Robot sheriff play co-written by autistic teen rises to the stage in El Paso

When the curtain closed this fall on an unusual play about a robot sheriff and his band of outlaws at the downtown Philanthropy Theater, playwright Robert De La Rosa, dressed in black jeans, cowboy hat, and a bandana around his neck, was there to receive a standing ovation from the packed auditorium. The post-apocalyptic tale, “The Ballad of Roobie Rookie,” that he co-wrote with a local playwright was no small accomplishment for De La Rosa who was diagnosed with autism as a child. His mother, Maria De La Rosa, says her son has never allowed being on the autism spectrum to stand in his way. She first became aware that the youngest of her three children was different when he was three and she noticed him methodically arranging toys and VHS movies on the floor of their Northeast El Paso home. “He would become very involved with that toy, he would just get really happy and flap his hands and that was different to me; I didn’t know why he was doing that,” Maria De La Rosa said.

Loot boxes and gacha games dubbed newest forms of gambling

Loot boxes and gacha games where players purchase virtual items have become a topic of debate within the online gaming community according to aficionados and regulators who consider them just another form of gambling. In these online games, it’s not unusual for a player to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy options to customize their favorite character or to purchase weapons and armor. In one published report, a Japanese player spent $70,000 to participate in the gacha game Fate/Grand Order, also known as FGO. The release of Electronic Art’s (EA) online game Overwatch in 2016 and Sony’s mobile game Fate/Grand Order in 2015 have contributed to the international debate. Loot boxes, also called loot crate or prize crate, are an in-game purchase item that contain implements for the players to use.

7 quirky El Paso experiences that beat driving to Marfa

Last October I was in Marfa, Texas at the Chinati Foundation—an art wonderland in the middle of nowhere known across the globe for its use of minimalism. It was open weekend so exhibits and galleries were free and open to the public as artists from across the nation flocked to Marfa. Solange Knowles performed a free show at Chinati in the center of a grass field where only fifteen concrete Donald Judd sculptures sit. As an audience member there were only two rules: we all had to be dressed in white and we could not carry cell phones. The whole experience was mesmerizing.

Festival gives El Paso a taste of the Middle East

EL PASO – The annual Feast of the Middle East is an opportunity for border residents to sample great food and learn more about the culture of their neighbors who trace their roots back to the Mideast. Parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, 120 Festival, work for months to prepare authentic specialty dishes and arrange live Arabic music and folk dance for the weekend festival. Guided tours of the church will be available. The 2018 festival will run from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 and from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 3 on the church grounds at 120 Festival Dr. Tickets are $2.

Hueco Tanks attracts rock climbers from around the world, but few locals realize what else this Texas state park offers

For about 10,000 years, Hueco Tanks in East El Paso has been a destination for people of all types. The rock formation brings nature enthusiasts from all over the world to practice rock climbing, bird watching, camping and to know about its unique history. But, despite its worldwide fame, many El Pasoans do not know about the picturesque rock formation in their own backyard. “Not a lot of people know we are out here,” said Kendra Moore, park ranger and interpreter at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site. Moore provides interpretation tours of pictographs and background information on how the rock formation was home in the past to Native Americans and later to white settlers.

Topgolf expands entertainment options for the borderland

MRI tech Patricio Ruvalcaba, a 26-year old El Paso native, was thrilled when he heard a few months ago that a popular new restaurant that caters to golf aficionados and their families was about to open in West El Paso. To celebrate his acceptance into UTEP’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, he recently headed to Topgolf with a group of friends. “It’s a nice atmosphere, different families, different age groups. It’s an overall positive experience and everyone is out here to have fun,” Ruvalcaba said. Another El Paso native, Kristi Albers, also stopped by the entertainment venue just after it recently opened to check it out.

Tu Late Night, El Late Night De Juarez

El Late Night con Badía es un programa por internet único en su clase en toda la frontera entre los Estados Unidos y Mexico. El programa está hecho al merito estilo americano de un late night show original y incluye un monologo, entrevistas, música, entretenimiento, y skits. Los conductores de el programa son José Antonio Badia y Eduardo Espinosa, y está escrito por 6 escritores que se juntan cada semana para juntar sus ideas y crear un show para sacarle una carcajada a su público. José Antonio Badía, de 36 años, lo cual es el conductor principal del programa comento: “La parte importante para nosotros del formato, es esta parte Fronteriza. Somos de Juárez crecimos con este formato del Late Night, esta parte de nuestra vida, no nos hace ni gringos ni menos Mexas, nos hace gente que quiere entretener, y ese formato a funcionado por décadas y décadas.

Working hard for the money, El Paso drag queens enjoy creative outlet

Putting layers of Elmer’s glue on his eyebrows is the first step in creating a perfect look. Alexander Wright, who goes by the stage name Rumor, will spend most of his Saturday planning the perfect drag performance. Five hours of the day will be dedicated to applying make-up, and the rest will go toward selecting a variety of dresses and songs for the night’s performance. “Drag is an artistry, you get to create different concepts and test your creativity,” said Wright, who has been doing drag for a year and is currently the reigning Sun City Miss Pride. “Applying makeup is like an oil painting from afar it looks great and cute, but when you get close, you can see all the railroad tracks.”

His first performance was at a local benefit show at Touch Bar and Nightclub in East El Paso.

Behind the scenes of the Sun Bowl game, association works to make El Paso shine

While El Pasoans geared up for the holiday season and winter break, the Sun Bowl Association was working around the clock. Staffed by a seven-member, full-time crew and relying heavily on volunteers, the Sun Bowl Association juggled the 43rd annual Sun Bowl Andeavor All-America Golf Classic, the 81st Sun Bowl Association Thanksgiving Parade and the 56th annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Invitational basketball tournament in the past weeks, but those events all lead up to the biggest event – the Hyundai Sun Bowl. “It’s more like a juggle that has a lot of things in the air,” said Bernie Olivas, executive director of the Sun Bowl Association. “I knew what I was getting into and when I hire people I make sure that they know what they’re getting into, but we love it.” Olivas said working long hours is just part of the job.

El Paso has many Christmas events to keep anyone busy

The holiday season is here and it is only fair to say that El Pasoans have a unique style of celebrating. Despite temperatures in the 60’s with no sign of snow this fall, El Paso still makes the best out of the sunny weather. According to a study by WeatherUnderground.com, last year the average temperature was 60 degrees with no snowfall at all. So how do El Pasoans make themselves get in the holiday spirit? Besides the family atmosphere El Pasoans celebrate, the city makes its greatest efforts to plan daily activities that people can enjoy for the course of the winter.