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.

5 great places to stretch your dollar dining out in Juarez

Ever wondered as an El Pasoan how much money you could save on your weekends if only you were to go to the other side of the border and spend your money over there? Well, I can guarantee you would, and big time. The dollar being valued at almost 17 pesos makes it a no-brainer for an entertainment bargain hunter to go to Juarez and save some money, especially if you’re talking about eating at restaurants and going to the movies. I’m not into the nightclub scene, but like to go out for a nice meal. I’ve been going to restaurants on both sides of the border since I was a little kid.

Fast and furious go-kart trend rolls into El Paso

EL PASO –The go-carts at Zero to 60 Indoor Motor Speedway aren’t your dad’s go-karts. “That was a rush,” says Pearl Martinez. “This was our first time here, my son and I did one race, and it was such a rush we had to do it again. The go-karts are super fast, and you actually drift a bit! I’m hooked now.”

Sporting the newest in cart technology, the totally electric carts at Zero to 60 Motor Speedway can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour.

Mexican filmmakers erasing borders with their talent

“Who gave this son of a bitch his green card?” said Sean Penn handing an Oscar for best picture to Mexican-born Film Director Alejandro González Iñárritu at the recent film Academy Awards. Talent. His talent gave him a green card. What was meant as an inside joke sparked outrage in immigrants all over the country.

Grassroots Rios Online Radio to promote El Paso music talent

EL PASO — Beer bottles clink in the hands of burly men as ACDC pounds on the speakers. Under the sound of televisions playing football games, a faint chatter can be heard on the second floor of the Pershing Inn bar—“Welcome to Rios Online Radio…”
Since January 2013, Joseph Brooks and Gabriel Acuña, producers for Rios Online Radio, have met every Sunday at the Pershing Inn, 2909 Pershing Dr., to host a podcast aimed at promoting El Paso, its residents and the local music scene. Rios has produced about 40 shows in two seasons, under Chuco Talks, Rio Sports, and Rio Pod Co. “I used to do podcasts with my friends a couple years ago in my garage, using a cell phone in a can hanging in the middle of the room. We just shared it among friends,” Brooks said.

Aeialists performing on stills were the delight of kids. (Krytle Holguin/Borderzine.com)

‘Chalk the Block’ draws thousands to downtown El Paso

EL PASO – On his hands and knees, local artist Matthew Kohls chalked the sidewalk and described the portrait of a man he was creating on the grainy concrete as art in search of the truth. Kohls says that although he is new to the art world, he developed a passion for art and photography at a young age and was encouraged to pursue his dream by his cousin Diego Martinez, who also participated in the art event. Some 200 artists participated in the 5th annual Chalk the Block in downtown El Paso. Kohls said that he concentrates on composition more than anything else using the “rule of thirds” as a core principle to inject life into his work. Organizers said that more than 37,000 persons attended the event October 12-14, which included the sidewalk chalk art, live music, food, art vendors, and some aerialists performing on stilts.

Economic Growth in El Paso Debatable

EL PASO — The city of El Paso is home to hundreds of thousands of people, and its economy is smaller compared to other cities in Texas such as San Antonio and Dallas. University of Texas at El Paso Economics professor Tom Fullerton believes that El Paso has a much smaller economy compared to Houston or Dallas because, “In part that’s simply because population base here is a lot smaller,” he said. Fullerton believes that a larger economy is not an impossible goal for El Paso.  “El Paso has very good economic potential. It has a young demographic here it has a labor force that’s ready, willing and available for working. What needs to be done however is to increase investment in infrastructure and convince young people to stay in school.”

As part of that mission to spark the economy of El Paso, Jorge Vazquez, is trying to bring in more entertainment to the city.

Hey Bartender, Don’t Keep Me Waiting!

El Paso, Texas — Every time I go out I experience the same thing —horrible service. It is a crime that one has to wait more than 20 minutes to get a bevvie, especially if you specialize in the service. I mean, they aren’t doctors or lawyers —they’re bars and nightclubs. It is an inescapable curse of going out with a small group of friends or not knowing the bartenders from regularity or some other means, the fact that a beer is twenty minutes away at the peak of the night. Do these bars not have managers capable of seeing the suffering that one goes through when they go out?

Film Depicts College Life on the Border

EL PASO — Having to wake up every morning to get ready for school and get to class is something most American college students do not think twice about. But for Mexican students who live across the U.S./Mexico border, this simple task can become a challenging chore, which transports them into a more complex Americanized version of their own culture. Award winning director Maru Buendía-Senties wrote and directed a 29-minute short film based on how students tend to compare their situations and cultures to one another when they come from opposites sides of the border and attend the same university. “Entre Líneas” was filmed on the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) campus and on the El Paso/Ciudad Juárez border. Buendía-Senties is also a UTEP alumnus.

La Union, 10 Years Amazing Visitors

ANTHONY, N.M. — Every fall when the sweltering nights begin to chill and the Halloween season draws near, La Union Maze prepares to give visitors a fun time and sometimes the frightening experience of losing themselves in a vast labyrinth. “It started out very small,” said Lucy Sondgeroth, manager of the maze. “Our first season we probably had a traffic of about 5,000 people [total]. Now we do that in a weekend.”

The area stretches across 33 acres of land and includes the maze, which stands up to 14 feet tall. There is also a pumpkin patch, an eating area where people can enjoy roasted corn, a kid’s slide, and a petting zoo with rabbits, goats, and miniature cows.