Postcards from San Miguel
By Jade Arroyo
To stand in this place is like taking a trip into the past. It’s a spot where the “old San Miguel” is still alive. These public open air laundry facilities are still used by the community. Climbing up the street, you will reach “El Chorro,” site of a famous spring.
Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel
This church is the most iconic building in the city and one of the most photographed in the country. Its construction dates from the 17th century, but it wasn’t until 1880 that it got its characteristic façade, thanks to the imagination of Zeferino Gutiérrez. The inside of the church is just as stunning and holds antique figures of saints and paintings.
El Nigromante or Bellas Artes
This cultural center, known commonly as Bellas Artes, is a part of the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes buildings. It holds murals by David Alfaro Siqueiros, Pedro Martínez, and Eleanor Cohen, and hosts art exhibits, chamber music performances, readings, lectures, and art workshops.
Ángela Peralta Theater
This theater is named after one of the most famous Mexican singers, known as the Mexican Mockingbird. Originally, it was created as an opera house, but now it has become one of the most important cultural venues in town.
El Mirador Lookout
In San Miguel, this spot shouldn’t be missed. El Mirador, with its panoramic view of the whole city, is the ideal place to take photographs. At night, it’s incredible to see how the city’s landscape is completely transformed.
Every day you can spot people from different nationalities sitting here in the cool shade of the trees. The Jardín is the meeting point par excellence to exchange news and gossip, walk your dog, or hear mariachi music, surrounded by cafes, flower sellers, and craft shops.
To pick up coffee and a pastry when you’re at Bellas Artes, walk into La Buena Vida right across the street. Having a drink at one of the Jardín cafés is a great experience, and if you are at Los Lavaderos, just a few blocks away at Recreo 94 is the outstanding Peruvian restaurant, La Parada.