Friday, August 27, 2010

La Granja Plaza, 7252 Alameda Avenue


This amazing chicken stands proudly atop La Granja Plaza ("The Farm Plaza") on Alameda, almost directly across from the Sun Valley Motel (see photo below). While trying to confirm the address of La Granja Plaza, I stumbled upon the following website, which features tons of photos of chicken signs across the United States (including La Granja Plaza's!). Check it out!

Chicken Signs

Sun Valley Motel, 7229 Alameda Avenue


Alameda Avenue is home to some of the best signs in the city. These types of sign are disappearing across the United States and have been for some time. They are truly an art form, and are so much more dynamic than the cheap backlighted signs that are so prevalent. Those businesses that are luck enough to have these types should do everything they can to preserve them. This great sign is for the Sun Valley Motel, located at 7229 Alameda.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Beck and Tom Waits

Stumbled on this cool conversation on Beck's Web site, between Mr. Hansen and another favorite of mine — Tom Waits! Even cooler — Beck talks about the impromptu performance at the Black Market here in El Paso a few years ago! I was lucky enough to be there...look for the pics on this blog!

Beck & Tom Waits conversation

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oscar's Thee Barber Shop, Alameda


Saw this building on Alameda today. I've always loved the use of "Thee" or a title or name...Thee Headcoats and Thee Mighty Ceasars (two fave bands of mine) as perfect examples.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tom Waits...Dear El Paso....


Hello fellow El Pasoans...this message is to IMPLORE you to go to the Tom Waits concert at the Plaza Theatre on June 20.

Those of you that know me know that I've been a Waits maniac for about 20 years, and this is truly a special show to come to El Paso. He's the top artist on my living-musicians-to-see-before-I-die list. His songwriting is riveting.

He tours very infrequently. People come from Europe and across the country to see him perform. His shows ALWAYS sell out. And we need that to happen right here in El Paso.

Again, this is a truly special show. Tickets CANNOT be purchased at the door. Only at Ticketmaster.

Several musicians cite Waits as their favorite performer. Several have covered him (Los Lobos, Bruce Springsteen, even actress Scarlett Johanssen just did an ENTIRE ALBUM of Waits covers)!

PLEASE GO!!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Happy Holidays, El Chuco!

Nice sign on the Plaza Theatre. Photo taken December 15, 2006.

Feliz Navidad at Dollar Plus Discount, 227 East San Antonio Avenue


More great signage at Dollar Plus Discount. Photo taken December 15, 2006.

Disturbing Santas at Kress

Inflatable Santa Clauses (Santi?) at Kress. Photo taken December 15, 2006.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Beck at the Black Market pix!

Here are a few more Beck photos, courtesy of Zach Passero!



Thursday, November 02, 2006

Beck plays unannounced show at Black Market's Dia de los Muertos art show!




Here's one that will go down in El Paso lore. Beck played an unannounced, impromptu gig at El Paso's own Black Market. I was heading to the Black Market for the Dia de los Muertos art show anyway, and got a tip from my buddy Zach Passero that Beck was there and was going to play a short gig. I didn't have a camera with me; I was at a store getting a new battery for my car. I quickly snapped up a $5 idiot camera and squeezed into the show. Beck played a 45-minute set on borrowed instruments, kicking it off with "Black Tambourine." Other songs included "Where It's At," "Devil's Haircut, "Que Onda Guero?, "Nicotine and Gravy," "Hell Yes" and tracks from his new album, The Information. Sorry for the image quality, but luckily Zach had his digital SLR with his, and promised to get me some photos to post. Wow! What a great night!!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Dia de los Muertos!

Happy Dia de los Muertos! Check out special Dia de los Muertos El Paso celebration photos at: http://diadelosmuertoselpaso.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dave's Pawn Shop, 216 South El Paso Street





Dave's Pawn Shop is one of the most fascinating places in El Paso. Outside the store, you'll be greeted by Elvis and Elwood and Jake Blues. Vintage Presley croons over the store's loudspeaker. In the windows, there are skulls, snakes, mannequins, watches and the classic "Trigger Finger of Pancho Villa" and "Heart of a Baby Vampire" props (and they DO look real!). Inside, the store is a true antiquarium, and would certainly be right in place for a Tom Waits video. Skeletons (yes, these ones ARE real), watches, cameras, vintage musical equipment, Nazi paraphernalia, stuffed and mounted animals, voodoo items — there's so much to see and so little room to see it. The cashiers' area is behind a vintage bank vault. Definitely make Dave's Pawn Shop a visit — it's the kind of place that makes downtown El Paso so fascinating.

Another interesting fact: Dave’s Pawn Shop is El Paso’s last surviving false-front structure. The one-part commercial building is a simple box with a decorated wood façade and cornice. The architectural style of small, pitched-roof buildings with false fronts created the commercial core of the new western towns during the mid-19th century. The original decorative cornice can still be seen above the remodeled store front.
—paragraph from the City of El Paso's Walking Tour of Downtown. See link below, which shows a picture of the building from the 1880s. Photos taken October 11, 2006.

Walking Tour of El Paso - False Front

Store sign, Gran Mercado, 416 South El Paso Street

Vintage sign, Gran Mercado, 416 South El Paso Street. This sign likely dates back to the 1930s. The portion in yellow has been painted over many times, but the top, remains virtually untouched. Photo taken October 11, 2006.

Colón Mercado (formerly the Colón Theater), 507 South El Paso Street

Colón Mercado (formerly the Colón Theater), 507 South El Paso Street. This is one of the true great façades in El Paso. Note the 1930s-era roof. The theater screened Spanish language films. El Paso author Denise Chávez has written about "El Colón" in her acclaimed novel Loving Pedro Infante.

Denise Chávez link

Photo taken October 11, 2006.

Office of John Wesley Hardin (Wells Fargo Building in the 1890s, now Alamo Shooters Supply), 100 East San Antonio Avenue

Alamo Shooters Supply, 100 East San Antonio Avenue. In the 1890s, this was the home of the Wells Fargo Building, and is one of the oldest buildings in downtown El Paso. On the third floor, the room behind the window in the northeast portion of this photograph served as gunfighter John Wesley Hardin's law office for a scant few months until he was killed by Constable John Selman in the Acme Saloon, literally two blocks away. See related photos in this blog. Photo taken October 11, 2006.

Office of John Wesley Hardin (Wells Fargo Building in the 1890s), 100 East San Antonio Avenue

Cowboy sign and mannequin, Starr Western Wear, 112 East Overland Avenue


Cowboy sign and mannequin head, Starr Western Wear, 112 East Overland Avenue. The cowboy Levi's sign has been a staple of downtown El Paso for decades. The mannequin head looks like it's from the 1950s or 60s (sorry for the blurry photo here... I'll retake one soon). Inside Starr Western Wear, you'll find wooden floors, a huge selection of jeans, cowboy hats, western apparel and photos of celebrities that have visited the store. Photo taken October 11, 2006.

Mannequin heads, Jin-Hee Wholesale, 513 South El Paso Street

Mannequin heads, Jin-Hee Wholesale, 513 South El Paso Street. I'll bet the head on the left has a serious migrane. Photo taken October 11, 2006.

Snack vendor, corner of El Paso Street and Overland Avenue

Snack vendor at the corner of El Paso Street and Overland Avenue. Throughout downtown El Paso, corner vendors sell sodas, chips, chicharonnes (pork skins) and other snacks to hungry shoppers. Photo taken October 11, 2006.

Wall art, above J.K. Tennis, 221 South Stanton

Decaying handpainted artwork about J.K. Tennis, 221 South Stanton. Most likely was painted in the 1980s (note the boombox and turntable). Photo taken October 11, 2006.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Happy Halloween from El Chuco!

Here's a cool witch painted on the window of the Dollar Plus Discount store at 227 East San Antonio Avenue (see other photos of the building in this blog). Have a great Halloween, and hope to see some of y'all at the Dia de los Muertos celebrations that will be going throughout El Chuco later this month (and early November)! Photo taken October 5, 2006.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Great photos from a fellow El Chuco photographer

I received a nice email from Chacal la Chaise, who is also posting great photos and a blog from right here in El Chuco. Check them out!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chacal/

http://chacal-la-chaise.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 25, 2006

White Elephant Bowling Lanes, 1011 East Overland Avenue



The White Elephant Bowling Lanes closed at least ten years ago, earlier I think. I never got to bowl here, but the White Elephant, along with the Red Rooster Bowling Lanes near Five Points were two seriously old-school lanes. The White Elephant, I believe, dated back to the 1930s, and had only six lanes. The lanes themselves closed long before the delish dive restaurant that was attached to it. The lane area itself looked like it hadn't changed a bit in 60 years. Photos taken August 25, 2006.

Fat Boy Hamburgers, 911 East Paisano




Cool vintage signage at Fat Boy Hamburgers, 911 East Paisano. The ice cream sign is painted near the entranceway. The advertising wall behind it is huge, and has great graphics. Photo taken August 25, 2006.

Graffiti art, next to Cinco Puntos Press, 701 Texas Avenue


Another great example of how graffiti art can add much-needed color to a building. Photo taken August 25, 2006.

Graffiti art, back of Downtown Motors, 1001 East Paisano


Neat graffiti art on the back of the Downtown Motors building, 1001 East Paisano. It's good to see that taggers give respect to true graffiti artists and don't cover their work. I'm not an advocate of graffiti, but this type really adds a lot of needed color in areas that could use visual improvement. Many don't see the difference, and see graffiti as pure defacement of property. There is a big difference, however, especially if the building's owner gives permission to graffiti artists to spice up their building. Photo taken August 25, 2006.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Marty Robbins performs "El Paso"


Found a nice video of Marty Robbins performing his classic "El Paso," a song which (obviously) is important to my city!

Marty Robbins - El Paso

Saturday, March 25, 2006

De Soto Hotel, 309 East Mills Avenue


Very nice signage, De Soto Hotel, 309 East Mills Avenue. Photo taken March 24, 2006.

Vendor at Novedades el Abuelo, 111 North Mesa


A vendor at Novedades el Abuelo, 111 North Mesa. Photo taken March 24, 2006.

Lolita Bail Bonds sign, 100-200 block of Texas Avenue.


This one makes me laugh every time. "Lolita around corner." This is for Lolita Bail Bonds, and the sign is at the 100-200 block of Texas Avenue. Photo taken March 24, 2006.

Auto Loan Sign, 202 North Oregon




A fantastic 1950s era Auto Loan sign located at 202 North Oregon. Photo taken March 24, 2006.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Please contribute to El Chuco!

If you have a non-copyrighted photo of downtown El Paso that you would like to share, please email it to me. Please accurately note the location. Also note, any of the photos on this page can be enlarged to show more detail simply by clicking on them. These photos have have been taken with several sorts of cameras, from a camera phone to a digital SLR.

Old Lerner Store (Acme Saloon), 227 East San Antonio Avenue




The Old Lerner Store, 227 East San Antonio Avenue, is the site of the Acme Saloon and the beginning of the Parlor House District. The Acme Saloon was wood and adobe, and had a doorway opening to the bar. On August 19, 1895, John Selman walked into the Acme Saloon and shot and killed John Wesley Hardin, the Old West's most notorious gunfighter. A marker on the building notes the historic site. Photo taken March 20, 2006.

The Tap, 408 East San Antonio Avenue


The Tap, 408 East San Antonio Avenue. This is one of downtown's restaurant gems. With its red vinyl seats, mirrored walls and eclectic jukebox, this would be a great place to film a rockabilly video. I've had many a pre-concert (and post-concert) beer here. Photo taken March 20, 2006.

Popo Bar, 426 South Mesa Street


Great type on this sign for Popo Bar, 426 South Mesa Street. Photo taken March 20, 2006.

Eva Unitel Sales, 515 South Stanton Street


Mannequin head in the display window at Eva Unitel Sales, 515 South Stanton Street. Photo taken March 20, 2006.

Mannequin heads, Diana Beauty Supply, 212 East San Antonio Avenue


It's mannequin Monday. More heads at Diana Beauty Supply, 212 East San Antonio Avenue. Photo taken March 20, 2006.

Morocco Bar, 502 South Stanton Street


Façade of the Morocco Bar, 502 South Stanton Street. Photo taken March 20, 2006.

La Feria del Carnaval, 500 South Mesa & Third


Original El Paso trolley, now the home of La Feria del Carnaval, a souvenir shop located at 500 South Mesa & Third. Photo taken March 20, 2006.