I watch them, the photographers who come to San Miguel. They want to capture the "light", kinda like I did in Paris. They want the buildings, the sunsets, the street vendors, the festivals. It's a rhapsody for them with the crescendo being that one favorite photo that speaks to their heart and photographic talent.
For me, although I certainly don't consider myself a photographer but rather a picture taker, I like the everyday things. I swear just walking down the hill, I see scads of opportunities for photos everywhere that I look. In fact, I make myself stop and just enjoy without photographing many times.
Just the other day, I walked into the jardin to see the scene of the painters refreshing the side of the colonial building in close proximity to the Parroquia. I had to sit down on the wall around the jardin to just watch this feat of balance and agility.
The wooden ladders sway as the men climb them. They do go carefully. For me, it would never be carefully enough. It's like being at the circus watching the guys on the highwire. Sheesh, it's scary.
First they scrape the building and then, by law, they must apply cal, which is an ancient formula, to the surface and then the paint. Yup, by law, they have to apply cal. I presume this is an old law.
It will take days if not weeks to paint the side of this building, four men at a time.
Then, as I got up off the wall and turned the corner toward the Parroquia, the hat vendor was taking a break from selling his hats and bracelets. He was taking time to read the paper. People often say that Mexicans don't read, but I often see them with small books tucked in their pockets or taking time, while eating their lunch, to read. In fact, when I gave books to the primary school years ago, they were so proud that they set up a special room and then invited me over to see what they had accomplished. I was very touched. I continue to provide books to that school and to my grandchildren, of course. Reading to me is a poor man's way of seeing the world. I've been a reader since I was a small child. I always had a book stuck in front of me. Much to my mother's aggravation. She didn't understand that it widened my horizons of life.
Bring your cameras and all your paraphenalia if you wish. Come with open eyes. Come to see the every day scenes or the spectacular scenes in the many, many festivals we have. I promise, you'll NEVER be disappointed. It is a photographer's paradise.