El Lucero – Begin Again
Chorizo & Egg $1.45 • Carne Guisada $1.95 • Coffee $1.10
I’m 40. I know there are about half of you who wish you were 40 again, and the other half who dread the thought. My teen years were a time of trying to figure out where I was, and who I was. My 20s were a time where I still had hope and ambition that I would do something great. By the time I was in my 30s I was trying to adapt to the world, rather than bending it to my will – and I was managing my expectations. I’m not going to be a rock star. I’m not going to be a director, or an actor, or developer of some piece of software that would change the way we think. At 40, I’m lucky if I can make it through the workday. And I’m not just saying that. I do, now, feel lucky to walk out to my 10 year old pickup at 5, or 6, or 9, and unlock the passenger door because the keyhole on the driver’s door is jammed from when someone opened it with a screwdriver to steal my blue Fender Jazz bass many months back. I hop in, drive across the harbor bridge and the causeway with the sun over my left shoulder turning everything in front of me magenta and orange, looking at the water that is a different color every day. It never gets old.
So, in my 40s I hope it will be the decade where I start fresh – with a more solid footing and more realistic expectations, and wisdom. I don’t know everything, but I know more than I did yesterday. I see parallels in my experience and the American experience. We got kicked in the teeth 10 years ago, thinking nobody had the nerve to take a shot at us. Now we know what it’s like for every other country in the world – to not be untouchable. We got the wind knocked out of us, and got off balance when we tried to punch back. We took our eye off the ball, and by the time we came to we’d been had by the government, by globalization, by the banks and the financial industry, by the republicans and the democrats who feed us the illusion of choice, the fed, big oil, big pharma, and anyone else with a bar of soap and a towel at the blanket party. We’re not going out like that. We’re coming back, stronger and smarter. We will do what our country does best – reinvent ourselves.
Corpus Christi can do it too. I lived in Austin in the 80s, before it blew up. During the S&L crisis there were tons of new office buildings that were totally empty. They turned it around, and their population has doubled in that time. Austin looked forward, and embraced education, diversity, and the future. Corpus Christi could take a hint and quit holding on to the past and start looking forward. Youth is our future, and if we don’t make this city a place they want to stay in they will leave, and we’ll fade away. I’m talking to you, city council. Work together, instead of fussing like children. Texting? Really? Is that your job? Arguing about texting? When half of the buildings downtown haven’t been occupied in more than a decade and are uninhabitable, and no one does a thing about it? They should be brought up to code or razed, I don’t care who owns them. It’s disgraceful to see the Lichtenstein building with gaping holes all over it’s rear – and human feces all over the stairs from downtown to uptown, and the only people who seem to care is Bill H on the vacuum cart and the hellishly efficient meter maids. And Brad Lomax, and Alan Albin at the DMD, and the folks at K Space, and Joe Hilliard, and last but not least Casey ‘the Rooster’ Lain. These are the people who are keeping this cities’ culture alive. Even Produce, though they took liberties with my companies’ logo on the last artwalk poster, and let’s not forget Glassworx, cuz the 20 somethings like to smoke things while they wear their kicks and their weird baseball caps with the bills on the side, and the Yin-Yang Fandango because anachronism is entertaining, and pachouli smells better wafting off a hippiechick than an incense stick, and SegCity cuz segways are like big girls – your friends may not think they’re cool but they’re a hell of a lot of fun. As long as I’m just plugging, stop by the Treehouse Collective who are not, as far as I can tell, commies – in spite of their name. And while you’re there you could do worse than to stop by Surf Club Records, or if you want the really cool shirts, or to get your cooking or pocket knives scary sharp, Whetstone Graphics – where you can even pick up a Tacotopia Tee. Let’s not forget Aloe Tile, in the old Studebaker dealership; The only downtown business I know with a banjo-playing co-owner. The most important person in the whole scheme of things (not to sound like Fred Rogers) is you. Go out and do something cool, or help someone who’s doing something cool, or at least don’t be a jerk.
This weeks taco joint has reinvented itself too, even since the last time we were there when it was Chacho’s. Now it’s El Lucero, and the atmosphere is a little different. Where once there was Harley memorabilia and steel, now there’s blank walls and disenfectant. I don’t know which is better, though in my experience cleaner taquerias do not necessarily render tastier tacos. The chorizo & egg was pretty bland, not much chorizo, not much salt, not much flavor. The carne guisada had a ton of salt, and flavor – though it was very food-servicey flavor. The tortillas were good, both flour and corn, both salsas were passable – the verde was excellent, creamy with some heat. This was their grand opening so I should go back and see if it get’s better later in it’s lifecycle.
Sorry for the extended hiatus. I’ve started 10 different posts that haven’t made it online, but the world is turning around me and I’m trying to get back in the fray.
The taco award winner for the week is:
Long overdue for some respect is the talented and beautiful Adrienne Barbeau – who at 65 is still able to lure monsters out of their hiding places as she did in Creepshow, The Swamp Thing, and The Fog. Monster movies weren’t her only outlet for performing, even though she was married to one of the elder statesemen of the genre – John Carpenter, as she was in the classic Cannonball Run seen here trying to talk her way out of a ticket. Before her scream-queen days, she worked as a gogo dancer in New York and as such worked for the mob. She also played Rizzo in the Broadway production of Grease, and wrote a couple of books, and even had a kid at age 51 with her husband who happens to be the brother of little Steven Van Zandt. Now that she and I are both married I guess our long distance romance will never be consummated but I will always have a spot in my heart for her massive talents.
Offer includes 2 tacos, an audience with the ‘tacoteurs,’ and a free tacotopia t-shirt. Please redeem this offer at to firstname.lastname@example.org. on a Friday morning of your choice. Offer subject to cancellation by order of the wives of the tacoteurs. Enter to win by emailing your name on the back of a copy of the European release of the Swamp Thing to.