Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Weekend of Art & Culture

Saturday -Week 2: Because of the advertising in Atención we were aware that there would be two art sales today. One was in the Parque Juarez and the other in the Instituto Allende. We walked down in to the Chorro neighborhood where the San Miguel Cultural Center is located, along with the lavandorio, which is an area for the locals to historically publicly wash their clothes. The springs from the Chorro district were some of the first water sources for San Miguel. The Chorro area is the upper end of the Parque Juarez. At the first area that we found artists, actually in the lavandorio area, we spotted a very nice limited edition photograph of bougainvillea and a window that we were actually looking at on an attached building. The photo you see above was taken by Mary Ann, which is an approximation of the professional photo which we purchased.

We continued a leisurely morning walk (we had been going down hill or on the flat) through the Parque, so we could move without pain! We arrived at the Instituto and it was a major madhouse. The open courtyard and the walkways of the building around the courtyard were filled with what seemed like hundreds of vendors. Every type of local arts and crafts were displayed and being browsed by hundreds of gringos. Such a packed house, where you can hardly move is not my cup of tea. Mary Ann could have spend a lot more time there, but she being the discerning esposa, new I was becoming just a bit grumpy. The show apparently is put on monthly during the spring tourist season, so maybe it will be better next month. I did escape having to purchase and carry a couple of native rugs. Grumpy is sometimes good!

We walked up to our now favorite bakery (La Buena Vida), across from the Bellas Artes, and then to the Biblioteca to purchase tickets for a play for tomorrow at the Santa Ana Theater. Only three hours of walking before the siesta. Clearly not up to par.

In the afternoon Mary Ann got some time on the computer to start organizing all of her downloaded digital photos. We seem to have a little bit of a running battle as to “hands on the laptop” time. I, of course, am writing pithy travel comments. I suspect she just wants to play solitaire. We planned to go out to dinner but upon our going outside we felt light raindrops and saw some lightning and heard thunder. Back into the casa! The first rain we have experienced in Mexico. Plan B called for macaroni and cheese with hot dogs, a very traditional Mexican dinner. Ah, there is always another day to go out for dinner.

Sunday -Week 2: This morning at about 11 a.m. we walked down to the Biblioteca. Each Sunday at 12 noon the have a home and garden tour of two or three homes in San Miguel or the suburbs. They charge 150 pesos ($15 dollars) per person and it is huge deal (about 300 people per Sunday) with the proceeds going to the literacy programs at the library. While waiting to board the buses, everyone is wearing their ticket with first name and their State. I talked to several other Washingtonians, while a mariachi band serenaded the waiting crowd. The event is very well organized with volunteers on the buses, at the doors of the casas and all the floors of the homes. The owners were greeting all the visitors and it is a very nice event. It gives you a nice appreciation of the local art and what is behind those wonderful wooden doors.

Walking to the Jardin from the last home, Mary Ann sniffed out a wonderful artesania shop and a very nice runner leapt into her hands and then landed on the caja (cashier) desk. What a miracle! We celebrated this “find” by having a splendid lunch at Tio Lucas, located across from the Angela Peralta Theatre. Next, the repeat walk up La Montana (the lovable mountain) for a short rest before going to a play at the Santa Ana Theater. Those 4 peso buses are starting to look a lot better.

The play was a melodrama titled “Time Still Wounds All Heels”. Inserted through out the melodrama, taking place in San Miguel in 1906, were skits, comedy routines, singers, musical groups and dancers. In the end the scamming villain is arrested and the lady school teachers get their bogus silver mine investment returned. The play was a fund raiser for Jovenes Adelante which provides university scholarships to financially poor students from San Miguel. Currently they have funded 22 students in 10 different Mexican universities. It was all good fun.

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