Sunday, August 8, 2010

El Paso= one part Texas + two parts Mexico

As a general rule driving West through Texas things get increasingly Texan. Dallas is more Texan than Houston, Midland is more Texan than Dallas. This theory works fairly well providing you avoid the hipster influx of Austin. So along I drive on a Westward discovery of all things stereotypical of the lone star state.
Being that Fort Stockton is more Texan than Chuck Norris, George W. Bush and T. Boone Pickens combined El Paso decided Ft. Stockton the undisputed champion of all things Texan. Instead El Paso transitions to a slightly cleaner and safer version of Mexico. Other than being on the Northern side of the fence and being surrounded by the Border Patrol investigating a rental Hyundai it's just like the real Mexico.
El Paso overlooks Juarez Mexico playing the role of the slightly more legitimate neighbor to the North. El Paso has plentiful Tex-Mex dining, decent infrastructure and, from what I've experienced, friendly people. El Paso also catches it's fair share of stray bullets from Juarez and is a stones throw from neighborhoods where anything sexual, narcotic or otherwise can be made readily available. A true product of its environment, El Paso features an international border with the murder capital of Mexico coupled with a climate of intolerable heat. The only heat that surpasses the climate is that of the cuisine. Below is the Rib Hut, walking in the door is a walk back in time to 1985. I endorse the jalapeno cheeseburger and apparently need to consume it in a less gringo manner (less tears, sweat and pain).
El Paso ability to achieve an identity all it's own is partially due to its prime location in the middle of nowhere. Over 2 hours from the nearest Ruby Tuesdays conventional suburbia is kept at bay by hundreds of miles of nothingness as far as the eye can see. A trip up Scenic Dr. to Murchison Park provides a incredible view the sunset over El Paso and Juarez. It also seems to be a popular venue for locals looking to make out on park benches accompanied with a ice cream treat and some heavy petting.

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