One of my many day trips on foot took me to Fabrica la Aurora, Centro de Arte y Diseño. This popular art and design center is full of art galleries, home design stores and cool euro cafes. It’s definitely worth a visit (or two). My first visit was on a Monday and although it wasn’t busy, about half of the vendors were closed for the day. I went back on Wednesday and there was a lot more to see. I wasn’t able to take many pictures inside, but I snapped a few in the walkways between studios, trying to be respectful as possible of the artists work. Here are a few shots.
I highly recommend visiting the Fabrica la Aurora if you’re in San Miguel. You can spend about 4-5 hours there and maybe a little more if you have lunch or drinks at one of their three food spots. So far I’ve been there twice and am likely to go again at least once more before my trip is over. I did meet a handsome man working in a jewelry store there. I might have to go back and look at the rings 🙂
On the way back to my friend’s apartment, walking along La Aurora, I passed a street that was so colorful I had to take a second look. It appeared that further on there was a collection of shops and galleries. My interest was piqued.
I decided to wander down that way and explore! It seems I’d stumbled upon Hacienda la Aurora, Plaza Comercial. This is a hidden little gem that you won’t find via Google! It is a hidden little enclave of shops and businesses and well worth a visit. Look up “Calzada de la Aurora” in San Miguel. Then keep an eye out for the colored flags along a blue painted building.
There is an incredible consignment art store, several private studios/galleries, a pilates studio, gift shops, a home store and at the very end, a small owner-operated restaurant called Hierba Santa, Cocina Del Sur.
I had it in my mind to stop for coffee and take a rest from walking. But I ended up staying for lunch. The owners, Dani and Paco were so nice and patient with my horrible spanish. The food was very good and the atmosphere very charming. Top 40 American songs being sung by spanish artists played from a speaker in the back. I lingered, writing in my journal for almost an hour.
Walking the streets of San Miguel without a solid agenda or time frame creates opportunities to discover hidden treasures like this little cocina where a young couple are making a solid effort to offer something special to their customers or a park bench scented from above with fragrant jasmine,
Or an elf hole in a tree!
Just being a foreign observer of the sights and sounds on a busy street in the “middle of nowhere” for me has been enlightening. I’ll probably talk more on that later. Suffice it to say, I am breathing in the essence of this place and am being rewarded with gifts that I couldn’t have asked for. Stay tuned for more pictures and stories of San Miguel de Allende.