Thursday, January 31, 2008


The Streets crew is slowly realizing what a big deal George Washington is in Laredo.

The "WBC" (Washington's Birthday Celebration for the uncool) began in earnest last weekend, and promises to bludgeon us (and by extension, you) with blogworthy material until late next month.

Why celebrate a random gringo two thousand miles away from where he spent his entire natural life? It's sort of like being "big in Japan."

I won't go into the whole story, but apparently Laredo was in need of some national spirit after we annexed it from Mexico, and so local elites decided to drum up affection for their new founding father by dressing up as Indians and staging an attack on City Hall. Then Pocahontas showed up and saved the day. Confused yet?

Anyway, local gentry have taken this as an excuse to dress up and throw debutante balls / galas / conspicuous-displays-of-wealth ever since, and the rest of Laredo has taken it as an excuse to eat jalapeƱos and drink Bud Light. Awesome!

The SOL Crew attended several inaugural events last weekend, including a bull-riding tour, a Sister City crafts exposition, and the fabled Jamboozie (CQ, any good photos?). The Jamboozie gave us the opportunity to drink purple soda with vodka (the traditional campesino beverage for which the festival is named) and catch the only actually great music we've heard in Laredo - Poncho Sanchez.

Actually, my favorite part of the weekend was walking into the Sister City exposition - a swirl of craft-makers, consumers and Mexican Spanish - and being handed a hot tortilla by our ubiquitous mayor. "Take it from the plate," he said. "I don't want to get sued." It was like a dream.


jc said...

Alex points out that being "handed a tortilla" is an apt metaphor for our entire experience down here.

Chud said...

Hey, compare it to your experience with Bloomberg. You asked him for metaphorical tortillas all the time; he gave you the high hat.