Fall colors, Rosendale, NewYork
Taken from the Wallkill Valley Railroad Bridge, the hillside houses of Rosendale, an old cement mining town on the southern fringe of the Catskills, are still partly hidden by the fall leaves.
Today, CNN Travel announced the results of Condé Nast Traveler’s 26th annual Readers’ Choice Awards World’s Number One City poll. And guess who is number one. Yes, ahead of Florence (No 3), Vienna (7), Rome (No 8), Paris (No 22) and Venice (No 24). Much as we love SMA we wondered who they asked. We did notice someone wandering around the Jardin with a clipboard a few weeks ago, although as 1,300,000 people responded there must have been a few other folks who joined in.
Mexidog in the horse parade, San Miguel de Allende
There are always hundreds of street dogs in San Miguel quietly and politely making their way around town obviously with an important plan in mind. During parades, as here with the blessing of the horses as part of the Festival of Saint Michael, dozens of them earnestly follow along, each keeping pace with the horses as it is clearly the thing to do.
Feast of San Miguel fireworks, SMA
We are so used to fireworks in San Miguel that we can usually sleep through them, but at the Feast of San Miguel at the end of September each year they go on all night, climaxing in this show at four in the morning which is incredibly noisy and goes on without pause for over an hour heralding a week of parades, music, blessings (of horses, taxis, motorcycles, pets, fire engines — you name it), and general rumpus.
Voladores, San Miguel de Allende
For the Festival of Saint Michael the Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers) is now an integral part of the festivities. Here a Volador, swinging on a slowly unwinding rope from the top of a twenty meter pole, floats past the façade of the Parroquia in San Miguel.
State Police on guard in the Jardin, SMA
Well, not roses, but small colorful dolls. Today, the Governor of the State of Guanajuato is in town, his presence being evident from the hoards of M-16 toting police and army stationed all around as he attends the Mayor’s speech after his first year in office. Despite the show of ballistic hardware, it is all pretty casual. The cop at the back enjoys a can of Coke while the doll seller wanders around searching for parents with little kids.
independance Day parade, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
At this time of the year, almost on a daily basis, we hear the drums of one parade or another at the end of our street. In this instance, we dashed out to meet the Independence Day parade on Mesones while it was crossing Relox. The parade goes on for about an hour and includes practically everyone in San Miguel who has a uniform — including all the schoolchildren. Add to this the marching bands of every school, and the sirens of the Police, Fire Brigade, and Ambulances, and it is hard to miss.
Street food seller, San Miguel de Allende
This weekend is the celebration of Mexican independence and the reading of the Cry of Dolores, or El Grito, in the Jardin. The town is packed with Mexicans coming here to the heart of Independence to celebrate, and our neighbors on Calle Loreto take advantage of the crowds by selling street food which they cook in their doorway. There was a time when I could easily have been a customer, but now, deep fried white bread rolls, known here as bolios, or gorditas (meaning little fat ones), which are small podgy maiz cakes with cheese or other fillings, also deep fried, make me think twice.
Guarderia Ordinaria 001, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
With my minimal Spanish, I assumed that the sign outside this building, Guarderia Ordinaria 001, meant it was a military establishment, but in fact it turns out that it is a day care center. Part of Mexico’s Social Security system, it is free to anyone with pre-school kids who has full Social Security coverage which is what you get when you are steadily employed in a regular job, sadly not domestic workers who only have partial coverage and are not included. What equally interests me is that San Miguel now has at least one other decent example of what Mexican Architects (although I haven’t found out who they are in this instance) can accomplish without resorting to the faux-colonial or semi-classical rubbish that crops up everywhere — as exemplified by the uninspired, badly-sited, and banal new Convention Center.
Bird seller at the Tianguis, San Miguel de Allende
You can buy anything at the Tianguis in San Miguel, from underwear, to parts for gas stoves, used tools, fish, fruit, furniture, video games, and in this instance caged birds which the birdman carries around tied to his back. This market, which springs to life every tuesday, covers acres and is a jostling, noisy, crowded chaos. It is also the most likely place to buy back the spare wheel and battery that disappeared from your SUV last week.