Lost again. This time I wasn’t alone. Joy and I decided to walk (well, I decided and my loyal wife agreed to come along) to Fabrica de la Aurora, the premier collection of art galleries in San Miguel. It’s actually an old textile mill which operated until about 1991, when competition from outside the country introduced cheaper cotton goods. The factory closed. Then the buildings were refurbished for these art galleries. Happily, some of the machinery is still on display and the sense of history adds to the place’s charm.
Back to our lost condition. It’s a 30-40 minute walk across town, according to the propaganda. For us, it was closer to two hours and still we found ourselves at least another 30-40 minute trek across the city’s cobblestone pavement (bordered by those treacherous sidewalks). We hailed a cab. Cost us 40 pesos. $2.12 cents. As I recall, Joy might have had something to say on the subject.
Actually, it was a good adventure, taking us into a part of the city –a lower socioeconomic section–which we needed to see in order to have a more inclusive view of San Miguel. More litter, older cars, working class people, fewer ex-pats. A huge contrast between what we saw in our lostness and what we discovered in our true destination (almost a sermon here!), where we saw magnificent antique pieces and a wide variety of offerings by contemporary artists who do very good work. We devoted at least a couple of hours, not nearly enough, to examining them, eating an excellent lunch (enchiladas for me, ensalada for Joy), and becoming engaged in an animated exchange with a couple of New Yorkers who run a shop—James does the painting and his partner of 30 years Frank does the metal work. Frank did the talking; he allowed James to interject an occasional word. (Frank observed he detected a similar relationship between Joy and me. It didn’t have to be said.)