The Bleacher Report's Lisa Horne may not think El Paso's very cool.
But Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder does.
During a sold-out show Nov. 7 at the same Plaza Theatre that blogger Horne dissed as a mere "movie theater," Vedder praised the beauty of the restored 1930 movie palace and wondered why his band had never performed in the Sun City before.
"I'm having one of those moments," he said. "It's one of those what-the-f--- were we thinking moments. It's beautiful here."
We'd bet that many of the 2 million people who live in the El Paso-Juarez metropolitan area might agree.
Sure, we're no L.A. We don't have Disneyland, a TV or film industry, nor do we have miles and miles of bars and other watering holes that Horne so obviously wishes we had.
But we are a growing city with plenty of things to see and do here. And some of those gems are included in the tripadvisory.com list that Horne picked up and didn't like.
Horne's column picking fun at El Paso's attractions that could be visited by University of Southern California fans during the Sun Bowl appeared last week on the Bleacher Report, a sports website that includes numerous blogs, but was promptly removed.
Saying all that, here are some local sites very much worth seeing, especially if you are new to El Paso or coming in for the Sun Bowl to see USC and Georgia Tech.
-- Plaza Theatre: It's no mere "movie theater." It's a historic movie palace, restored for more than $30 million in 2006, an effort led by the El Paso Community Foundation. It has working stars on the ceiling, not to mention unique Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.
The 2,000-seater is the home of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra -- the state's oldest (and it's a big state) -- and the world's largest classic film festival in the Plaza Classic Flm Festival. It features a busy slate of Broadway touring shows, which included a sell-out run of "Wicked" (the show came here in February after playing Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre).
The Plaza Theatre also hosts concerts by the likes of Michael Buble, Tom Waits (who got the key to the city), Willie Nelson, Chicago, Dave Koz and the aforementioned Vedder, who praised the community effort that saved and restored the theater from the wrecking ball. "It's so important to keep treasures like this alive," he said.
-- Night life: For those younger USC fans, there are plenty of watering holes, most of which aren't far from the Sun Bowl. There's the Cincinnati entertainment district, a small cluster of bars and eateries right across North Mesa Street from the University of Texas at El Paso campus, including live music havens the Lowbrow Palace and Black Market. You can also hop in a cab and take a short ride to the Union Plaza entertainment district Downtown, just west of the city's convention center.
Thanks to Juarez, El Pasoans were into electronic dance music before anyone knew who Skrillex was, and most of the clubs and nicer restaurants in the Union Plaza area, including the Black Pearl, 1914 Lounge and The Garden, cater to that crowd early into the morning.
Not far away are Tricky Falls and its upstairs Bowie Feathers bar (where Atlanta rapper Lil Scrappy performs New Year's Eve), owned in part by Jim Ward of At the Drive-In and Sparta. Get here early enough and you can probably score a ticket to the town's biggest EDM dance party of the year, Audible, featuring one of its biggest artists, Deadmau5, and one of L.A.'s rising stars, Audrey Napoleon, at 9 p.m. Dec. 29 at the convention center.
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