Growing up, Starry Night was and still is one of my favorite paintings. Here is a poem I wrote about it:
My mind is a Starry Night- Ana "Pao" A.
Outside the asylum window you must have seen it
As I see it too
The chaotic sky unraveled those swirls and colors over the dark town Nobody was aware of the stars you were seeing
Like my mind, I see color and chaos over my dark thoughts
The hues of blues play gracefully with the yellow dancing across the sky A whirl and spin, an illuminated night
Sleeping, no one aware but you
The night embraces you from afar
However, the night has to come to an end,
But my mind does not
El Paso is located in the western tip of Texas. Often referred to “just the tip” of Texas. The great thing about El Paso is that it shares a border with it’s sister city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It makes for a great cultural diversity and amazing food! But we’re not here to talk about that. We are here to set the record straight, or better yet inform native El Pasoans and others interested in knowing why El Paso got its nickname “El Chuco”.
For the longest time, we didn’t know what “Chuco” meant nor did we know what a Pachuco was. It took us a while to actually want to immerse ourselves in the El Paso culture and feel proud of our roots. Now grown up and seeing how much El Paso has grown makes us feel nothing but silly for thinking that. However, we wanted to further investigate where this beautiful city (with the best sunsets) got its nickname.
What does Chuco mean? According to Urban Dictionary, it said something along the lines of:
“1) Short for "Pachuco". Mexican Culture started in El Paso, Texas.
2) A Nickname for El Paso, Texas.
Let's go to chuco and do nothing because there's nothing to do there.” (Rogers, 2006)
By now some of you may be wondering: What is a pachuco? Pachuco and Pachuca were first used in the 1940s to refer to Mexican American men and women who were wearing zoot suits. If you try to do research, like we did you will find that there is no consensus about where the word originated, though it is often said that the term originated in, you guessed it, El Paso! Because it is thought that the word originated here, and the big influence of the Pachuco culture in the border El Paso is often referred to “Chuco Town” or “El Chuco.” As people began to migrate, the term began to spread, and it eventually began to be used in other parts of the country.
Now that we have clarified where the term originated, maybe we can begin to understand where our roots come from, and we can start to feel proud about them. So, don’t worry anymore about offending someone when using the word “Chuco” instead let’s help make awareness and educate others in our city so that together we can demonstrate our Chuco pride.
If you’re still wondering what Pachucos look like in real life, or you just want to see them in action, today is your lucky day! Every Sunday, Pachucos in Juarez gather around downtown to dance and have fun and you can go and take a look!
L.A. in the Zoot Suit Era: (2017). Retrieved July 13, 2017, from
Below is a short story that is portrayed through the eyes of a young girl going through depression and anxiety, which leads it to take a physical form. Imagery inspired by an illustration I saw once-upon-a -time.
I remember when I first met Lafayette. No, I am not talking about a town in Louisiana. The image still haunts me. The face, those deep black holes he has for eyes. Every cavity on his head is a harrowing reminder of a past experience. I feel every inch, crack, and scale on his skin without touching it. It looks like worn out leather, barley covering his naked body. It’s hard not to stare. His body, crippled by his pain and all the weight he carries on his shoulders. The sinful creature on his back whispers unimaginable things to him and he can’t take it anymore. However, Lafayette has no mouth. I just know what he wants by the expression on his featureless face. It folds and wrinkles in the right places. The grunts and moans indicate it all. He can’t take the voices in his head either. His only friends are the bunny and alien figure on his back, but even that causes him discomfort. He doesn’t understand that he’s my only friend as well. I look into the mirror and he is all I see. It’s all too much.
You’re probably wondering why I have such vivid image of Lafayette. He follows me everywhere. Always with me like a best friend, but unlike a best friend he augments my anxiety and depression. It’s always dark when he comes crawling on his knees, trying to soothe my aching soul but instead he makes it throb. It started by him crawling out the big mirror, but he gradually came out of different places. Yet, it’s better to have him there than being alone. Being lonely is the equivalent of being dead amongst the living. If I’m ever alone, I rather die.
I first met him when I was twelve years old. My parents were yelling once again. I had locked myself in my room after my father’s, or should I say sperm donor’s, hand struck both my face and my mother’s face. I screamed in horror when I saw the marks on my mother’s face.
“Mama?” I whimpered.
My father turned to me in an instant his hand was wrapped around my hair, yanking me to the ground. He snared and said, “You will never make it in life. Your plans of ever making a somebody out of yourself are a waste of time.”
The lines on his forehead softened and he smiled sarcastically. I grabbed my mother’s hand and she told me she could handle it. I ran to my room and locked the door behind me, leaving my trembling body to plummet to the floor with a thud. I was contemplating whether I should call the police like I had once before.
Instead, the tears came streaming. He was right I was nobody. Who was I? I’m no one in this life. My name means nothing. Nothing for a nobody. The room was dark and out of the mirror in front of me. The mirror was large in comparison to the room. The frame was gold with intricate baroque-style details. It’s rare for someone to have one of those in those days. Lafayette crawled out from the abyss. Was it me or was it my imagination? An enigma. Slowly he came slowly with two things on his back, moaning softly.
“Who are you?” I murmured.
It just stared right back at me. “L—L—Laa- F-Fa- ye—TTTT-e”, he managed to produce from deep inside. The bunny and alien on top of Lafayette stayed quiet.
“What are you? Who made you?”
It stared back at me. I could feel his eyes penetrating my soul. Hmmm, I thought to myself. I wonder who made Lafayette, that hairy bunny and alien figure. Was their creator sad too? Maybe mad? Is that why they have no mouths and such dark eyes? The bunny on the top of Lafayette. what an inconsiderate bastard doesn’t it see that it’s hurting him?
He moaned again, getting closer. My tears came to a complete halt. My mind could not process what was going on, but I felt a connection to him. I felt his agony and a sort of magnetic energy pulling me towards him. He needed a friend and so did I. I let his darkness in a dark room. It felt more like a spark. A chance. The friend I never had. I mean that: never had. He was my “green light”, a beacon of hope in understanding the wicked and corrupt things in life. The only thing he managed to say that night was “ I just want to be accepted.”
Lafayette followed me throughout my life. He was the shadow to my thoughts and he was there when I most needed him. He was on his knees and so vulnerable, but so loyal. He crawled his way through life, knowing the burden on his back and his sin would never let him. He himself is a very sinful creature. I once asked him, “Why do you carry that bunny on your back? Why do put up with the little man controlling him?”
He shrugged. “Keeps me from being alone for too long. Bad thoughts.” I hugged him immediately.
“It’s ok, we will be together for an eternity,” I answered. That probably sounded better inside my head.
I recall every time he was there for me, he was not all bad as I have made him out to seem. Every funeral he was there, besides me staring at the casket. Funerals were a constant reminder that our time would end sooner and later and how one could never become attached to anyone. My mind was chaos. I couldn’t let go, it was when I was most desolate that he was the most quiet, but he took my anxiety and sadness and inflicted it on himself. It wasn’t him and those creatures on his back always augmenting my fucked up emotions. Sometimes they helped. Every time I started a new school year or semester, he was there. Fueling my paranoia, but at least no one else saw him like I did. Every time we went out in public, he took on a human form. Interesting, I thought. He looks like me. Yet, nobody noticed only I did. I’m pretty sure what I saw and how I feel is not normal, but I preferred to keep it to myself.
Lafayette was also with me when I got in trouble. I saw him creeping, taking over. Was I hearing the same voices he was? How connected were we? I think I saw a bunny growing out of my back the other day or was it on my other side? I might not know how connected we were, but I was sure of how I felt at certain parts of my life. I wanted to blame him instead of seeing what was wrong with me.
I just know he was there when I got my first hangover and my first heartbreak. Oh, how I detested him. Why didn’t he tell me how that would feel like?
I yelled at him. “How did you not tell me it would feel like dying? Why did you let me fall in love? You disgust me. My head hurts and now my heart is in pieces! How could you?!”
He just stared and tears fell out of those dark holes, except they looked more bloodlike than tears.
“I’m sorry, it’s not your fault. At least it won’t feel so bad when I pass. Just promise you won’t break my heart.” He nodded.
“Goodnight Lafay”, I drowsily said.
He nodded and kneeled next to me. Watching over me like a night terror every night. Maybe he was trying to protect me from hurting myself or from other creatures like him. I never found out.
Whenever I was happy he was still there. He hung out in the corner, slouching. I could see him through my peripherals. I think he got kind of jealous when I was happy. I could make out a frown where his mouth would have been. It did not matter either way because my happiness did not last long. Music always made us both feel better. We would look at each other a likeness of one another. Rock made us giddy like two gossiping girls. Jazz made us sway while we sat and I would always pop out the wine bottle. Lafay’s, as I soon called him, was always bewildered by the psychedelic genre of music. I would see him. It was then that he did not look like the most miserable being in all existence. His burdens did not seem too heavy at that moment. I forgot about all my problems.
Again, he followed me, rooting himself deep into my veins. At certain angles I too looked like worn out leather with black holes for eyes, but instead of tears it was blood shedding out. My life continued like that and still does. I sometimes hate it but I know that he has shaped who I am. I still learn from him everyday and he shows me different types of pain. I feel numb with pain at this point. Pricking me through the sides every hour, every minute. The mind never stops. Think, thinking, thunk. I wish I could shut it off. “Lafay” always understands when he sees me struggling with my thoughts. That’s okay, I think, at least when I’m gone it won’t feel that bad. That’s what I always tell myself.
The years pass and it’s still almost routine-like. He greets me like a grey cloud over my thoughts. No, he is my silver lining. He must be. Every time I go to the bars or concerts by myself, “Lafay”, reminds me that those strangers are not my friends. They are just looking for someone to talk to and use so they don’t look as alone as their pitch-black eyes. They are burrows of the unknown. I thanked him for that. He reminded me how ungrateful people are. Hell, if anyone knew the exact details of my life they would want to hang by a noose as I once tried.
“It’s not worth it, it’s better to live with the despair. Friends forever right?”, Lafayette said that and it was hard to believe. It’s as if he read my mind.
How could he say forever if forever is only momentary? What happens after we die? I look in the mirror to see him not me!
I look down at my arms like worn out leather, brown for being in the sun so much it is beef jerky. I see sunken eyes and bags under my eyes. I scream because I Know I will never escape this feeling, but it helps to have someone even if you later discover it’s only you that sees it. It’s a ghost or maybe a figment of the imagination, a reflection of the soul. At least he makes meaningless bar conversations worthwhile because I know Lafayette and I can laugh about them afterwards.
Crawling on my knees next to him feels more human than walking. Every scar I get is just part of life. I’m glad to know that at least I have one friend. Depression is real and one does not have to go through it alone. Depression is like having a massive black hole inside your brain in which it only sucks up the happy memories and leaves the bad ones creating an abysmal reality, which might or might not be true. It remains hidden in our minds until one day it’s ready to pop out in full force. Not only that, but reality can also be a confusing subject matter, which is also hard to avoid. One has to learn how to deal with it and the distinction is hard. I might be a nobody, but at least I won’t die alone.
First of all, Neon was a success this year! I think it was the most crowded that it has ever been! It was evident that everyone was enjoying themselves and the artists were enjoying themselves as well. It's always fun to see that interaction between the artist and the fans especially when they are both enjoying it.
It was nice to see different generations at the festival appreciating the same music. The art was phenomenal and the Neon Desert letters were done by Jellyfish Colectivo this year! Super original! The other artists present like Christin Apodaca, DCC, and Exist1981 were great as well. So lovely to know that El Paso has so much talent that deserves recognition!
Some of our local artists playing this year were The Chamanas, Nico and the Silent Films, Flamel, Volta, Kilo and the Dew, and many many more! I recommend that if you have not had a chance to see these locals, that you do. They need support as well.
Headliners that really pumped up the crowds were JBlavin, Migos, Khalid, Foster the People, Alesso, and Hardwell! It was crazy how people were pushing and shoving each other in order to get close or be able to see the stage. The only downside is that it's downtown and some buildings get in the way of the stage, other than that it's good. It definitely got claustrophobic at certain points.
Other events that went on while music played was Lucha libre, art, henna tattoos, a Silent Disco tent, food trucks, and different tents offering a myriad of things. The food trucks were great and I sure could not skip out on Crave's sweet potato fries with marshmallow sauce.
My only concern was that I don't understand why people need to get fucked up on drugs and alcohol in order to enjoy a festival. Music itself is euphoric enough. It was sad to see kids that are clearly not 21, just stumbling and under the influence.
If you have never been to Neon Desert I suggest that you at least go and support your local business and fellow citizens and enjoy the music and ambient.
All pictures below are provided by Daniel Alberto Martinez!!
His Instagram name is mota_muerte. Go add him and follow him! Thank you for it all!!
I am a model, singer, songwriter, designer, dancer from Slovenia (yes, where first lady is from, Her hometown is 15mins away from my hometown) don't hate me for that please, hehe.
So my story starts with a New Year's resolution 2015/2016, where I was at the point, asking myself, looking back at my achievements and I realized I haven't had enough. I wanted more. I believe in constant education and personal growth, I haven't really thought I would be in US, when I met a boy from El Paso in Trieste, Italy while going out and we clicked. We kept writing for more than half a year, when he was like "Hey, why you don't come here to US?" He was surprised about me willing to come to El Paso. It took a while to come through the plans, but it happened.
I promised myself I would start taking risks back than in 2016 and then since, I'm doing it. El Paso was my best decision Ever! People were so kind, the places were dreamful, andI met a lot of new people. I think it's totally opposite to our culture. Latinos are the most open and lovable people on the world. I live by belief that everything has its purpose and have no regrets, this one is the hardest, because I really liked him, he is amazing person, talented musician and much more, but couldn't help myself, which grew us apart. We had a great time while it lasted. I lived my American dreams. I went to pool parties and had best time of my life in El Paso. When people ask me now what did you do there? They are all surprise "El Paso!? Texas, There is nothing!" But in reality I would say it's the most amazing place I ever visited , when I arrived there was a lot of construction. So just waking up every day for the past 4/5 months, seeing that fast growth of the City, how connected community #DTEP is, wishing our culture would be capable of something like that! I won even an earings before Christmas, which I forgot to collect at the end from Imperio Real Boutique on 101 Mesa Street, for best Holiday Story.
I had a kiss under the mistletoe, had my first wrapped thing called burrito, I've been hiking in beautiful Franklin Mountains, had few Photoshoots with Thomas J. Leonard and Photographer who came from Huston SKY photography, I was supposed to have it with the great Frank8564 but we were both too busy and our schedules conflicted too much. Maybe when I come back, who knows. I've been as well to other places around, Austin, New Mexico, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, where I had a part as a "nurse" which happened to be so spontaneous, haha. I like NYC but there is nothing like TX. I will surely keep returning, if Mr. Trump will let me, hehe :D. I could write so much more about this amazing city but I think I told the point, how amazing this part of the state really is! And I was afraid to come at first because of the movies, you can't imagine my parents haha.
Thank you for this opportunity to interview me I really enjoyed telling my story trip to this amazing city El Paso, TX, and "tu casa es mi casa" to all my to all this kind people I met, whenever or wherever I will be! ! Barbara.
Words by Barbara.
En el mar, la vida es mas sabrosa.....
Senior year in college and I can finally say I did it... And by it I mean, going to the beach on vacation during spring break! Not going to lie, I never do anything too crazy for spring break. I tend to just catch up on much needed sleep, because let's be honest college students are also part time zombies, and maybe work on my piles and piles of homework. I decided it was my senior year and I needed to change things up.
My friends decided it would be a great idea for all of us to travel together to a beach and enjoy the sun. I was a little worried, knowing that these kinds of trips can end up being super expensive. But you know what, I decided to take the chance and enjoy it because why the hell not!? So off we embarked to none other than Puerto Penasco, or Rocky Point was many people like to call it.
I could pretend I had a super crazy week partying every night, but in reality I had one of the most relaxing weeks in the sun. You may wonder, how the hell did you achieve that with all the other crazy spring breakers around the US going to Puerto Penasco? Well let me tell you my little secret, you don't have to stay in the main town in a big party resort when you travel to the beach. Do some research, find other places near by, and find options I promise you won't regret it.
I was lucky enough to enjoy some quiet time by the beach, some very refreshing drinks, and some nights of laughter and parties. The most important thing about spring break is to do what you feel comfortable with. If you want to get drunk and party hard, then you do you, but always be safe! If you are more like me and you want to read a good book by the ocean, then by all means enjoy the quiet water!
Anyhow, during my trip I did learn some useful things that might help you the next time that you decide to travel to the beach (whether it be during spring break or not!).
So next time you're thinking about making a trip like this, do it! Believe me it's totally worth it and you won't regret it!
I honestly don't know what to call my style.
I was asked to write about what I wear and what inspires my style. I think I am mainly inspired by life. Most of the time it depends on what music i am listening to. I like to go from vintage to rocker to girly. I definitely always have a vintage item on me. I love customizing my clothes and jackets and I pride myself in that. My closet is 70% band t-shirts and I mostly wear jeans (mostly skinny jeans and mom jeans) lately. I honestly don't know what to call my style. I guess I'd base it off my playlists or vinyls. Ha-ha! Wearing my band t-shirts is special because it takes me to that special moment and special concert/place where I hear or met the band. My mom jeans and shoes give it this 80's-90's vibe which I love. (I hate when people wear it cause it's "trendy") ummm no. Mine aren't generic high-waisted jeans. Mine are legit from the 90's. Like from my mom's closet or Savers. Most of my wardrobe, I got online. I don't like wearing the same thing every one is wearing. Like I said sometimes I can be inspired by The Ramones, Green Day, Joan Jett, SWMRS,The Lemon Twigs, Janis Joplin, ect...even a decade, but that is cause I grew up with a music up-bringing (long story). Please people, If you are going to wear a band t-shirt at least know who the band is and listen to them.
That being said don't be afraid to buy clothes on Amazon or even go to your local Goodwill. Look for funky pieces that math YOUR style and identity. Have a wonderful day. Be YOU, not a trend.
Turning 21 should be something to celebrate however, it was not the case. It's such a landmark age but yet it does not live up it the hype. I mean if you live somewhere else outside the U.S then you were probably legal a long time ago between ages 16-18. Regardless, it is a birthday and it should be celebrated, right? Wrong. I cannot speak for everybody, but I can say how I feel. I don't know I always seem to get to get extra nostalgic on my birthday. Almost as if all I want to do is sit on my bed and cry and reflect on how much life changes within one year. Friends you used to talk to are no longer there, new job, new goals, same drama and the list goes on. I've always had this feeling of not being important to people which is why I avoid my birthday. People time and time again disappoint me so I'll stay home that day. Plus who wants to celebrate being a year older and a year closer to death? Ha-ha.
Anyaways no need to bum anyone out. Celebrate. Go out. Life only comes once and then you vanish for an eternity. Live your life and remind those close to you that you love them. Leave a mark in people's lives and you will live forever. Now, go have a beer. (Unless your underage).
I went to Ruidoso, New Mexico a month ago and as I was walking by the small shops found along the main street, I smelled something wonderful. Something clean and delicious. It was a handmade soap and bath bombs shop! I was excited. The smell of lavender, aloe, ginger, and cotton candy were overwhelming! I was like a kid in a candy store. I had seen bath bomb videos all over the internet recently and I decided to buy some.
As soon as I got home I filled up my bath (I always take showers) and I was excited as it started to fizzle and the water turned red with sparkles. I sat in the tub awkwardly and just sat there with my phone. It was uncomfortable and cold. Honestly, not the experience I was going for. I was very disappointed. I stared at the water and thought Jack Nicholson from The Shining was going to yell "Here's Johnny!" The only exciting thing about the bath was the red water which excitement lasted 1 minute. Buuuuu. -PAO.