Rio Grande Valley Girl

Cristela Alonzo grew up outside McAllen in the sort of poverty that most of us can hardly imagine; for a while, her mother had to cook meals for Alonzo and her three siblings on a portable space heater. Today, the 35-year-old stand-up comic has risen far above her destitute childhood. She’s one of the most popular comedians on the college circuit, has appeared on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show, and had her own half-hour special on Comedy Central. This month she’ll take her biggest leap.

San Antonio and Its Discontents

Dr. Diane Lawson Martinez’s psychiatry and psychotherapy practice in Alamo Heights sits at the top of a gently turning stairwell paneled with light-hued wood and illuminated by stylish groupings of small, square windows. By the time patients reach her sunlit office, they likely feel as if they have ascended to a high-end tree house rather than a professional space where a well-credentialed medical doctor—twelve diplomas hang from her wall—will plumb the depths of their troubled psyches. 

The Other White Meat

Two hours before go time at the World Championship BBQ Goat Cook-off, in Brady, a fellow judge and I are surveying the cooking rigs. The smell of lighter fluid hangs heavy in the air as we walk past the booth of one contestant, where a nearly raw half carcass is roasting on a spit. “I hope we don’t get that one at our table,” my colleague whispers to me, despairing of the possibility of tasting gas fumes when he bites into his lunch.

Because Everything Is Tinier in Texas

The ongoing dilemma of what to do with the Astrodome has been one of the more amusing sideshows in Houston over the past couple of years. Suggestions have ranged from the brutally utilitarian (turning it into a massive parking garage) to the whimsical (transforming it into a monument to Billie Jean King, whose victory in the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match took place beneath the Dome).

Texarkana, on the Rocks

The Sabbath is coming to a close in Bowie County, and in the glow of a lavender late-summer Sunday evening, Pastor Dave Seifert, of Wake Village’s Twin Cities’ Baptist Temple, is watching his flock depart. Almost twenty years ago, Seifert came to this county in the northeast corner of the state to get away from the rest of the world. But the world’s evils have followed him here, and now they’re nipping at the heels of the faithful.


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