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Old 07-06-2006, 10:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone know anything about El Paso, TX?

My wife's considering a new position in El Paso. Anyone got any opinions?
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That depends a lot on where you're moving FROM. It's the southwest, which is oddle different than, say... the midwest (where I'm originally from). It gets warmer, some parts of TX get VERY humid (not sure about El Paso though, but San Antonio gets wet!). Sorry I can't be more helpful...
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Fort Worth, TX
El Paso... well... has been in an economic boom since NAFTA, and is showing the effects.

There is a split between rich and poor parts of the city which are more definitive than any other city I've seen (I've been to pretty much every City between CA-TX, TX-Canada). The poor parts of the city you can not distinguish between the Mexican side. The rich parts are beautiful.

It gets humid for being in the desert, but you will get used to it. Cost of living is rediculously low, and you're right on the border so visiting Mexico for whatever reason doesnt even require all day (though dont take your car past the border). Spanish speaking is not a "must," but making friends with those that do is.

If you have any other questions just let me know.
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm most interested in the economy, quality of living, cultural activities, outdoor activities (hiking, biking, camping, etc.), and so on. This would be a MAJOR life change for us, moving from a medium-sized midwest town.
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The economy is growing quickly thanks to NAFTA.

Quality of life as I said is very binary. The rich lead amazing lives, the poor might as well live in Mexico (albeit with better water). The majority of the city appears dirty, as the air currents blow the smog from Mexican industry on the other side of the river over.

Cultural activities reflect the Mexican heritage, with some Native American (Comanche and Apache if I recall). As for where the good places are I can't really help that much, I only stayed a couple weeks.

Outdoor activities in the city are not that great. It's just a border town which found itself a city, planning was haphazard. However, there are VERY nice campgrounds within a couple hours drive. Big Bend National Park is simply amazing, as well as going into New Mexico to raft down the Rio Grande (before it hits Mexico it's full and beautiful, after it hits the border it becomes a steam with puddles instead of a river). I try to do this every other year to so, you get addicted to it and every year our convoy of people who attend grows. New Mexico has the mountains you can go camping/hiking in, as well as parts of Mexico away from the border if you make friends in the know.

The people are just as friendly as the Midwest, but a bit different (holds through pretty much all of South Texas). If you make eye contact with a complete stranger, you'll almost always get a nod or some sort of howdy. One thing you'll have to get used to is the racial divide, whites are very much the minority yet compose almost all of the rich. This divide is not definate, both are extremely friendly it just takes someone to start the conversation (very unlike many places in the South).

I pretty much come from South Texas, so I'm used to the culture. It's quite different I must say, although it was a small town so may not hold in the city of El Paso. If I dont go to all of my friend's family houses on holidays they almost take it as an insult. "Aye m'iho, why didnt you come visit us? You dont like my cooking?"
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Seaver
Quality of life as I said is very binary. The rich lead amazing lives, the poor might as well live in Mexico (albeit with better water).
That's pretty much the definition of a third-world country, unfortunately: a small priveleged class that owns nearly everything and a large, impoverished worker class that owns almost nothing. Whatever form of government you wish to place on top of it is window-dressing for the economic reality.

And yes, I've visited El Paso, and Juarez.
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Out on a wire.
I once fell in love with a Mexican girl in El Paso. Her name was Felina. She was a dancing girl at a place called Rosa's Cantina. Oh how I loved it when the music would play and Felina would whirl.

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Old 07-06-2006, 09:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
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Originally Posted by Gilda
I once fell in love with a Mexican girl in El Paso. Her name was Felina. She was a dancing girl at a place called Rosa's Cantina. Oh how I loved it when the music would play and Felina would whirl.

Gilda
And you ended up taking a couple of bullets and dying in her arms, right? :-)
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Out on a wire.
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Originally Posted by Rodney
And you ended up taking a couple of bullets and dying in her arms, right? :-)
Nah, what happened was some poor shlub murdered her boyfriend Jose, who was a bad man, by the way, and get this, the fool jumped through the front window instead of going out the door. Not the brightest of guys.

He came back later, but was gunned down by a posse.

With those two fools out of the way, she was free to run off with me and spend a fantastic weekend in Acapulco.

Gilda
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Old 07-07-2006, 04:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
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Originally Posted by Gilda
Nah, what happened was some poor shlub murdered her boyfriend Jose, who was a bad man, by the way, and get this, the fool jumped through the front window instead of going out the door. Not the brightest of guys.

He came back later, but was gunned down by a posse.

With those two fools out of the way, she was free to run off with me and spend a fantastic weekend in Acapulco.

Gilda
If you ever want to rewrite the song that way and get it performed with the original arrangement, I'd buy a copy for sure!
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have visited El Paso (and Juarez) many times on business. The people seem friendly, but the stark desert environment does not appeal to me. There are two definite sides of town, the more affluent West side and the older and not very desirable East Side (divided by the Franklin Mountains which split the city in two). Be prepared for most things to be brown and dry like front lawns, etc. This is due to severe water restrictions and the desert environment.

Unfortunately, there just does not seem like there is much to do, as compared to say Phoenix, LA, San Diego. For the person who said some of the poorer areas are indistinguishable from Juarez, I disagree. Juarez makes the poor areas of El Paso look like Beverly Hills. Juarez is an experience upon itself, the northern most city in Latin America. If you have never been to Mexico you will be shocked. This third world of Juarez is only minutes away from your home if you live in El Paso.

El Paso is a city with a prominent Latin American influence, mixing a little with the Texas rancher type culture. The food is awesome in this town. Sorrento's Italian Restaurant on Dyer and Fred Wilson is some of the best Italian food I've ever had. The steak houses are good too, and the Mexican food is, as you would expect, great too.

The cost of living is insanely low, especially from my perspective coming from California. The weather is very hot with some thunderstorms in the summer, windy in the fall, Nice but sometimes a little chilly in the Winter, and warm in the Spring. In my experiences, traffic does exist...mainly on I-10 during rush hours, but it is very tolerable.

In my opinion, the cost of living advantages kind of neutralize the bleak desert atmosphere, but I would probably not want to live in El Paso.
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Old 07-08-2006, 01:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
32 flavors and then some
 
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Location: Out on a wire.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney
If you ever want to rewrite the song that way and get it performed with the original arrangement, I'd buy a copy for sure!
Well, that is the song. All I did was add the part where Felina runs off with the pretty schoolteacher. I think adds flavor and a neat little twist ending.

Gilda
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Excellent salsa and chips!
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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They have great food at very reasonable prices. Other than thay, I can find nothing else positive to say.

OH and it's BROWN.... Everything is BROWN. It robs you of your sanity.

And HOT too. DAMN hot. Hot enough to turn everything BROWN.

But the food is good. DAMN good.
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Old 07-11-2006, 07:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Sucked. Hot and dry. Dirty too. Perhaps I didnt go to the right places....
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:37 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Born and raised in El Paso >.>

Let me tell you about El Paso...
If you're into biking, and you want a nice bike route to ride your bike on, forget it. There's some bike trails along George Dieter, but I wouldn't say that they're safe to ride a bike on...
If you're interested in hiking, the Franklin Mountains have (what I consider to be) a nice hiking trail. There's also Dog Canyon a few miles north of El Paso, and Ruidoso is also somewhat close by if you're into camping. I haven't done much traveling around the US, but so far, El Paso has the worst planning I've ever seen. Streets don't meet at 90-degree angles, and some streets just go all over the place. I don't know what kind of job you have, but getting a minimum wage job at, say, Walmart or a fast-food place can be a challenge, because there's such a huge work force available in El Paso that you even have to compete for crappy jobs. El Paso also has UTEP (Univeristy of Texas at El Paso, which I attend), so El Paso is sort of a college town. There's always something going on at UTEP, like football games or soccer games, or whatever. Also, whenever a major band comes to El Paso, they always play at the Sun Bowl (which is part of UTEP). Also, every Sunday in the evening they have "music under the stars" at the Chamizal National Park. I've never actually been to it myself, but I hear that there's music and what not--it's a place where people take their dates. That reminds me, there's also scenic drive, which goes from the west side of town, over the mountain, and onto the east side (or vice versa). It is pretty scenic, as it affords you a nice view of El Paso from a high altitude. I also agree with goddfather40; the ugly parts of El Paso look beautiful compared to Juarez. There are a few advantages to going Juarez; you can get just about any prescription medicine without a prescription <.< but you'll need to know Spanish. You can also get some huge bottles of water (40oz or something like that) for about 55 cents. If you do go into Juarez, just beware of buying food from street vendors... and you'll also need to know Spanish.
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:17 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Barnett Harley Davidson, in El Paso, advertises to be the biggest Harley dealer in the world! Not very helpful I admit but interesting.
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