Book Review: Diana Kennedy, Rendered Lard, and the Late, Great Steve Rogers

Originally published in June of 2012, republished in 2017. My dad Steve Rogers was a good cook, maybe even a great cook. He could turn a few wilting odds and ends  into a memorable lunch, and his obsessive interest in traditional methods and ingredients was matched by a fearless creativity that led him far off the beaten path. When I was a little girl, I loved to sit and watch him in the kitchen. Watching Steve cook was like watching […]

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Saint Good Adventure

San Judas de Tadeo

  As usual on a border crossing day, I woke up with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement at the thought of Mexico and dread at the thought of dealing with customs agents and paperwork. From my late father I inherited a phobia of police officers and other government officials, which means that I work myself up into a state every time we need to cross an international border. As it turned out, my sense of foreboding was not […]

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Book Review: Narcocorrido by Elijah Wald

note: Click on links for music. Would you rather listen to gangster rap, country music, or polka?  If you cringed in horror at any of the three options, well, brace yourself. If you answered, “All three!” then you probably already know your Tigres from your Tucanes. Whatever your musical tastes, the blood-splattered accordion-happy world of the Mexican narcocorrido is a fascinating place to visit. In Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerillas, folklorist and musician Elijah Wald explains […]

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Friday at the Tienda

people's guide to mexico

Loyal People’s Guide correspondent El Codo with a taste of life in Baja… This is where I spend the days connected by modem. Visiting Eduardo, and chatting with locals. Can’t remember the last time I spoke ingles. Must be several months now. Jeez, was it before New Year’s? It might have been last summer. Hablo ingles en los estados unidos, pero aqui solo idioma espaňol. Eduardo’s kids asked me to participate in their pogo stick contest. 193 is the record so far. […]

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From the Archives: On the Road at Nine and Ten, 1988-89

drawing of van in Mexico

  As I was working on my book about my nomadic hippie childhood, I unearthed a travel journal that covered two trips to Mexico in the late 80s. The odysseys included research for “The People’s Guide to RV Camping in Mexico,” extended stays at Tenacatita, and my first visit to Guatemala. We also drove some Huichol friends on a pilgrimage to their sacred lands in Central Mexico. I’ve chosen a few excerpts for your amusement. You can read the first installment here.  Dec 26, 1988 […]

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Returning to Tenacatita

Have you ever loved a place? I mean really loved a place? With the same intensity that you’ve loved a person? The other night, I was  sitting in a palapa on a beach in Mexico talking to my friend Mary Ann. Is it strange to love a place as much as you love the people in your life, I wondered. Solar-powered Christmas lights twinkled along the fringe of the thatched roof and the air smelled like the pounding surf. “But […]

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Things to Do in Mexico City: Soumaya Museum

Mexico city museum

Billionaire Carlos Slim’s art collection is housed in a big shiny museum in Polanco. Designed by Slim’s son-in-law Fernando Romero, the ostentatiously modern building has a cool interior design that allows the visitor to ascend  or descend in a spiral of wide walkways. The Museo Soumaya is friendly to the alter-abled, with ramps everywhere, and special exhibits and guides for the hearing and sight impaired. Also, it’s totally free. The museum has a lot of Rodin, a good collection of […]

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Historical Image of the Week: John and Eve Muir

John Muir of Idiot's Guide fame with his wife Eve Muir, black and white photo

John and Eve Muir, original publishers of The People’s Guide to Mexico. John wrote, with Tosh Gregg, the cult classic How to Keep Your Volkswagon Alive, a Manual of Step-by-Step procedures for the Compleat Idiot. John and Eve were at the center of a creative group of friends who met each year for wild “beach parties” in Mexico. We remain an extended family. John died just before I was born, but Eve was an important person in my life. Fabulous, […]

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Overlanders

hippie family in van

My dad and I were not allowed to touch the van during the packing process. My mother was in charge, and we were the heavy lifters, hauling plastic tubs of spices, boxes of books, boxes of wine, tool boxes. Tina instructed us to set everything by the back doors of the van. She would crawl underneath the plywood bed, on her hands and knees, visible only by the bottoms of her sneakers. It was my job to stand waiting while […]

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