Finding my San Miguel

Danza del Alma morning moving
Sunday San Miguel far from home
where Dance Temple has just begun
every move every position
I feel restrictions in musculature
inviting body to move easefully
within her limits
slow
smooth
moves
stretch
gentle
aware now how this body
asks for kind attention
other bodies move past fast
slow down around me
swirling arms feet legs
leaping body weaves
in out around
breath deep into feet
feet breathe deep into ground
sounds around
soft skin slap
floor tap clap
bright spark morning sunlight
through open door
faces peering
curious
watching our dancing
music moving
voices stilled

That first Sunday friends introduced me to San Miguel’s La Danza at what would become my favorite place in the city, Bellas Artes. After dance we shared a light breakfast of quiche and espresso drinks in the calming quiet of the old cloister looking out on the fountain courtyard and wrote together sharing words and thoughts in gentle camaraderie. I returned often to this courtyard café to write in its peaceful atmosphere while the fountain played and the churchbells rang out the quarters and hours of the day.

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Close to my home in the Guadalupe neighbourhood I found another favourite haunt, Geek and Coffee behind Fabrica la Aurora a converted textile factory now housing artist studios and galleries.

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The spaces at Fabrica La Aurora were a treasure trove of artists’ expression a place where I was able to wander with ease through studios and galleries. Greeted by a great grizzly bear I felt at home.

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I was intrigued and delighted by the juxtaposition of the old factory machinery with the contemporary art.

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San Miguel has a mural tradition started at the original Instituto de Allende (now Bellas Artes) where students received instruction in mural painting. A few of the original student murals remain on the walls of the cloisters enclosing the courtyard.

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In 1950 the Instituto moved to its current location the restored palatial ‘country’ home of the Canal family. In the courtyard here a striking mural of the history of San Miguel, painted by contemporary muralist David Leonardo dominates the space.

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Colonia Guadalupe is the mural district of San Miguel. Murals decorate the walls of houses, restaurants, empty buildings along many of the streets in the neighbourhood.

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Local eateries, Mio Bistrock fondly referred to as the food truck, and Via Organika nourished me many an evening.

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Mara introduced me to the food truck only open on Thursdays through Sundays. It is operated by a Mexico City family who served up the very best food I had in San Miguel. All cooked in the tiny truck kitchen, either by the Dad or Mum of the family and served to the customer by the two sons in a rustic courtyard backed by a stunning mural, always accompanied by a great marguerita.

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