Walls divide, murals unite

By Melanie Martinez

Many murals in El Paso reflect what it’s like to live in a border city and the struggles and pride that come from it. Pops of color have slowly been introduced into Downtown El Paso as artists have made this concrete jungle their canvas. “Art to me is an expression of who you are in the inside. To me, art started as a way to express myself and to build upon the experiences I’ve had through my life,” Leslie Grey said. Grey is an artist known for makeup and her contributions to local street art.

San Jacinto beauty reaches its fame to Instagram

By Aliana Contreras

The newly renovated San Jacinto Plaza has not only received attention from El Pasoans, but also from many talented photographers – both local and worldwide. “I’m a hobbyist. I’ve dropped a lot of money on photography, so I’m pretty obsessed with the whole hobby,” Jay said. Jay, also known as “that1duder” on Instagram, is a photographer from Seattle who traveled to El Paso three years ago to pursue his hobby of photography. “Coming down here, I didn’t know what to expect.

A home for aspiring artists: Downtown El Paso

By Sarah Olberman   

Galleries and museums are embracing local artists like never before, giving them more exposure as the El Paso creative community begins to prosper, artists say. “Before I moved to Los Angeles, the only places I would see local art was like at bars,” said Matthew Martinez, better known by his alias JAM! “That was my first experience with seeing really talented artists in a bar setting. Seeing that, I really wanted to give people an opportunity to have something in a traditional, real, contemporary gallery because I feel like there’s a lacking for that,” Martinez said. Martinez opened his gallery and store, Dream Chasers Club, 200 S. Santa Fe St., in 2015 after living in California and on the East Coast.

Streetcar Project: una molestia ahora, pero un gran beneficio en el futuro

By Alexia Nava

Debido al Proyecto Tranvía – Streetcar Project – varios negocios han sido afectados de diferentes formas. Sin embargo, las expectativas con respecto al futuro del proyecto se siguen manteniendo positivas. Uno de los negocios afectados fue “Briar Patch”, un bar localizado sobre N. Stanton St. “La clientela no llega, no tienen lugar para estacionarse, y pues el dinero y las propinas han bajado,” dijo Francisco Ahumada, mesero en el bar. “Cuando está cerrada la calle, pues, la gente piensa que también estamos cerrados nosotros,” explicó Ahumada.

El Pasoans impacted by Street Car Project construction

By Zenia Lopez

Business owners and shoppers to Downtown for more than a year have had to maneuver through inconveniences regarding construction, road blockage, and reroutes because of the Street Car Project. “This street car project is very irritating,” said William Foxworth, an employee at Hagan Imaging. “It has interfered getting to work by having to adjust my schedule around.”

This street car project began in late-2015 won’t be finished until late 2018, said Carl Jackson, a Sun Metro spokesman. “I used to take the route from my house in Socorro to UTEP in almost 30 minutes by going through the Border Highway and going through Santa Fe,” said UTEP student Aaron Aceves. “Now that same trip takes me nearly 50 minutes on a good day.”

The street car routes consist of two loops.

Downtown hopes riding on streetcar project

By Jazmine Zamora

Streetcar project supporters are expecting a new wave of tourists, shoppers, and reduction in traffic as construction approaches completion. “The benefits excel beyond just downtown,” said Martin Bartlett, a spokesman for the El Paso Streetcar Project. “It really is about picking those destinations and giving residents and visitors another choice to travel between those amenities.”

Back in the 1900’s, El Paso and many other cities used streetcars as a way of transportation to get to where they needed to go. However, in 1974 they stopped running. “The very last line that stopped running was actually an international line and it was – I believe it was – a complaint by Juarez business owners [whom] felt that it was making it too easy for patrons to do business in El Paso,” Bartlett said.