What city did Travel and Leisure Magazine name the number one city in the world in 2017? It wasn’t New York, Paris, London, or Tokyo. It was San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. While this rating may seem a little over the top, there are a lot of reasons to love San Miguel. First, it is an artistic center with galleries seemingly on every block. While there is a lot of folk art, I believe there is even more contemporary art of an exceptionally high quality. Whether you seek glass, pottery, paintings, sculpture, furniture, or wood carvings, it is all here.
Second, it is a culturally rich city with history, popular music, plays, lectures, and classical music readily available every week. Tonight, we are going to see Bohemian Rhapsody at the pocket theater. For $6 you get a pirated movie, a glass of wine, and a bag of popcorn. We are going from there to see guitarist Gil Gutiérrez, who formerly played with Doc Severinsen. Tomorrow afternoon we are watching the world premier staging of Bikers in Camelot, which began what is hoped to be a pre Broadway run in San Miguel.
Third, there is a diverse assortment of good restaurants. Not only good Mexican food, but good Peruvian, European, Thai, Italian and most other styles of food. In the last two weeks, I have enjoyed panko crusted sea bass and chicken breast stuffed with cheese and spinach with a tamarind sauce that are among the best dishes I have had in any restaurant. And the cost is less than half what you would expect to pay in the USA.
And fourth, it is a beautiful town with hidden treasures throughout the city.One of the most popular streets in the city to photograph is Aldama because it leads up to the Parroquia. You will notice several other things about this street. It is cobblestone like many of the streets in Centro which make walking and riding on the street quite uncomfortable. Second, the sidewalks are very narrow which means you usually have to step in the street or turn sideways to pass anyone. Third, there are no front yards so most houses and shops feature a courtyard and/or a rooftop garden to enjoy the outdoors.This is the terrace overlooking the courtyard in our hotel. The door at the end is ours. The courtyard houses a restaurant and two orange trees that are growing oranges. The courtyard features a movable roof to block the sun when it is hot or to block the rain.This is the courtyard in the Instituto Allende. It features a mural on the back wall and a fountain in the center. It is very popular for wedding receptions and you see flowers in the fountain from a recent reception.This house on Aldama features an interesting door, windows, and roof top. The roof top gardens are usually lined with pots of flowers or plants..Since dogs don’t have a front or back yard to play in, they are frequently up on the rooftop gardens,It seems that interesting doors are everywhere. The top door is the main entrance to the house of the Canal family, one of the wealthiest families in early San Miguel. It is now owned by Banamex Bank. The bottom door is richly carved.This window looks into a courtyard. It is always interesting to see what lies behind those walls!The Rosewood Hotel is one of the most luxurious in San Miguel. A popular activity is to go to their rooftop for drinks at sunset. We went with our friends from Ottawa, Canada: from left, Keith, Norm, Nicole, Jane, Suzanne, Peter, and of course Susan.
The sun sets in the opposite direction of the Parroquia, but tonight some orange managed to make its way behind it.The Rosewood has a beautiful courtyard by day or night.After three days with some clouds and even a trace of rain at Nirvana, we are back to what we call a Carolina Blue Sky. Tomorrow we fly to Puerto Vallarta on the Mexican coast to visit our friends from Minnesota, Jean and Ron and Lynn and Jim. We plan to have a lot of pool time to make up for missing the La Gutta Hot Springs here.