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Guanajuato - the next San Miguel de Allende?

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Post by CheenaGringo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:27 pm


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Post by sparks on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:09 pm

Not another Doug Bower article !!! He has a quota to meet with his writing

Why Guanajuato when SMA is next door

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Post by CheenaGringo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:15 pm

Not that I have very extensive experience with either city but based upon what experience I have had, I would choose Guanajuato over San Miguel de Allende.

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Post by Axixic on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:17 pm

What is this guy's problem with Gay Pride? Why is he convinced that it is an American Value imposed upon Mexico?

He doesn't need a new town, he needs a time machine.
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Post by CanuckBob on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:19 pm

Having been to both towns recently, I would choose Guanajuato over SMA. The layout of the city center in Guanajuato is far more picturesque and the street scene and night life was far more vibrant. It just seemed far more interesting to us and a bit closer to the airport in Leon.
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Post by sparks on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:31 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:Not that I have very extensive experience with either city but based upon what experience I have had, I would choose Guanajuato over San Miguel de Allende.

I assumed he was "worried" about new immigrants but most will move to where they are most comfortable and that is not a town with little English spoken. Also the configuration of the town is not the best for older folk with physical limitations. SMA is not perfect or flat for older people but better than Guanajuato and has developed suburbs
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Post by gringal on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:53 pm

Guanajuato is steep, has a higher elevation and gets even colder in the winter than San Miguel de Allende. Otherwise, it's a fine place which we often visited when living in SMA. We skipped the mummy museum.

As for the article:.....same whining we hear about "other gringos" all over the various forums on here. The whiners really should find themselves something to keep them busy instead of looking for faults in the other people who chose to live in their town. Sleep

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Post by CheenaGringo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:13 pm

With the city limits fairly well defined by the hills and not much in the way of vacant land within the city, there may be a positive benefit - it is far tougher for the Gringos to establish enclaves or Gringo Ghettos. Surprisingly the populations of the two cities are fairly close but the author is correct about ownership of San Miguel de Allende. I just don't see that happening in Guanajuato.

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Post by ferret on Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:10 pm

I liked to visit Guanajuato but I couldn't possibly live there. The hills are too steep for the health of some people. I always felt somewhat claustrophobic there too...built in a bowl and everywhere you looked had to be straight up.
Everybody's different.
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Post by CheenaGringo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:04 pm

Ferret:

As they used to say in Duluth, MN - "it helps to have one leg longer than the other to be able to negotiate all of the hills". Guanajuato is much the same but not somewhere for people with breathing or altitude problems!

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Post by gtodon on Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:42 pm

This ridiculous little essay by Doug Bower--or Doggie Bow-Wow, as we call him here in Guanajuato--is more than five years old. I know that because I used to keep a file of his insane and bitter ramblings. A little over a year ago, I and other Guanajuato residents who had had our fill of his lies and hatred finally chased him out of town, and to the best of my knowledge (and Google's) he's stopped writing about us altogether. But nothing ever dies on the intertubes, of course, so occasionally someone still stumbles across one of his screeds. So sorry anyone found this.

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Post by viajero on Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:50 pm

Welcome to the forum gtodon.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:00 pm

gtodon:

That article was dredged up by someone on the Yahoo Michoacan Message Board. Since I don't know the history of that member, I am not sure whether they were expressing sarcasm or disappointment to hear that Patzcuaro was not going to be the next San Miguel de Allende.

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Post by CanuckBob on Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:01 pm

Tell us more about full time life in Guanajuato, gtodon. I have visited a few times and really love your town.
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Post by johninajijic on Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:48 pm

CanuckBob wrote:Tell us more about full time life in Guanajuato, gtodon. I have visited a few times and really love your town.

Cannot even compare to Lakeside. No lake, cold temperatures, very few expats and few English speaking people.
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Post by gtodon on Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:55 pm

Well, CanuckBob, where shall I begin?

I've lived in Guanajuato for twelve years, and things have changed. Most of the changes have been for the worse--more traffic, more petty crime--but still Guanajuato retains most of its charm.

You and others who have visited Guanajuato know all about our beautiful colonial architecture, our subterranean streets, and probably our mummies. What you might not be aware of is all the cultural events here. We have a pretty good, full-time symphony orchestra. We have an international film festival every summer, as well as a Cine Club with an irregular schedule but always interesting selections. We seem to have about six book fairs every year. And of course there's the International Cervantino Festival every October, now in its 40th year, said to be the largest music-and-arts festival in Latin America.

Another thing I like about Guanajuato is a sort of unpredictability. You walk downtown to the Jardín de la Unión on any given night, and you never know what you're going to find. Some nights, the town is dead. Other nights, for no apparent reason, the Jardín is all but bursting--with artists and musicians, young and old, locals and foreigners. Most of the crowd seems to be headed nowhere in particular, just soaking up the ambiance.

Of course, Guanajuato isn't for everybody. As some have mentioned above, many of the "streets" are narrow, steep, and pedestrian-only. They can be a challenge for aging bodies. On the other hand, those of us who can still navigate them find that they help to keep us in shape. I walk a lot more in Guanajuato than I ever walked anyplace else, and that's more for enjoyment than out of necessity.

Another negative for some people is that it would be difficult to get by here on English alone. There are only a few hundred expats here, and English isn't widely spoken in stores and restaurants. But in my view, this is a positive. I like the fact that Guanajuato remains pretty authentically Mexican, and that it still--in spite of Doug Bower's prediction several years ago--shows little sign of turning into "the new San Miguel."

No offense is intended to San Miguel. It's a nice town, too, and I visit it two or three times a year. But I prefer Guanajuato.

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Post by johninajijic on Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:03 pm

gtodon - Very well written, interesting description. I was there 45 years ago when we first visited all of Mexico.
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Post by CanuckBob on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:10 pm

Thanks gtodon. We plan on spending much more time there. Perhaps we can meet for a cerveza next time we are in town.
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Post by Trailrunner on Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:36 am

Yes, welcome gtodon, thanks for the insights.
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Post by GTOEXPAT on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:20 pm

This is a little back-up to GTODON's posts and something I posted on a similar thread in Lonely Planet's Mexico Forum.

This piece is 3-4 or more years old. It just bounces around the blogosphere. Really good copies have been auto-translated into Croatian then Finnish and back into pretty humorous English.

Doug, the Bard of the Bajio, Bower has gone through at least three phases in his GTO squat. Phase 1: he was the self-proclaimed Gringo Ambassador of GTO going up to 'newbies' he'd spot in the plazas and glad handing them (may have been a coy trick to glean a free lunch?) At this point the few local ex-pats had never heard of him, met him or knew what he looked like which made it hard to avoid him. Phase two began when not being able to gain entry to the gringolandian gated communities (which in GTO are pretty hard to find as there really are none) he took on a love affair with the locals - until that soured and he'd piss and moan in his columns about them. Final stage a year or two ago was when he was outed as being an illegal immigrant in Mexico - how embarrassing is that? We haven't seen him in quite a while - he may have gone back to Area 51 where he says he was brought up. Bad as he was when he was here - its too quiet now and some of us miss his zany nonsense. You can see some local reaction to his presence on the GTO ex pat forum - gtolist.com

BTW The Bard coined a word for his detractors here: fakepats!

No joke about the Area 51 upbringing you can read it here* where he also introduces his 'new book' I WAS ABDUCTED BY ALIENS But They Threw Me Back

* The byline is blank but you'll see author attribution at the end of the piece

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Post by slainte39 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:38 pm

GTOEXPAT wrote:This is a little back-up to GTODON's posts and something I posted on a similar thread in Lonely Planet's Mexico Forum.

This piece is 3-4 or more years old. It just bounces around the blogosphere. Really good copies have been auto-translated into Croatian then Finnish and back into pretty humorous English.

Doug, the Bard of the Bajio, Bower has gone through at least three phases in his GTO squat. Phase 1: he was the self-proclaimed Gringo Ambassador of GTO going up to 'newbies' he'd spot in the plazas and glad handing them (may have been a coy trick to glean a free lunch?) At this point the few local ex-pats had never heard of him, met him or knew what he looked like which made it hard to avoid him. Phase two began when not being able to gain entry to the gringolandian gated communities (which in GTO are pretty hard to find as there really are none) he took on a love affair with the locals - until that soured and he'd piss and moan in his columns about them. Final stage a year or two ago was when he was outed as being an illegal immigrant in Mexico - how embarrassing is that? We haven't seen him in quite a while - he may have gone back to Area 51 where he says he was brought up. Bad as he was when he was here - its too quiet now and some of us miss his zany nonsense. You can see some local reaction to his presence on the GTO ex pat forum - gtolist.com

BTW The Bard coined a word for his detractors here: fakepats!

No joke about the Area 51 upbringing you can read it here* where he also introduces his 'new book' I WAS ABDUCTED BY ALIENS But They Threw Me Back

* The byline is blank but you'll see author attribution at the end of the piece

Sounds like a perfect match/friend for John-in-Ajijic....especially this part about his "origen".
He disappeared??? Maybe we have a reincarnation, and only one person, really???

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