Eleven hundred Eighty Five miles south east of Sacratomatoville is El Paso Texas. When I told a couple of people I was interested in stopping in El Paso unroute to Austin, the response was usually why? Some people called it a hell hole. One person said its the scariest city he has ever been in.
Some leaders have made a the border an issue and have suggested unsavory individuals are coming in illegally making cities north of the border unsafe. In 2010, El Paso received an All-America City Award. El Paso has been ranked the safest large city in the U.S. for four consecutive years. and ranked in the top three since 1997
El Paso is the sixth largest city in Texas with a population rapidly approaching seven hundred thousand. It borders Cindad Juarez Mexico, a city of 1.5 million people. The border from Mexico empties on the El Paso Street in Downtown.
Together with the surrounding areas the cities form El Paso–Juárez, the second largest bi-national metropolitan area on the Mexico–United States border (after San Diego–Tijuana), with a combined population of over 2.7 million people.
There are four international ports of entry connecting Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, including the Bridge of the Americas, Ysleta International Bridge, Paso del Norte Bridge and Stanton Street Bridge. These combined allowed 22,958,472 crossings in 2008,making Ciudad Juárez a major point of entry and transportation into the U.S. for all of central northern Mexico. The city has a growing industrial center which is made up in large part by more than 300 maquiladoras (assembly plants) located in and around the city. According to a 2007 New York Times article, Ciudad Juárez “is now absorbing more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city.” In 2008, fDi Magazine designated Ciudad Juárez “The City of the Future.
Downtown El Paso is filled with activities and a bargain hunters dream.
The prices rival Tijuana (California Border) there are many Mexican Bus Companies downtown.
One Bicycle Police officer held traffic to allow me to take a poor picture near the border.
On my micro visit, I was attracted to some of the architecture downtown the Art Deco designed Plaza Hotel and the El Camino Hotel.
As I walked around taking pictures with my cell phone,a man asked where I was from? I learned he born in Mexico and went to school in El Paso and was the first person in his family to complete college. He moved to Houston and found the pace too fast and the city harsh and returned to El Paso five years ago. ” He said the people here are simple and kind. He believes the young and Educated often find the pace too slow and often move to Dallas and Houston. I had many questions but he was “on lunch” and we talked as he waited for his food, he said he was well aware of its image, but if your are Mexican wanting to start of business, El Paso gives you a chance. Before I knew what was going on, he shoved a large spicy burrito in my hand and waved goodbye.
On the corner of Overland and Chihuahua I fell in love with this unique building
Its currently the home of Flor De Luna Art Academy
I was drawn to the eclectic design
The owner Lorena Garcia allowed me to take pictures inside the gallery
There are four Galleries in the Area. Which already looks like an artist colony.
One more fast fact. In the US, only Miami has more Hispanic based business than El Paso.
If you are on Interstate 10 don’t drive past El Paso. There are many surprises that await you.