San Miguel de Allende

A guest video blogger offers a fresh look at San Miguel … and our home

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My guest video blogger Caira Button is the Catrina on the right. Her lovely assistant is Catrina Rose Alcantara. Facial art is by our talented friend and neighbor Jimmy Hickey.

Good news, Musings & Magic fans, we have a guest blogger today!

A guest VIDEO blogger.

Let me introduce Caira Button, daughter of my dear wife, Rose Alcantara, and an accomplished video blogger who lives in Chicago. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

‘I rescue hummingbirds’

IMG_8932Hummingbirds are drawn to the atrium at the top of our stairwell.

The blue glass lantern looks like a feeder, I think.

But the atrium is like a fish wier.  Once a bird flies in, it can’t get out.

There is something sad and poetic about this, as they flutter from corner to corner. Like little feathered Marcel Marceaus, they feel the edges of the glass box, probe the invisible, flap wings against the glass.

Freedom is a fraction of an inch away but the glass will not yield to their perceptions.

Sometimes, on the outside, a mate flies up to the glass. You can feel the concern. Continue reading

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San Miguel de Allende

Seeing San Miguel in new and fresh ways through sketching, cooking, and dichos

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The collection of images in this post have no specific relevance to this post, other than they are “things” I have noticed since Thursday’s Literary Sala. For example, how often to you see a Sue Grafton book sitting on a window ledge? Especially themed well with the window display was “K is for Killer.”

I went to the Literary Sala this week to learn about urban sketching and Mexican cuisine but, more than that, I learned how to see San Miguel through new, fresh, and exciting  eyes.

Susan Dorf has been drawing San Miguel scenes and people for a decade and many know her through the colorful sketchpad images that appear in the weekly bi-lingual paper, Atencion. Her eye for detail is extraordinary and her ability to capture the essence of street scenes in ink and watercolor rivals the hundreds of iPhones trying to do the same.

Patricia Juana Merrill Márquez is a San Miguel native with roots going back 400 years. She is an architect, a hotelier, and a champion for Mexican cuisine. She also collects dichos — Mexican idioms and aphorisms that open a window onto this unique culture.  “The Buen Provecho Book,” is a mix of recipes and lively insight into Mexican culture.

I guarantee that few of us see the same San Miguel as these two. Continue reading

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Rants and raves, San Miguel de Allende

Remember that time Gordon Ramsay’s greatest challenge on ‘MasterChef’ was flan? No?

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Gordon Ramsay knows flan. And you don’t.

Two things happened last week.

My wife, Rose, and her daughter, Caira, binge-watched the 10th anniversary season of Gordon Ramsay’s “MasterChef.”

It is what they love to do when they are together.

Because our place is small, I sort of binge-overheard. Continue reading

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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

Miss Rose weighs in with photos from last night’s Dia de Muertos parade in San Miguel

IMG_0446A lot of people don’t know this but Rose Alcantara is a shy person. You wouldn’t think it if you ever took one of her pilates or yoga classes.

But that shyness extends to her photography, too.

Whereas I take lots of pictures and post them willy-nilly to the blog, my wife sits down with her iPhone and hits delete, delete, delete, delete, delete. Continue reading

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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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