Stoned

Man carrying landscaping stones, San Miguel de Allende

Man carrying landscaping stones, San Miguel de Allende

Unable to even lift one of these bags off the ground on my own, our friend here at the local vivero, hoisted these two without hesitation. One cannot help but be reminded of the statue at the entrance to San Miguel of Juan José de los Reyes Martínez, El Pipila, who in 1810 carried a paving stone to his back to shield himself from the Spanish guns as he approached the door of the Guanajuato granary and set it afire so that Allende’s troops could fight their way in. Unfortunately, the statue in San Miguel features a paving slab of such exaggerated area and thickness that I was confused when I first visited as to why a statue of a man with a queen-size mattress on his back should welcome visitors to the City.

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Avocados

Fruit and vegetable seller in the Mercado, San Miguel

Fruit and vegetable seller in the Mercado, San Miguel

Another of the many gifts from Mexico to the World. This lady sorting through her collection of avocados for sale in the mercado here. The name comes from the Spanish aguacate, which which in turn comes from the Aztec Nahuatl word āhuacatl. Interestingly, the same word also means testicle, which if you see them hanging from trees (Avocados, that is) makes sense. Whether the fruit was named after the body part, or vice versa no one knows. In Chiapas, on the border with Guatemala, you can find mountains and valleys covered with nothing but avocado trees as far as the eye can see. The other things on her table are cactus fruit, confusingly here called tuna.

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Carnitas on Mesones

The Carnitas store, Mesones, San MIguel de Allende

The Carnitas store, Mesones, San MIguel de Allende

Carnitas, literally translated as “Little Meats”, are what happen when you take large chunks of pig and slowly deep-fry them for four or five hours in a giant bucket of lard. Normally chopped up with a small machete and served in a tortilla with some cilantro and pickled onion with some salsa on top, it is a stable for many folks here for comida and is delicious. Our favorite place here is on Mesones next door to Super Bonanza (our local everything market). Our favorite are costillas (ribs) which are particularly succulent and juicy. Smartly, the carnitas Lady uses her hands for the food and the metal tin for the money which she never touches without a plastic bag on her hand. Meticulously hygienic.

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Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

The Bishop of Guanajuato entering the Oratorio, San Miguel de Allende

The Bishop of Guanajuato entering the Oratorio, San Miguel de Allende

You don’t often bump into a Bishop, but yesterday evening we did at the Oratorio at the end of our street. And he had his official Bishop hat and everything. We think this one is the Bishop of Guanajuato but aren’t sure as they aren’t labelled or anything. I don’t know if they are infallible, like the Pope, but with a load of bodyguards and a massive shepherd’s crook, I’m not going to argue with anything they say.

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Chritopher Street Subway Station, New York

Christopher Street Subway Station, New York

Christopher Street Subway Station, New York. May 2015

Uptown platform, Christopher Street subway station, New York. One of a series of images of everyday life in the City.

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Union Square Market

Union Square Market, New York, Jun 2005

Union Square Market, New York, Jun 2005

Produce seller, Union Square Market, New York. One of a series of images of everyday life in the City.

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Uptown Number 2 Subway, Upper West Side, New York

Uptown Number 2 Subway train, Upper West Side, New York. May 2015

Uptown Number 2 Subway train, Upper West Side, New York. May 2015

Uptown number 2 Subway train, Upper West Side, New York. One of a series of images of everyday life in the City.

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No Smoke Without Firemen

Car fire, Amsterdam Avenue and 92nd Street, New York.

Car fire, Amsterdam Avenue and 92nd Street, New York. June 2015

In the old days when your car caught on fire at least there was a respectable looking skeleton. Today, it seems the thing more or less melts with everything dripping onto the road. I heard the kerfuffle when the this one went up in flames, saw the fireball, grabbed my camera and ran downstairs at least in time to catch the mopping-up.

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Bug-Eyed

Uptown number 1 train, 14th Street, Manhattan.

Uptown number 1 train, 14th Street, Manhattan. June 2010

They’re getting them younger and younger with digital devices. Seen on the Uptown number 1 train drawing out of the 13th Street Station.

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M5 Bus at 65th street and 5th Avenue

M5 bus on Fifth Avenue, heading downtown at 65th Street, New York

M5 bus on Fifth Avenue, heading downtown at 65th Street, New York. November 2011

M5 bus on Fifth Avenue, heading downtown at 65th Street, New York. One of a series of images of everyday life in the City.

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