life lessons. It happened. It ran over us and didn’t even honk the horn or stomp on the brakes. There were no skid marks. We just took the full brunt of its force.
And here we are. Hello, 2021. Show us what you’ve got.
Well, thank god that’s over. The year, I mean. 2020.
I’ve had just about enough of it and I suspect you have too. Not that 2021 will start off so terribly different. Well, there is the regime change, an inauguration, and the eradication of four years of shitty people running the country.
It will take time, lots of vaccinations, still more wine than we should be consuming, and a Democratic majority in Congress — up to you, Georgia.
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, Vincent van Gogh, Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” Klimt’s stylish “Lady in Gold,” and da Vinci’s mysterious “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.
This is how things work in magical San Miguel de Allende:
Susan Campbell Skinner lives on the corner of Refugio and Orizaba in Colonia San Antonio. Across the street is Dona Rosa’s tienda where she buys organic eggs, produce, and fresh squeezed orange juice.
Susan does not know Rosa well but she feels a kindred spirit. She feels like Rosa is always looking out for her and her casa when she is away. This is what neighbors do for each other here in San Miguel de Allende.
So, Susan wanted to do something nice for her neighbor.
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.