Unless you’ve been to Bentonville, it’s hard to put into perspective the experience of visiting Arkansas’s fastest-growing metro area. Located in the foothills of the Ozarks and bustling with business and entrepreneurship, this once sleepy little town with a population of no more than 30, today still feels like a modern-day version of the movie Pleasantville, with its white picket fences and pristine neighborhoods surrounding the heart of Bentonville’s community – its historical Downtown Square. In the 1880s the square served as a watering place for livestock. In 1901 Bentonville shipped one-half million bushels of apples from it bounty of apple trees, which according to the U.S. Census Bureau at that time accounted for the largest number of bearing apple trees of any county in the United States. Eventually the city of Bentonville expanded around its Downtown Square and today more than 45,000 call this community in Northwest Arkansas home.
There’s history in Orange Beach. We could tell as soon as we drove into this surprisingly unexpected corner of the Gulf Coast. Its location is right at the point where Alabama and Florida connect. If you’re not careful you could end up crossing state lines without even noticing. We did and for a moment it felt like we were driving right back into Florida after having bid farewell to the Sunshine State just a few minutes earlier. If you have ever driven the entire length of the Sunshine State, you will appreciate why the thought of being back in Florida after having just exited the state would be more than a little nerve-wrecking. Luckily for us, we were in fact in Alabama.
We were in Denver recently visiting my brother. Edgar and I were. It was the first time we had both been in that city since my brother moved there a couple of years ago. I’ll tell you more about that trip in another blog post, but one of the places I definitely wanted to check out while in Denver was the Museo de las Americas. Mainly because for years now the museum has been sending me email updates about its exhibitions and events. They always sounded so interesting, and since it’s usually Latin American art it’s right up my alley. We were surprised that the museum itself was pretty small, especially because we had heard the Latino art scene in Denver was pretty huge. However, what it lacked in size it more than made up for in its punch. The exhibition we got to explore, which was closing a day or two after our visit, was Pachucos y Sirenas.
There’s something about driving a pickup truck that just makes you feel like a Texan. People look at you differently. It says something about you, and there’s a certain sense of pride that comes attached with the keys when they are in your hands. Don’t believe me? Try it and tell me I’m wrong. I have always been a sucker for big trucks with a lot of power so it was only natural that the brand new 2018 Chevrolet Silverado High Country would win my heart over as soon as it arrived at my driveway a few weeks ago. All of five minutes later ya yo estaba en ¡MI TROCA! Notice how I claimed it as mine immediately. Two seconds after that I was cruising down my neighborhood all pumped up about how nice the interior of the truck was as well. I mean, it came equipped with the works. You remember how you used to drive around in your very first car hoping to run into people you knew so they could see you in your new car? Well yeah, that was basically me the whole time the truck was here. It was very, very nice.
So it’s official. We have kind of undergone a major facelift over at Juan of Words. I know it might have been a while since your last visit, which is why I thought I’d let you know. After years of using a very basic template to house all our content (for the past eight years), we felt it was time to give our home online a refresh. When we first started the website it was only a blog. Even though we have added much more to our plate since that first initial post, we just never got around to giving it much thought. Mucho menos the attention it needed to really do something a bit more contemporary. So our new home, you will notice, still includes all of the 800+ blog posts we have written over time, but it also now houses some of the newest things we are doing as well. For one thing, you can get a lot more up to date information and images from Anjelica and I on our new images section. You can also watch our latest videos from wherever we published them originally, right here in one single place.
One of the things we’ve always known about each other is that family comes first. I mean we met at my sister’s going away party when she was leaving Houston for D.C., all of 15 years ago now. From that moment on we have spent a lot of our time together around our extended family. Who would have imagined that what started as an awkward conversation in the dining hall of a Mexican restaurant, fueled by liquid courage in the form of margaritas, would have us here today, that many years wiser and more experienced. We were in our twenties when we first met so you can imagine the changes each of us has made over the past 15 years. But let’s be real, we’re still the same crazy pair of metiches we have always been. If anything, now we are much more crafty about our shenanigans.
I’m not sure how or why this new genre of music has caught my attention the way it has, but something about the rawness of it makes me want to listen more closely. To be honest, I didn’t even know this style of music existed until Cardi B. That probably tells you everything you want to know about my perspective in this discussion. But if you still want to continue reading anyway I sure do appreciate it very much. The other trap artist that’s on my playlist right now is Bad Bunny. Funny enough, both musicians are the “it” collaborators on so many different tracks – from JLO to Bruno Mars, Karol G, and so many others, in English and Spanish. You can hardly find a playlist or radio station on the air that’s not playing at least a small piece of something by either artist.
It’s been my home for the past 18 years. Houston, for me, is the place where I feel most comfortable. It is the city that took in a family of immigrants and opened doors for us, far beyond our wildest imaginations. It is the city where I met my wife, started a family, and eventually a business. For all intents and purposes, I guess you could say, it is my compass in the universe. The place I naturally gravitate towards no matter how far away I venture. To understand Houston, however, takes serious dedication. The burgeoning metropolis nestled amid bustling highways, byways and tollways, as well as incorporated and unincorporated annexes from the Gulf Coast to the hill country, is home to some six million residents from all over the world. The city was recently recognized as the most diverse in the United States and is well on its way to surpass Chicago as the third-largest in the country by population.