Gabriel San Roman
El Paso Is the Underdog of the Southwest—So Don't Underestimate It
As I waited to board a flight from LAX to El Paso, I received the first sign that my motherland was close. It was February, and across the terminal sat a young guy sporting a baseball cap supporting the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, as popular a sight in the city as Angels hats are in Anaheim. When the new team name emerged in 2013, many found it demeaning, but the logo of a snarling chihuahua has become a fitting symbol for an underdog border town such as "El Chuco," which is all too often dismissed as mere desert drab.
El Paso rests at the center of a circumference that maps my Southwestern lineage, spanning from southern New Mexico to Chihuahua, Mexico.
Read more on my OC Weekly Summer Guide travel essay out on newsstands now!