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Meet Me at el Jardín

Smile, You Are in San Miguel

Por Jade Arroyo

In this town, the most common—and prettiest—meeting spot is el Jardín.  This is the social center of town, where you go to meet and greet, gossip, cool off, get out with your dog, or just waste time. It embodies a large part of the town’s charm, with the Parroquia towering in the front, the gracefully arched portales, the balloon sellers, ice cream stands, shoeshine men doing an impeccable job with rag and brush, and newspaper vendors selling the news in a basso voice.

El Jardín in San Miguel is probably where people take the most photos. And it’s probably the image you will remember most fondly when you are away.

On weekends, this square is more alive than ever. Mariachi music floats in the air. While the noisy band is walking in the front of a callejoneada’s wedding, teenagers are flirting, and little children play. The sidewalk cafés offer warm coffee, red wine, and food to keep the spirits high. This season, the Jardín is dressed up with festive lights, Christmas embellishments, and a tall pine tree to be a backdrop for hundreds of selfies.

The Jardín is one of the places where everyone converges, without social class or nationality distinction. And every so often, the great bells of the Parroquia peal out the hour, the half hour, or the quarter hour and send birds fluttering up from the trees.

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