Language by Baptism: Parte Ocho

Yesterday I awoke to this view.


The sky was blue and sunny, something that for us so far on this trip has been an unusual thing. What’s more, we had no plans. So Christiana and I decided to grab our cameras and head around town to grab some photos. We left at 11am or so and returned some six hours and five miles later (according to Christiana’s smartphone). Here is some what we saw.

I begin with “the new place,” our residence for the remainder of our time here. It’s tall and skinny. We have not so much rooms as stories. The bottom story houses the kitchen, a living area, and a bathroom; the middle, a bedroom, bathroom, and outdoor terrace; and the top, another bedroom and bathroom.

Our place of lodging is in Colonia Guadalupe, a neighborhood with murals around every corner.

Most streets around town are not muraled. They are nonetheless colorful. Yet walking across town can feel kind of eerie. Narrow sidewalks, traffic, numerous pedestrians forced to work their way around each other, and long stretches of wall with closed doorway upon closed doorway have the effect of being in a kind of Pink-Floyd-esque labyrinth.

But passing through an open doorway, the labyrinthine effect disappears entirely. Smelly exhaust, automobile mirrors nearly clipping your elbow, early-onset claustrophobia–all is transformed into another world of beauty, tranquility, and architectural variety to spin the wheels of even the least creative of minds.

Curious, we entered through a doorway of a hotel to find this gem.

And it was time for an ice cream break.


Of course, it’s not all labyrinth and bad exhaust fumes. There are some wonderful open spaces around town, including El Jardin, a central plaza; squares in front of churches; and sometimes simply the streets themselves.

Our favorite open space of all is Parque Juarez, which always has some kind of art display on weekends. Being Saturday, we headed that way–only to discover that the entire park had been converted into its annual gastronomy fair.

What luck! Time for lunch? Ooh, look: arrechera shish kebab with a side of quinoa salad and lemonade with a shot of mescal, all for a hundred pesos, or around $5. Heck yeah!

The architectural highlight of the day was the churches.

There are many in San Miguel de Allende, several within just a few steps of each other. Most have daily masses and seven or more on Sundays. A local told me there are generally about fifteen weddings per Saturday here throughout the year. And all in a town whose population is around 60,000 persons! I keep hearing the church is in decline in North America. That may be; but it’s most definitely not the case in SMA.

There’s even a parish here of La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, a mostly English-speaking congregation closely aligned with my religious sensibilities. The rector is a retired bishop of the Episcopal Church, as a matter of fact. Christiana and I attended a couple Sundays back.

Anyway, I conclude with these photos and no further comment. Hope you’ve enjoyed the journey with us.

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