Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Store Visit

This weekend I took a walk on the "Wild Side," drifting towards the landmark looney bin staple known as Dr. Ikes.

I've been going to the place for years.  Nothing shocks me.  And, even though I no longer bear the scars of my youth and am forced to go with the ol' parents, I still go back every now and then to see the craziness for myself.  Thankfully, Dr. Ike's never disappoints.  They will have their disheveled store, their hodge-podge of items, and their annoying ads (Don Chema!)

Sure enough in my latest trip to the West Side of Laredo I got it all.  I just walked around and let it soak in.  The blaring music.  The outdated facade.  The apathetic sales staff.  The entire shopping was just like I remember it when I was 12 years old.

And then I saw the item above, a back scratcher.  Wow.  Just when I thought I couldn't find another useless item, then I see this.  But for $3.99?  Really?  Thanks, Dr. Ikes.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mascot Inc.

There used to be blogs dedicated to a bunch of different things in Laredo.  Each little blog picked up something different along the way.  Some focus on music.  Others on politics.  A few just concentrate on all things dealing with Laredo.  One blogger who is no longer with us was always fascinated by the mascots this city has. I mean, they're everywhere.  Sure enough, earlier today, DeLaredo caught some mascots over at Shirley Field at a Kid's function out there.  I couldn't get closer because of the armed guards protecting these masked menaces, but you get the idea I'm sure.  Have a good weekend.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

La Roca

La Roca in downtown Laredo has always been one of my favorite restaurants.  I can't really place my finger on the reason.  Indeed, I seem to go out of my way to brave the downtown infrastructure: dealing with the traffic, the guy hovering in the parking lot (waiting to see if we are actually going inside the restaurant), and the distance just to order my usual plate of seafood at the restaurant.

I met a friend for lunch there recently.  It seems like it was yesterday (which, in fact, it was) that I was cursing a driver that pulled out in front of my as I made my way past Jarvis Plaza bound for La Roca.  Regardless of that minor setback, I found a parking space and gave the parking lot attendant a friendly nod as I turned the corner--via the non-ADA compliant sidewalks in downtown Laredo--and made my way inside.  I quickly spotted my friend sitting in the back and I pulled out a chair and joined him.

We drank a few birongas and caught up with one another as the restaurant patrons conversed around us.  In the midst of my conversation I tried to pay heed to the crowd and the waitresses around us.  Our server brought us some crackers while we waited for our order.  I noticed that some City of Laredo workers were having a loud conversation a few tables down from us.  As hard as I tried, I couldn't quite tell if they were discussing Mayor Raul Salinas or the City Council.  Nevertheless, they seemed rather engaged in their discussion.

Once our main entree arrived, the conversation in our table shifted to other things such as baseball and the NBA.  We inhaled our shrimp plates and enjoyed another cold brewskie before we made our way back to the parking lot and the ever vigilant parking attendant.  (I did not tip, like a true Laredoan.)

As I drove away, I wondered what it is that always brings me back to the same restaurant over and over.  I've taken friends and family to the other La Roca restaurants on San Bernardo and McPherson, but it's just not the same.  I always want to come back to this joint no matter how inconvenient it is for my lunch/dinner partner.  Perhaps it's the ambience--the darker, quieter features of this location compared to the others in Laredo.  Or, maybe its the clientele, most of whom, like your faithful narrator, are more humble than the rowdy crowds who make their way to the other joints. Regardless of what the true reason is, I always give the downtown La Roca a positive review.

Maybe one day you can buy me a beer.  Or two.  Or three.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I just remembered why DeLaredo blog lags behind in popularity and in ratings.  Why, we just simply don't appear on YouTube videos making funny faces.

Serious Blogger,  el Key Rose, a friend to this blog, has long championed the causes of blogging from his lofty perch atop the burning carcasses of now defunct Laredo blogs like the "Streets of Laredo," "Bordertown Blues," "La Guera," and others.  

Enjoy the collage of KeyRose making faces as he discovers another political ne'er-do-well and brings him to justice on La Sanbe.

Phone Book Ad

I came across this ad in one of the many phone books that have been accumulating at my home in recent years.  I don't know why I'm drawn to blogging about a phone book ad that features two lawyers donning boxing gloves beyond the obvious.  Oh, yes, I know it looks kinda silly, but there really is no substance behind poking fun at something that sort of pokes fun of itself.

Still, the ad reminds me of the world of lawyerdom.  I recall a high school friend who eventually went to law school only to come back to town and rake in the big bucks.  I remember how everyone we knew in high school would sort of wince when they heard his name and the fact that he had become a lawyer.  Oh, not that lawyers as a whole are bad, but that this gentleman's personality was such that it immediately created a sense of doubt among those of us familiar with personalities and the like.

I even remember one person asking if Mr. Lawyer had an ad in the back of a phone book.  No, I answered, but give him time.

Nevertheless, if you want legal representation, let your fingers do the walking.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Laredenses on Facebook

Photos courtesy of Facebook
I spent a few hours last night surfing through Facebook, checking out how my fellow Laredenses live in this great city.  None of the folks were actually my "friends," per se, but I was able to check out a few photos.

From what I gather, folks like guns.

In today's installment of Laredoans on Facebook on DeLaredo blog, that is clearly the case.  My fellow Laredenses like guns in cars and apparently, they like to keep it real by rolling with assault rifles in Nuevo Laredo.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Morning

The unthinkable happened at DeLaredo Headquarters this Sunday morning.  The bat-phone rang and I had to make my way from the comfy confines of my warm couch to the inner bowels of the Laredo Medical Center on Saunders.

It was early--well before 8:00 a.m.  It was cloudy and unseasonably cool as well.

Still, what was most unnerving was not the weather nor the time.  It was just how quiet the Streets of Laredo were at that hour.  It was just a few hours earlier, on Saturday night, that I drove down a rocking and rolling San Bernardo Avenue on my way home.  And now, as I moved in the opposite direction, it was like a ghost town.  The beer runs were closed.  The street walkers were gone.  The drunks were not jay walking to get to el Lazy Mex club.  And, the no-tell motels were quiet, sans Sanchos and Movidas.

It hit me later, long after I returned home after what was then considered a family emergency, that it dawned on me.  Sunday mornings are a special time in the ol' homestead.  There were a few people out.  People were, in fact, washing their cars and getting ready for the lazy day ahead, the smell of carne asada embers still lingering in the morning air.

I have mixed feelings about Sundays.  They are the last day before I have to start work again.  I have had a love-hate struggle with the day since I was in high school.  But, today I remain at peace with the Sabbath.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Por que es asi mi pueblo?

I know it ain't right to question those who have left this earth to enter another plane, but Laredo's obituary section is always fascinating.  Whether it's the odd nicknames that people stick on the last testament (like "La Naranja" Lopez) to their loved ones, or whether it's the choice of attire (or lack thereof) that really makes me wonder about my fellow Laredoans.

Take, for instance, the photo above.  It has now become my wish that when I pass on, I also want to appear shirtless in my obituary.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Death of Video Stores

One common theme of DeLaredo Blog has been the acknowledgment of the slow, painful death of Laredo's video stores.  I have to admit--it often brings a tear to my eye to realize that the video stores are dying.


Because I am a nostalgic at heart.

I like things to stay the same.  I fondly recall driving towards the Calton Road H.E.B. and checking out the dozens of VHS (!) tapes on the shelves of the Hollywood Video store right next door.  Then, later, as I grew older, I recall going to the many Blockbusters throughout the mighty city of Laredo, whether it be on McPherson or elsewhere.

And now there only remains a Redbox machine here, or a Redbox machine there.  It's so sad.

It's been a couple of years since the disappearance of these video stores and more.  But there are still some reminders of an era gone by out there in Laredo.  Oh, they may not have had VHS like the old days.  But, they did have DVDs.  And, more  importantly, "Exotic" View videos too.  Orale.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Carne, Cruda and Cascarones

For a million and seven reasons I have been unable to post anything new in the past couple of weeks. I could say it's due to lack of time, but that would be a lie. Or I could try to spin it and say that my lack of updates is due to not having any material to post, but that would be both pathetic and false. Even more so, I could throw a curve-ball and say that I haven't updated due to my pressing social life, however; anyone that knows me could smell the bullshit from eight tamales away.

In the end, it does not really matter why I haven't updated; I just haven't.

 But yesterday, Easter Sunday, while munching on my carne asada tacos and dodging cascarones and water balloons, I came to a realization and one that I will share with you very soon.

Resurrecting my personal life, and by extension this blog, has not being easy, but I'm certain that I have found a blueprint, and now I'm ready to use it.

Forbidden Dances, Blackface, and Tantangelo: The 1990 WBCA Parade (part 1)

Updated: Link to video here : 1990 WBCA Parade Laredo, TX I have finally been able to upload at least a small portion of the footage of th...