El Segundo Barrio, El Paso



I was so excited after I saw my room, that I immediately changed into one of my shorts outfits. I think they are glamorous and chic; perhaps a little young… Anyway, I particularly wanted to visit the area close to the border with Mexican shops. At one time you would just have crossed the border. An attractive young lady was leaving the hotel at the same time and I asked her if she could tell me how to get there. Not only did she take me there by foot but gave me her telephone number in case I wanted to cross the border with her. Then she emailed me during my visit. This was typical of the friendliness of the residents and she represented both El Paso and her ancestors who were Syrian. A Syrian community had settled there many generations ago. I just have to make a small point – American Arabs have been here for hundreds of years.

Fancy dress shop for weddings and events.

Fancy dress shop for weddings and events.

Mexico or Texas?

Mexico or Texas?

We said goodbye and as you can see from the header photograph, I quickly felt I was in Mexico even though it was Texas. When the violence and cartels came to Cuidad Juarez, many of the residents sought refuge in El Paso and set up similar shops. I had arrived after a cold snap and most people were wearing trousers or leggings. Not only did I stand out with bright blonde hair but I was wearing less than everyone else. Then I noticed a Hispanic Ranchero walking alongside me, crossing at each traffic light. He was about my age, well dressed with white hair and a Stetson. When we stopped at the lights he would very deliberately look me up and down as though I were a prime heifer (at my age, I would made into cat food).

I was getting anxious about whether I was dressed appropriately when he finally went ahead of me but just waited… As I passed him, he whispered something to me in Spanish. It was too low for me to make out with my bad Spanish but I suspect it was –

• An invitation to join him somewhere for love, sweet love
• An inquiry as to how much I charged for the hour
• Or a simple compliment

I dashed off in horror (that my Nana was right about Women who wear outfits so skimpy you ‘can see their breakfast’) and immediately shopped for an appropriate outfit to buy. There was a real mix of Hoochie Mama style and basic stuff. Eventually I choose a long tunic and some leggings and was brave enough to ask the shopkeeper, a lady with ample assets on show, if I was dressed appropriately. She poo-pooed my concerns and said that it was just the cold weather front. Perhaps she wasn’t the right person to ask? Eventually I got the balance right, modest for church and barrio; cougar style at the hotel.

There are murals all over downtown El Segundo Barrio. This is Pancho Villa.

There are murals all over downtown El Segundo Barrio. This is Pancho Villa.

This a link to the history of El Segundo Barrio (The Second Ward)

Despite my encounter, I felt no fear in the shops or the area which was, in parts, a little down at heel. Downtown is so small that you quickly go from Wells Fargo headquarters (hiss, boo), fancy hotels and restaurants to the Barrio. I eventually bought a $3 fedora because the sun was hot on my head. The first shopkeeper went to great lengths to send me to another shop because he didn’t have what I wanted. When I arrived at said shop, I noticed that not everything was new (to me). I am not really very fussy but I would like my hat to be brand new – fortunately, they were. Some of the other shops also had a mix of new and secondhand clothes. Wonderfully fascinating unless you have airs and graces like my Teddy who turned his nose up at the thrift shop shirt I got him (dry-cleaned and in perfect condition). He will wear it (by royal thrift decree)!!

This an example of a fancy new restaurant with a beautiful flower display, just 2 minutes from the Mexican shops. Below is the sidewalk clock.

More adventures to come…

30 thoughts on “El Segundo Barrio, El Paso

  1. We are extremely sorry to hear about the experience that caused anxiety. Despite such an experience, you have written this post with a positive view. We appreciate this. We hope that no one will ever experience such a horror while touristing any town.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry but i am CRYING with laughter at your wardrobe dilemma …. I’ll bet the stetson wearing silver fox had something exotic on his (excited) mind ….. you know what my beautiful friend – you are such a kindred and I know you looked like a Killer Queen in your shortie flirty get-up! Happiest of happy days to you and lots of love sweet love 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you would love this, Osyth! Us cougars in our ra-ra skirts and shorts have to stick together. I am usually delighted to be chatted up, especially by silver foxes…😍🍗
      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh me too! The chatting up for what is life without some flirtateous fun! I am beyond excited for tomorrow …. the turkey is standing by, the recipes are all marked up and all I have to do is brave the supermarket for the last minute bits …. we may prove my last hurrah!!!! Enjoy every minute of yours and know that I wlll be raising a glass to you tomorrow here in rather windy Massachusetts! x


      • You haven’t gone to the supermarket yet? Are you crazy???? There was a queue at the liquor store this morning before it opened at 10 am. We laughed about how ridiculous we all look, scratching at the door… This is not what the pilgrims intended. 😆
        PS Go in your ra-ra skirt – they might let ‘special’ people go to the front of the line

        Liked by 1 person

      • By the way I hope you didn’t mean ‘special’ in the French way? Un peu speciale …. a bit cuckoo?!!! Back from the store in one piece and with a bottle of bubbles on ice we are cooking on gas here in Mass (even though the stove is actually electric). Thermal knickyknackyknoos definitely needed for reasons of potential chapping!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Kerry’s El Paso Tales – Life of an El Paso Woman

  4. Pingback: Flirting in El Paso | Postcards from Kerry

  5. I told my husband just the other day that I wanted to visit a US border town with Mexico…El Paso is looking great! I have had odd experiences with men in my travels as well. Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are or how you’re dressed, there’s just one oddball in the crowd…! I always give whichever city I’m in a bit of slack as well. I know my city has oddballs, too! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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