El Paso, United States
Rebecca, 54
Community warrior, connector, designer
see her El Paso city guide

ask Rebecca about

mexican food gourmet coffee cocktail bars museums public art architecture hiking

What do you do and why do you do it?

As a third-generation El Pasoan, I was raised with the notion that giving back to my community was a responsibility and an honor. So I focus my time, energy and resources on impacting the arts and social services through my volunteer work and board leadership roles. Also am a graphic designer!

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Amy Winehouse: Tears Dry; Annie Lenox: The Saddest Song; Edith Piaf: Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien; Indigo Girls: Southland in the Springtime; k.d. lang: Coming Home; Lyle Lovett: Blue Skies; Norah Jones: Come Away With Me (entire album); Nina Simone: Ain’t Got No; The Best of the S.O.S Band; Sting: When We Dance; Tracy Chapman: Change; Noa: Can I Reach You

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Land of the Lost, Speed Racer, I Love Lucy, Six Feet Under, Transparent, This Is Us, Madame Secretary

Name some spots in El Paso that are good for a Tinder date.

Eloise, Tabla, Hillside Coffee & Donut, Cafe Central, hiking in the Franklin Mountains

Who’s your hero and where in El Paso would you take them out for a serious hang?

Frank Bruni, former restaurant critic and current op-ed columnist at The New York Times. We’d just eat. And hang out on our porch, drinking wine and talking food and politics.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Armoire (awesome local boutique owned by my friend, Edwardo). Anthropologie.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Nothing’s off-limits, but I’m not wild about Dyer Street or far Northwest EP.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Go to Juarez, our soul-sister city (ten minutes from us) across the border in Mexico. Well, not never. Just too infrequently.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in El Paso and where did you get it?

The entire meal (whipped buttermilk horchata, Dungeness crab ice cube, Viking barley roll, rose petal mole, amish chicken skin, smoked black cod, hearth duck deception) we had at a pop-up created by local chef, Roberto Cortez, in a space designed and fabricated by our good friends, Agency Architects.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in El Paso that you particularly like?

Definitely not hidden, but our (and so many others’) favorite hole in the wall, the L&J.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in El Paso? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Ooh... not so much here that is super expensive. Probably the meal above. $250 per person.

What restaurant in El Paso looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Little Shack. Delicious Mexican seafood served up in a dark galley.

Where can you get the best cocktail in El Paso? Which one do you like?

Ardovino’s Desert Crossing (actually in Sunland Park, New Mexico). They make a fab Boulevardier with bourbons you can’t find anywhere else in town and Carpano Antica.

Where would you take your partner in El Paso if you wanted to really pamper them?

To Green Tea Massage for a magnificent foot and leg treatment, then to Cafe Central for lunch or dinner.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

I’ll narrow that down to snacks from El Paso... Chicharrones (fried pork skins), paletas (frozen fruit pops). Anything made with local green chile!

What’s the one place you think is overrated in El Paso?

H&H Car Wash.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in El Paso?

El Paso Museum of Art.

What are the El Paso spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

The L&J Cafe. El Paso Museum of Art. San Jacinto Plaza, our central downtown gathering space. Drinks at Blackbird pre-or post- a Chihuahuas baseball game at our beautiful stadium. Scenic Drive. Ardovino’s Desert Crossing. TI:ME at Montecillo for eating and uber-local shopping. Rocketbuster Boots. The chapel at University Medical Center (envisioned by local artist, Annabelle Livermore, whose artwork adorns the space). A walk through UTEP’s Bhutanese-inspired campus architecture (don’t miss the Rubin Center for Contemporary Art and Centennial Plaza!). Further afield, but within easy driving: White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns.

Tomorrow’s your last day in El Paso. How do you spend it?

Start with hiking the Thousand Steps trail in the Franklin Mountains, then relax and regenerate over a michelada and green chile enchiladas at the L&J. Afternoon tours of the amazing murals that adorn the walls of Segundo Barrio and the downtown architecture of local icon, Henry Trost, would lead into drinks, dinner and music on the patio of Ardovino’s Desert Crossing.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Barcelona. It’s a city that celebrates and embodies my passions: exploration, food, architecture, art and design. I believe it’s the most graceful and integrity-full marriage of the ancient and the avant-garde. I love spending time in places that invite walking and the possibility of discovery, no matter where in the city you find yourself...

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Adal Rivas