Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Lone Star State

The wedding last weekend in El Paso--the sun city--was a good time and most importantly provided me with the chance to sample some real Tex-Mex at KiKi's (Hispanic Magazine named it one of the nation's 50 Best Hispanic Restaurants) as well as riding on the back of a motorcycle while visiting the state of Texas for the first time. The heat (hitting 101 degrees on the last day) provided a great escape from the constant rain and unseasonably cold weather we've been having in New York and the desert mountains were majestic. I experienced some of the local night life too and had a great workout while dancing to Techno and House music at OP for a couple of hours after pre-dancing at the wedding reception earlier.

We also hit up chains like Chicos Tacos, which one reviewer wrote "If you go to El Paso without eating at Chico's Tacos at least once, I fear you will have missed the point of your visit entirely" and Whataburger. I can now see why Texas is considered one of the most overweight states in the nation, there are just way too many good food chains across the huge state.

We ended our trip by doing a quick jaunt across the border to Juarez, which was a lot nicer than my previous Mexican border experiences of Tijuana, where there was more poverty. I also drank too much there due to their 3 for 1 drink specials and was almost denied entrance back to San Diego (long, fun story for another post). Anywho, it was an interesting time to be in Mexico since the World Cup was going on and many cars sported shaving cream messages saying "#1 Mexico" on their back windows, plus lots of enthusiastic people were waving their countries' flag.

As for Texas being a red state and me being from a blue state, I actually didn't notice much difference, although it's not like I talked politics with anyone. In general I saw just as many Support the Troops car ribbon magnets here and there, but noticed the lack of rainbow bumper stickers and flags. Yet the number of Texas state flags flying were uncountable and literally everywhere, even tacked on restaurant walls. In contrast, I can't say I've ever seen a NY State flag outside of a court house or some state run facility. I guess we rely more upon our I Heart NY shirts and Yankees hats for state pride instead. Oh and I did spot a Budweiser truck in camouflage colors, which I have never seen here, but then again we don't have a military fort in Manhattan like Ft. Bliss.

Moving to the hot political topic of border control, I saw the fence that ran along the Rio Grande with the occasional Police car or truck patrolling by along the great stretches--no national guard or wall...yet at least.

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