photography, Reviews, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

It’s Tuesday: To market, to market to buy a blue suit; home again, home again, jiggety-scoot

I do not shop. I do not wander into stores and glide up and down aisles looking for just the right … thing. I don’t compare prices. I don’t compare similar products. I don’t read labels. I don’t calculate the savings between the Jumbo and Family sizes. I don’t clip coupons.

I buy local because I’m too lazy to walk to a cheaper store. I shop to survive, not to find pleasure.

But you don’t have to twist my arm to get me up the hill to the Tuesday Market.

I love the hustle and bustle. I love the jockeying for position at a tabletop clothing dump. I love to hear the shouts of “Barata! Barata! Barato!” and “Venta! Venta! Venta!” I love the smell of the food, the fish on ice, the produce, the fresh piles of strawberries. The piles of hardware and kitchenware and racks of hats, and row upon row of shoes, and … well, just name it, there’s a pile of it somewhere.

And such a deal I have for you.

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

Hey, buster, who are you calling the ‘friendliest city in the world’?

News item: Conde Nast Traveler names San Miguel de Allende the “friendliest city in the world.” It beats out Dublin, Lisbon, Bangkok, Copenhagen, Mexico City, and Bruges among others. The media company previously named San Miguel the “best small city in the world.”

This can’t be good.

I was asked to respond to all this by an otherwise sharp and responsible newspaper colleague. And so …

All right, the next guy who says San Miguel de Allende is the friendliest city in the world gets a punch in the nose, see?

A city with a reputation like that could get itself hurt, see? A city could pick up a rep-u-tation with talk like that, and not the good kind, see?

Other cities start thinking it’s a patsy and start aping all that friendly stuff and the next thing you know, you’ve got a six-way tie for the friendliest city. 

And that ain’t good for nobody, see?

Why, if everybody is friendly, then what’s this world coming to?

Continue reading
Standard
photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Something beautiful this way comes

Lilies in bloom, Colonia San Antonio, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Because, after this week, you deserve something beautiful.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Drink in the colors and shapes.

Fall into the petals and let your imagination

Slide down the slopes,

Through the anthers and filaments,

A pollen forest of serenity.

Shimmy up the style,

Sit atop the style,

You kins and queens of your own world.

Once again, breathe in, breathe out.

With lilies about, peace grows

In the heart’s garden.

_______________________________________________________________________

Put more magic in your life!

If you enjoyed this post, consider subscribing and passing on the link to friends. It is all free. To subscribe, click on the three-bar thing at the top of this page (in the red circle). Feel free to share this post!

Standard
Colonia San Antonio, photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Gilding the Lily

Did I go too far? This Calla lily is in bloom just outside the kitchen door.

It stops me in my tracks every morning when I enter for breakfast. It has been in full bloom for nearly a week now and shows no signs of fading. A hardy one, for sure.

The original photograph, taken Wednesday, Nov. 2, is a bit flatter and duller than this. I’ll post it below. I blame it on the ambient light and the limits of the iPhone camera. And my own limitations as a photographer.

Continue reading
Standard
San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Glorious voices lift heaven-ward in the San Miguel premiere of Michael Hoppé’s ‘Requiem for Peace and Reconciliation’

Michael and Monica Hoppé watch the performance of his “Requiem for Peace and Reconciliation.” on Wednesday afternoon in the Templo de la Tercera Orden in Centro.

“You know, I haven’t even heard it yet. I’m as clueless as everyone else today! I don’t know what to expect.”

The speaker on Wednesday afternoon was Michael Hoppé and the occasion was the San Miguel de Allende premiere of his sonorous and introspective Latin Mass for chorus and strings, “Requiem for Peace and Reconciliation.”

The perfect music for Dia de Muertos and these very troubled times.

Continue reading
Standard
photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Dia de Muertos parade No. 2: Dead can dance

I should know better, but I showed up at 5 p.m. today anyway for the start of San Miguel de Allende’s second Day of the Dead parade in as many days.

(Here are photos from Tuesday night’s Rosewood Hotel Dia de Muertos parade.)

And there were very very few people on Calle El Cardo, the supposed staging area. And very few of those people looked like they would be marching in a parade. Although, some of those people were horses, meant to pull carriages so that was a good sign. And several bands were sitting in the shade where ever they could find it up and down the street.

There were a lot of people on cell phones typing in things like “Where does the parade start?”

It dawned on me soon enough.

Continue reading
Standard
photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

Night of the living-it-up dead

Parading around as elegantly dressed skeletons is so much fun in San Miguel de Allende that apparently, it takes two parades over two days to fit it all in this year.

In the past, it was sufficient to stage one parade of promenading Calaveras, Catrinas, and Catrins — and a variety of other-worldly subsets in various manifestations of theatricality.

Last year, after the wastelands of Covid had subsided and a rebirth of traditions signaled a new dawn, the annual Dia de Muertos parade was a joyous traffic jam of humanity. Skeletons paraded en mass down the Ancha. Preciously costumed Catrinas and their cohorts, led by a masterful and exuberant Mariachi band, exited the sanctuary of the Rosewood and paraded toward the Ancha.

The two masses converged and ground to a halt as paraders funneled up the narrower Zacateras, made narrower by the density of the watchers on both sides of the road. It was a slow slog up to the Jardin where seeing and being seen is the endgame of the evening.

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

That time Jerry Lee Lewis talked to God atop the Peabody Hotel in Memphis — and God listened

This is Jerry Lee Lewis, live in England, in 1964. It is all-video, all-animal energy, all-Jerry Lee. Punk before punk was ever a word.

Like the kids in this video, I stood at the very edge of Jerry Lee’s piano while he played. Inches from the 88th key and his left hand.

The year was 1989 though, not 1964, and the setting was more subdued.

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

That time I tried to overthrow the local government at a Tiblisi puppet show

Editor’s note: In a newsletter for former Union-Tribune newspaper staffers, a colleague in San Diego recently recalled a review I once wrote that outraged the mayor and her staff. Jack Reber, the editor of the newsletter, asked if I would fill everyone in.

Glad to do it. But, as in my online days with SignOnSanDiego.com, I take great pleasure in scooping mainstream media. So, you will read it first, here on my own blog. My newspaper friends may get it at midnight tonight. (Sorry, Jack. I can’t help myself.)


Ah, the Russian Arts Festival of 1989. Gather round kids and I’ll tell you as much as is permitted by the several nondisclosure agreements I signed to gain a generous separation bonus from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Obviously, I kid. There was no bonus.

My one assignment during the Festival was the Tiblisi State Puppet Theatre, under the direction of the great and late-Rezo Gabriadze (below with some of his creations). Georgean puppets aren’t like the Muppets, Shari Lewis and Lambchop, or Punch ‘n Judy. They tell real and elaborate stories, often tragic, and even violent or sexually mature.

Continue reading
Standard
photography, San Miguel de Allende

Hey, let’s play some Doors and Hot Tuna — with photos, it’s all rock and roll to me

Do not look for rhyme nor reason in these photographs.

If they have anything in common, you could file them under “things that caught my eye this morning.”

That, and the fact that they were all taken in San Miguel de Allende.

Did I mention they were all taken today?

Continue reading
Standard