Monday, October 10, 2016

The long and winding road back home

So it's been a while since I last posted anything. Honestly, it hasn't been all quiet on the home front, and that has prevented me from coming around here.

But sometimes the long road back home is just one blog post away. Let me go get my keyboard again.

Friday, May 6, 2016

El Rancherito Meat Market meets its Maker

For years at every #carne asada, before and after every Dallas Cowboys game, El Rancherito Meat Market was my go to place for carne, beer, and chips. I first started shopping there around 1992, but by then it was already 15 years old.

Located in one of Laredo's best neighborhoods, #santobaby, El Rancherito was a southside institution for thousands of people that depended on them Sunday after carne asada Sunday. They were located across the street from another, now defunct, venerable southside landmark, The Movie Palace. These two stores were my go to places for cigs and R Rated fun. Now they are both gone, up in smoke. 

I was unaware of Rancherito's demise until I drove by just last week. I stopped to pay my respects and to bid adieu to the neighborhood store of my youth. This Sunday, when I splash open my can of Schlitz and poke my ribs on the grill, I'll get smoke in my eyes and tear up for that store that is no more.
You will be missed.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Unicorn Restaurant (1987) Whatever happened to? (part 1)

Whatever happened to....? The Unicorn was a good place..with "fluent English".

Laredo has come a long way since 1987. Not too long ago, our city was apparently nothing but a backwards, corruption filled city with dusty, unpaved streets. Those post JC Martin years now seem like a distant world, a Laredo from another parallel universe. 

Case in point is this advertisement taken from the 1987 edition of the WBCA annual booklet. It seems that restaurants from that era had to go out of their way to advertise themselves as a place that has "fluent English". Never mind the fact that we are still in good 'ol US of A, but Laredoans of the time seemed to feel the need to reassure tourists that English was spoken here, even in this border outpost. 

"Fluent English" is not something that a local modern Laredo restaurant would emphasize in their advertisement today, but in 1987, speaking English in Laredo was apparently all the rage.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Grupo Payande de Gerardo Cavazos y Victor Trejo

For the past few months, I have been buying up large amounts of old tapes, vinyl, CD's and other media. I had not found much of anything of note, until a few days ago when I was rummaging through a box and came across a cool 8-track: Grupo Payande.

At first, I set it aside, not thinking much of it, other than dismissing it as a Renacimiento 74' clone. I'd never heard of them and I'd figured they must be from somewhere in Mexico, but then I took a close look at the 8 track cover art and, to my surprise, I realized this particular grupo hailed from good old Laredo, TX. After that initial surprise, I googled them and found some interesting facts on this forgotten local band. This particular 8 track is from 1983 for the CAM-Mex record label. I must say I kinda dig the sound, and I'm thinking of writing to their fan club. Maybe someone responds.  Check out some of their videos below. Let me know of any info, memories you have of the grupo from back in the day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

An Afternoon in downtown Laredo

My job has been keeping me busier than usual. I'm not making excuses, I love my day jobs, but  they do drain the life out of me. Not that I'm complaining, for my jobs pay the mortgage, keep the Schlitz flowing freely and make the wife/s happy. Still, it leaves zero-free time to myself.

That is why when I finally had an afternoon off from work, several weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to once again cruise the crazy streets of Downtown Laredo, where drug deals, rancherismo-dancing, prostitution, panhandlers and cheap, electronic knockoffs keep my blogging back for more

Perfect afternoons away from the work are a rarity for me, so I decided to unwind by sipping on a Ziggy-sixer and stumbling down the streets of my beloved hometown. Below you will find of few of the things I encountered on this particular occasion. 
Who says we have no culture in Laredo? Modern art is everywhere.

Downtown, they take their patriotic duties very seriously. Shops get closed for God and Country.

I was surprised at the amount of shops closed on this particular day. Is it El Guapo's birthday or something?

You can stand in the middle of the street on Salinas Ave at 4:30pm and not worry about a thing.
(except maybe the meter maids) #LackOfParking
Wow! Downtown landlords don't mess around. If you dont pay your rent you get shut down
and go the way of Munden's or the Playmore. #GoneButNotForgotten

So my day off was not a total waste. I was able to get my cheap electronics fix, buy an elote, gaze at the lovely Senoritas before calling it a day by wandering into one of several downtown cantinas. All in days blog. You see how I sacrifice myself for you readers. Keep blogging back for more Laredo downtown afternoon delights.