Cafe San Angel Notes

The genesis of my Mexico writing life began at a local cafe down the road from our studio at the “Janitzio”. I had started a small journal when we stayed in those 2 rooms on Lazaro Cardenas, writing mostly on a battered kitchen table, but I had not taken the journal to a cafe. When we discovered “Cafe San Angel”, it changed the way we lived our days – we would rise and have our simple breakfast of granola, fruit and yogurt on our balcony with coffee for Terry and tea for me. If it was a writing day (as opposed to a shopping day), we would grab our notebooks and pens and head down to the cafe. How liberating to sit by the side of Olas Altas street (Calle) and be able to watch all the comings and goings of our Mexican neighbourhood. What I remember most was the scent of freshly squeezed orange juice from the corner juice stand, the scent of pancakes cooking and the beautiful warm air. It was a pleasure to have a second cup of tea on the table, to write and think about all the days to follow. Writing there with Terry (he is a musician and was penning lyrics) led to other writing spots, we actually found ourselves being invited to write at an outdoor studio on a small island by the Rio Cuale with two artists and I found myself joining a writing club at a small bookstore called “Libreria Vallarta” (now closed). This writing life has become another gift from taking that first leap to live in and explore Mexico.

Journal Excerpt: December 13/2000

We bought a beautiful oil painting of sunflowers from the Veracruz artist, Manuel Zardain (it hangs in our West End apartment with a mate that we purchased as well), he works at an outdoor studio on the island by the Rio Cuale. He works very hard and we are enjoying his company. We’ve also met Rodrigo Lepe at the studio. He is another good artist, he paints in a similar primitive style like his famous brother Manuel (Manuel passed away several years ago). Terry & I have been invited to sit with them while they paint, we are welcome to do our writing. We’ve been to the river a few times to take pictures and write.

 Another favourite writing spot is “Cafe San Angel”, this cafe is located on Olas Altas where we live. It is a cafe that has a large terrace with lots of outdoor seating. We really like it there. We go during the day or at night depending on what’s happening.

Re-reading the above excerpt brings back a lot of good memories, so much so, we were drawn back to this neighbourhood many times as an e-mail excerpt from Huguette’s book shows.

E-Mail Excerpt: January 6, 2005

on tuesday we had breakfast at cafe san angel and enjoyed working on journal writing and Terry, his songs. we then visited some elderly neighbours at our old place, the janitzio (at this time we were staying at the paloma del mar hotel as the janitzio was booked) and then headed out to mismaloya – we wanted to re-visit the jungle during the day. we went on a small hike and enjoyed looking at butterflies, iguanas and the clownfish in the sea. it is so beautiful there, a magical cove, very much a tropical paradise.

It has taken starting this blog and Huguette’s gift of my notes to bring me back to my Mexico journal writing self. It feels great to be back!                                                                                                                                                 


Cafe San Angel

Cafe San Angel


About anotetohuguette

I'm currently blogging from the beautiful West Coast city of Vancouver, British Columbia - a vibrant city by the sea, surrounded by mountains and a very unique urban forest.
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6 Responses to Cafe San Angel Notes

  1. As a writer and painter myself, there’s something really magical about peacefully doing your art in the company of others, especially creative people. I also love that both you and Terry shared this. I suspect it was very bonding.


  2. dm gillis says:

    Hey there, this is deyna from the west of Denman neighbourhood. You have a very nice writing style, and there are wonderful remembrances included in the pieces I have read so far. I’m often offended by the poor writing on blogs, but I was drawn in by your work. I shall return!


  3. Huguette your lucky neighbour . says:

    Kim, I am so happy that I inspired you to write a blog.. Your writing deserve to be read. It is very visual…and thanks for the memories too. Looking forward to each Thank you also for continuing putting notes at my door. I enjoy all of them.


  4. Reblogged this on anotetohuguette and commented:

    I’m reblogging this post in celebration of my 2nd anniversary here on WordPress, it captures the many moments that lead to that leap of faith! I’m forever blessed by everyone who took the time to read my posts and I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart!


  5. You paint such a lovely picture with your words of the cafe, artists, aura of Mexico. I can feel the peacefulness and creativity in your post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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