What better way to end the blog than from our terrace with a view to the best show in town, the sunsets.
One evening Don arranged for two musicians they had met on a previous trip to come and play for us on the terrace. Lalo and Juan, dos amigos who have been playing together for two years serenaded us as we enjoyed drinks and appetizers with the setting sun creating changing color and shadows behind them.
I have included one of their songs and apologize for the quality of the video . . . I really do not know what I am doing when it comes to video . . . the music was beautiful. They delighted us with their music for an hour and then enjoyed a bite to eat. It was a real treat to be serenaded in such a beautiful setting. Thanks Don for arranging a memorable evening.
The first house on todays tour was the Blue Elephant house, built by two artists. It is a modest sized home near Centro. The living room is 18x18x18 with glass walls, a fountain and skylight. It was much more modern than most we have seen, very light and airy with a wonderful rooftop terrace and garden with a nearby jacaranda tree in full bloom.
The second house included Chapel of Jimmy Ray, a fanciful creation of Anado McLaughlin (Jimmy Ray is a mythical character that Anado has been flirting with in his art for many years).
The gallery area contains three buildings, the office, the “throne room” or composting toilet and the Chapel of Jimmy Ray. Anado combines recycled materials with intricate mosaic work using local Talavera tiles along with sea sheels, mirrors and found objects.
The house, Casa de las Ranas, has been called the “happiest house in San Miguel”. It is filled to overflowing with whimsy, playful mosaics, little vignettes everywhere. It seemed that every inch held surprises. I don’t think I could live amid so much color but it was sure fun to visit. The house is not just a home but a joyful art installation.
The exterior is awash with mosaics found objects, murals and more.
Palm Sunday represents the entrance of Jesus the Nazarene into Jerusalem and the fulfilling of a prophecy.
In el Centro, near the churches, street vendors offer intricately woven palm fronds in the shape of crosses, flowers or stars. These palms are blessed during the mass and are placed in homes to protect them from evil.
A procession, headed by the parish priest leaves from Parque Juárez and heads to the Parroquia along Calle Sollano. The street is adorned with flowers and palms. Behind the priest some people carry an image of Jesus riding a donkey followed by parishioners. The procession is a way to remember the prophecy that Jesus would arrive in Jerusalem not on a horse, but riding a donkey, the transportation used by the slaves at that time. The people knew the prophecy and for that reason when he arrived they started throwing fabrics and palm fronds (which represent victory and honor).
Muros en Blanco is an urban street art project modeled after similar projects in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Miami, Mexico City, and New York. With support of the community the hope is this project will direct young artists’ energies into legal artistic efforts and create the colonia Guadalupe Arts District discouraging taggers from defacing public and private property. Participants will be working with local artists as well as visiting Latin American artists. The project kicked off with a street art event on March 23. We were totally unaware of the event until we neared one of our favorite restaurants and noticed murals had sprung up seemingly overnight, in fact some of them were still works in progress.
After lunch we walked around the neighborhood and found many of the buildings were now adorned with colorful art. The farther we walked the more we found and a few days later even more. It was like a treasure hunt. Here is a sampling.
One of the best part of this visit to Mexico was the water . . . we could drink the water! The city has a filtration system and to date no one has fallen ill from drinking tap water, what a treat.
San Miguel de Allende has wonderful restaurants and we have eaten at a variety of them, large, small, fancy and simple; all of the food was wonderful. We have even been lucky enough to find three very good organic restaurants with many vegetarian options and although it was difficult for Naoko to find vegan options vegetarian was easy.
So, here are some of our meals, the first is from a tiny restaurant and one of our favorites. It is all organic, mostly vegetarian and just three tables in a garage, yes a garage. The lady who supplies all of the wonderful dishes is Patti and she was delightful. We enjoyed our first meal so much that we returned a week later for a special menu requested by one of our friends but more on that later.
More favorites from different restaurants around town.
But wait, there is more . . .