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Top Five Destinations of El Paso

If I were to rank songs that had cities for titles, I think “El Paso” has to be in the top five. I know it can’t be number one, because “Los Angeles” by X has that spot. (It’s an appropriate time to mention it as well, as a tribute to Ray Manzarek, who produced the album and died this week.) “Kansas City” certainly has a nice bluesy feel. “Twin Falls” is a great Built to Spill song. As one of the few fans of Hole’s second album “Celebrity Skin,” I really like “Malibu.” One of Phoenix’s many catchy songs is “Rome.” “New York, New York” has the love of Yankee fans, but even though I love ol’ Blue Eyes, I think I have to side with Marty Robbins on this one. Of course, once I do a bit of research, I find out that the true title is “Theme from New York, New York” and originally sung by Liza Minnelli for Martin Scorsese’s film.

elpaso3So, that means that I can open up my list to other songs that don’t just have the name of the city in the title, because once I break the rule, I break it all the way. In comes “I Love L.A.” by Randy Newman, “The Guns of Brixton” by The Clash, “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss, “Dogs of L.A.” by Liz Phair, “Road to Mallow” by Peter Mulvey, “Via Chicago” by Wilco and “No Sleep til Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys. But, now I’m just naming songs and I haven’t even gone to blues classics that mix in city names all of the time like most of the album “Louis Armstrong plays W.C. Handy.”

What I’m saying is that I like all of those songs, but “El Paso” still sits in that top five. It comes to life and flows through my mind so easily. However, as I one day drive into El Paso, with my windows down and my music cranking, I won’t be blasting “El Paso” to be ironic or cool because the song will just continually bop around my brain as I tour the city checking out these five things.

Visit the El Paso Holocaust Museum

The first image that I see when I look at The El Paso Holocaust Museum website is a wooden fence with a Star of David painted beside a sign where the only word I can read is “Getto.” Below the sign is a bicycle and next to that, a guarded entrance. Though the thought of a museum dedicated to the Holocaust in El Paso initially surprised me, just looking at the picture made me glad it’s there.

Check out the National Border Patrol Museum

On the polar opposite side, the images I see when I surf over to the National Border Patrol Museum site confuse me in a not so good way. There’s modern day uniformed men posed with lassos and cowboy hats, guys on four wheelers and another that shows three men holding pistols pointed up toward a roof. I’m curious and a little worried.

Go Bowling at Oasis Lanes

When I poked around Visit El Paso and started to browse the attractions, I came to a complete stop at the following sentence, “Bowling has a long and rich history, and today is one of the most popular sports in the world. El Paso is home to many locally owned and operated bowling alleys.” That just bowled me over. So, I looked at the Oasis Lanes site. Seeing $1 bowling and shoes and $1 Bud Lights and Tecates on Tuesday bowled me over again.

Hike around Franklin Mountains State Park

After all the beer (and probably bowling alley food like burgers and nachos) I’m going to need to go for a good hike. Franklin Mountains State Park has over 100 miles of multi-use trails for my purpose.

Eat several times at Crave Kitchen and Bar

I saw biscuits and green chile gravy on the breakfast menu and buttermilk fried chicken and waffles with green chile mac and cheese and roasted baby beets on the dinner menu. I’m already sold on Crave Kitchen and Bar.

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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