Travels, Trips, Tours

Visiting With Vicki in San Miguel

Edward Hopper

Spent six wonderful days in San Miguel,Mexico  in September.  San Miguel is sort of like Santa Fe of the 60's.  The whole city has been designated as a Historical Trust.  The streets are cobblestone - big cobblestones - and the sidewalks are so narrow that two people can not walk next to each other. There are some hills, as it is located at the foot of the mountains, about 2 hours north of Mexico City.  We flew nonstop to Leon on Continental from Houston.  Then it was an hour and a half by shuttle or cab to San Miguel.  This is a major art community.  People come from all over the world to pursue the arts at the Institute.  The BFA and MFA degrees are available, as well as special courses held from one week to several months with special instructors.  There are also many language schools and a sizeable American presence.

Famous for the wonderful Colonial architecture, he shopping is very reasonably priced and upscale to some extent withonderful leather and clothing shops.  Very much a walking city, a car would have been a hinderance. One highlight was the Sunday home tour sponsored by the Friends of the Bibliotheque (library).  Most of the American community have adopted the library as their fundraising cause.  Each Sunday they offer tours of three different, outstanding houses.  They have an inventory of about 200 houses, so you could take their tours for many months  without any duplication.

Friends from Denver met us in San Miguel.  Since we were staying at a private house, we were anxious to see the Bed & Breakfast, Casa Murphy, where we had placed our friends. It's a great place; I would definitely stay there on a return trip.   Casa Murphy was a real oasis.  It only has five rooms, but what a courtyard, and access to a whole house, breakfast every morning - all for about $79 a night.   We also saw rooms at the new Sierra Nevada Hotel in the Park.  Each of their rooms are suites with real fireplaces in the rooms, as well as bathrooms.  And they are huge.  Of course, there is no central heat or air-conditioning, but the temperatures are quite mild .

Walking each of the many streets of the ten square block historic area in San Miguel held many wonderful surprises.  Unbelievable courtyards behind unassuming doors.  I had read about a book The Insider's Guide To San Miguel, and ordered a copy before I left.  It was fantastic; I found one of my favorite artists Pedro Friedeberg lived right in the city.  His studio was in his home and his phone number was listed.  We were able to meet him and purchase a wonderful print.

We had some wonderful and romantic lunches on the patio/courtyard of Hotel Santa Monica, ditto for Sunday brunch at Villa Jacaranda Restaurant and such a fun dinner at El Pegaso that we returned for lunch. Ole Ole serves just fajittas.  Our favorite breakfast place was on the patio of Cafe de la Parraquia.  Our last night was dinner at Casa Blanca.  The food was first class, and we arrived just in time to watch the most incredible view of the mountains at sunset.

I loved the Kligerman gallery and his daughter's boutique Girasol, where I bought a cocktail jacket that looks like a satin version of Joseph's coat of many colors.  Buffalo Leathers was also a great find.  I bought the perfect black purse, with special velcro section for glasses on front and found a great selection of contemporary silver jewelry.

Must return soon !

Vicki in New Orleans ...

Vicki Karno lives in New Orleans, and has over the years had many different jobs and businesses. During college years at Drake, she had a classical radio show and worked at the TV station. Later Vicki taught creative dramatics, owned her own advertising company, developed and leased commercial real estate, and started a recruiting and placement service for attorneys. She recently started a very informal (no fees, no contracts,no profit) dating service. Currently, she and her husband are active in the Jewish Genealogy Society of New Orleans. The Karnos met on a blind date, have been happily married for 32 years, have two children, and travel a great deal.

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