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. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Ribcage


  Most of the time, whenever a new restaurant opens in Laredo, all the buzz is centered around the northern part of the city. For example, you have chains like Dunkin Donuts and Alamo DraftHouse that have created a local anticipation for months now since their initial announcements.

 Not one to be blinded by that bias, I must give mention a new local restaurant, the Ribcage, that quietly opened up several months ago now. Having frequented the place several times, I must admit I did enjoy the flavor of their BBQ. Who needs Rudy's when the Ribcage in south Laredo offers better choice and flavor, and all without having to drive across the city. In fact, its just around the corner from this blogger's house in Santo Baby, TX. So next time you take a wrong turn on Loop 20 and get lost in south Laredo, give 'em a try, see what you think.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

No se fia (ni preguntes)

I work all over Laredo, sometimes picking up merchandise sometimes delivering it (I will leave out the specifics, just in case the good ol' boys at the DA's office are reading this lowly blog). Nonetheless, I found myself far away from the cozy comforts of Santo Nino, TX in the unknown parts of west Laredo.

Having toiled all day under the unforgiving sun and having driven around in search of product, I became a thirsty traveler with an unending thirst. I usually do not find myself west of Santa Maria, but on this particular, odd Sunday morning, I stumbled across an oasis, amidst rumbling locomotives.



Much to my disappointment, this oasis of love and beer, this Mecca of liquid from the gods, had yet to swing open its doors for business, and being it was God's day of rest, and a non-Dallas Cowboys Sunday, I was rejected the opportunity to guzzle down a cold, domestic beer.



No matter how much I kicked at the door, yelled through the windows, or pumped my  fist in an Eddie Macon-fury way, the doors simply did not open for this disenchanted south Laredoan. It was probably all for the best, for all I had in my pocket were 4 varos, not enough for even a 6 pack of Bud, and having learned from their signage, they are not to keen on credit. Oh well, off I go to el Hevito then.