A Travellerspoint blog

July 2010

Historical San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Researching book scenes in a splendid colonial town

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, Mexico (May 21-24, 2010) -- I arrived in the central Mexican town of San Miguel de Allende, partly to research scenes for an upcoming thriller. San Miguel de Allende was founded in 1542 by the Franciscan friar Juan de San Miguel and remains one of the most well preserved examples of Mexico’s colonial past. In its prime centuries ago, the town was an important stopover on the Antiguo Camino Real, part of the silver route from Zacatecas. And it has a unique local vibe, different from other towns in the region, while it also hosts a growing U.S./Canadian expat community that creates its own community dynamic. And the well preserved historic center of town, with its splendid colonial architecture, offers many interesting venues to blend into a novel.

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Photo above: Walking along the old cobblestone streets of San Miguel de Allende.

The two most impressive sites in town are La Parroquia (the Parish Church) and the Templo de San Rafael. Another important site is El Jardin, the main town square facing the church. In 2008, San Miguel was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, adding to its already well known historical significance.

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Photo above: The main parish church, La Parroquia, in the center of town, across from the main square commonly known as El Jardin.

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San Miguel de Allende is also one of the key sites in the Mexican Independence movement that began in 1810. In particular, it is the birthday of Ignacio de Allende, a captain in the Spanish colonial army who became one of the founders of the revolution. He fought along with Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the first stages of the struggle, eventually succeeding him in leadership of the rebellion. Following an ambush by Spanish authorities at the Wells of Baján (Norias de Baján) Allende, Hidalgo, and several other commanders were captured. Allende was tried and then executed by firing squad on June 26, 1811, before his dream of independence became reality. Today, the house where he was born, located at the Plaza Mayor, is a museum.

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In addition to looking at the historical sites around town, I attended a bullfight in the Plaza del Toros Oriente. This was my first time witnessing this brutal entertainment.

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---- Travel Essentials Summary (and ratings) ----
Hotels: Quinta Recreo*** (7)
Restaurants: Mama Mia (7); Restaurant del Jardin (5); Cafe Iberico (8); Restaurant in Hotel El Mesón (9);
Bars/Night Clubs: Mama Mia (8)

All photos and text Copyright © 2010 A.C. Frieden. No reproduction permitted without prior written approval by A.C. Frieden. For reproduction rights and higher resolution images, send email to afrieden[at]avendiapublishing.com.

Posted by AC Frieden 22:23 Archived in Mexico Comments (0)

Researching New Orleans for a Sequel Thriller

Finding remote, off-the-beaten-path places of interest for book scenes

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana, USA (Mar. 19-22, 2010) -- I arrived in New Orleans this weekend in part to research scenes for the sequel to his latest thriller, Tranquility Denied. Frieden concentrated his time on sites in the north end of the French Quarter, as well as on the city’s north side and in the central business district. The thriller series’ protagonist is a New Orleans maritime lawyer named Jonathan Brooks, who in the first novel become entangled in a deadly web of Cold War espionage. “The sequel follows the same genre, with several early chapters that take place in New Orleans,” said Frieden. “But like in the first novel in the series, Brooks then gets involved in a globetrotting adventure that takes his to Panama, Vietnam and other interesting places.

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Now I'm no stranger to New Orleans. I have always found this city truly fascinating, not only during my three years
in law school here, but every time that I have since returned. And as I spend time here researching for
my next book, I am hit by so many amazingly enriching memories of my time in this city. Living in New Orleans at the time was a life-altering experience and it brings me much happiness to keep this place in my Jonathan Brooks thriller series.

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---- Travel Essentials Summary (and ratings) ----
Hotels: Intercontinental New Orleans***** (9)
Restaurants: Brennan's (9) and others in the French Quarter
Bars/Night Clubs: Lafite's Piano Bar (8) and several other bars.

All photos and text Copyright © 2010 A.C. Frieden. No reproduction permitted without prior written approval by A.C. Frieden. For reproduction rights and higher resolution images, send email to afrieden[at]avendiapublishing.com.

Posted by AC Frieden 18:55 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Literary Research in Uruguay and Brazil


View Uruguay-Brazil 2009-2010 on AC Frieden's travel map.

PUNTA DEL DIABLO, Uruguay, and CHUI, Brazil (Jan. 3, 2010) -- details coming soon...

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CHUI, BRAZIL

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PUNTA DEL ESTE and LA BARRA, URUGUAY

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MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY

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---- Travel Essentials Summary (and ratings) ----
Hotels: La Viuda del Diablo (8.5)
Restaurants: La Huella (in Jose Ignacio)(9); SushiClub (in La Barra)(7.5); Restaurant in the Serena Hotel (9)
Bars/Night Clubs: Bar in the La Posta del Congrejo (in La Barra)(8.5);

All photos and text Copyright © 2009-2010 A.C. Frieden. No reproduction permitted without prior written approval by A.C. Frieden. For reproduction rights and higher resolution images, send email to afrieden[at]avendiapublishing.com.

Posted by AC Frieden 18:55 Archived in Uruguay Comments (0)

Searching for Crime Scenes in Amsterdam


View Netherlands 2009 on AC Frieden's travel map.

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands (Oct. XX-XX, 2009) -- details coming soon...

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---- Travel Essentials Summary (and ratings) ----
Hotels: Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Hotel***** (8)
Restaurants: Gauchos Grill (9); Alberto's Uruguayan Steakhouse (9); Restaurant in Hilton Schiphol Hotel (8)
Bars/Night Clubs: The Grasshopper (8); St James's Gate Irish Pub (7); Palladium (8) and several others

All photos and text Copyright © 2009 A.C. Frieden. No reproduction permitted without prior written approval by A.C. Frieden. For reproduction rights and higher resolution images, send email to afrieden[at]avendiapublishing.com.

Posted by AC Frieden 18:54 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

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