In the year 2000, Tony Cohan published a memoir called On Mexican Time, about his rebirth and new life after leaving Los Angeles in the 1980s and moving to San Miguel de Allende. His book came out at the same time as my first, Travel Advisory, a collection of short stories set in Mexico. We met that year when we spoke on the same panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and became fast friends. At the time we joked that, since his book was largely optimistic and set in a small town, while mine was dark and mostly set in Mexico City, that he was the “country mouse” and I was the “city mouse.”
On Mexican Time went on to become a bestseller while Travel Advisory was hugely admired by the dozen or so people who read it. Tony no longer lives in San Miguel de Allende, but has moved to Guanajuato, a small colonial city that I think is a wonderful escape for a long weekend away from the D.F. For a city its size – population 150,000 – there is a lot to do: restaurants, bars and cafes, live music (both classical and jazz), a cineclub and so forth.
Tony’s companion is the Danish writer Karen Margrethe Adserballe, whose beauty is only surpassed by that of their daughter Aviaya. The photos may help to explain some of Guanajuato’s appeal.