I didn't get to take many pictures in El Paso. We were too busy working. They had a freak cold snap and in all my efforts to get out of the lingering New York winter I ended up missing the mild heat wave we had in late April in order to experience some rare chilly weather on the Mexico-Texas border.
The landscape in El Paso is barren and flat. There is no vegetation to speak of, not even a cactus in sight as we drove our mini van packed with camera gear up and down the long flat highway that runs parallel to a twenty foot tall fence surrounded by little white patrol vehicles. There is no vegetation, there are no high buildings, and it's close enough to the equator that the sun reigns supreme and resulting in some of the most intense shadows I've ever seen. Everything is stark. Fat cats slept in tiny round shadows under cars on driveways. One of the cops we followed for the show asked me about rent in New York...I estimated that a one-bedroom could cost $2,000 a month. He was blown away by that, said that for $2,000 in El Paso you could rent a whole house, the nicest house in the county. I think about that now and realize I was underestimating by a lot. I think about that now and realize: but then you'd have to live in El Paso.
El Paso has tacos in vast supply, all-female mariachi bands, parks and even a few Vietnamese pho places. I spent most of my time driving a goofy mini-van full of camera equipment and coaching Paula, our PA, on how to ace an interview and who she should and should not date. But what do I know anyway? I was a PA that week too. It's hard work they have to do and I feel bad for them. I spent most of my time examining how the sun fell across buildings and reading Speedboat again and again in an empty van.