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The Paseo


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A Night in Old Mexico -- Already it's available on streaming from NetFlix--no big surprise though really, after the thrashing it got from most critics. But as Joe Leydon of Variety favorably puts it, "A Tex-Mex-flavored shaggy-dog story that finds [Robert] Duvall perfectly cast as a robustly cantankerous South Texas rancher determined to have one last fling south of the border." And it's good for that, 'shaggy' as the plot may be, which it decidedly is, but with a little suspension of disbelief, well, we found it to be just plain fun. 

Maybe I'm biased because of the times I spent south of the border once upon a time, on the standpoint of which I can attest that the atmosphere generated by this picture could not have been better captured, and considering that not one scene was shot anywhere further south than Rio Hondo, Texas (just a few miles north of Brownsville) -- it's amazing!

Every little pueblo and bordertown, even many a city in Mexico has its Zócalo its 'town square', as it were, which is rarely ever 'square' but circular, centered by a fountain or statuary or both, and if the one they created for this film was built on a studio sound stage or somewhere on location--well, they couldn't have done a better job of representing it because it looked so much like those I had occasion to visit of a morning, afternoon, or evening to be taking a load off my feet after some time spent browsing in the tiendas and open air markets. 

There it was so sweet, just to sit down under the trees, sometimes with their sprays of Bougainvillea climbing; so serene as it was to relax there on a bench, while strains of accordion and guitar came as a soft breeze with their consolations from a cojunto of Corrido musicians playing nearby. Ah, it was just to sit and savor the spring fragrance in the air, to taste the flavors from a torta, the little fresh-baked bun prepared for a serving of avocado and tomato, spritzed with lime, bought from a vendor right there on the square, where the children play all round and pretty muchachas with their mamas are forever passing by, come a leisurely stroll upon an evening's paseo--a never-ending event known all over Mexico, and a custom for which I fear there is no American equivalent.

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