Yesterday I went for a walk in downtown El Paso. The older part where they are trying to turn the hood into a postcard where everyone is smiling brightly and sunlight reflects off chemically whitened teeth.
I won't get into how I feel about parts of it: disappointed and choked with things being forced down my throat as the city officials place their hands on the back of my head. Or how I feel about the other part of it: nostalgic with it's restored beauty and I remember my childhood, clasping my grandmother's sweaty palm as we walked the downtown streets.
As I walked by Firefighters Memorial Park, a small corner hidden behind tall buildings and homes, I snapped some photos. The sun was bright and unforgiving--it must be called that in El Paso because it's the best description--but I still wanted to look around and get close to the vintage light posts which have replaced the tainted silver ones that used to be there. Beads of sweat were already beginning to surface across the bridge of my nose and along my spine but I still crossed the street and looked at the street art. I smiled at it being left intact and the color it brought to brown adobe colored buildings and at the young green trees just planted trying to establish roots, standing next to giants that have been their for decades. I looked up at their pink flowers, shaded from the sun, and breathed in deeply.