January 2004–College, an experience that gives you the knowledge and awakens you to new views, so that you are better prepared for your life. Wherever you go to school, as long as you go, you will run into things that you prepared yourself for, either by warnings from your parents or by another wise and mysterious Yoda, and things that will shock, amaze, scare, and other weird emotions that you didn’t even know about, or can yet give a name to. I had the great luck to have a great guru as a mentor. I cannot give him a name, because the great guru would not have that, but we can at least say that he graduated a year before me, and went to a private school right off Montrose. We were very close throughout our secondary school, and when he went off to college, I visited and saw some amazing things, and was taught some amazing things. The first of the wonders was about Montrose and the surrounding area. Now that I am in college it is my right to pass on my knowledge, and to warn those that go into this area…. Beware… If you dont believe me, you will… I am now your guru, and will only be known as such.
The other night I had one of those 2:00am cravings for Mexican food but it was a certain type of Mexican food, on a certain Street. The Mexican food I desired was a tostadas and “The Street” was the ever-famous Montrose. Yes Montrose, you know the one; with the…lets say…”diverse” groups of people who just happen to be out at 2:00am. These people are not necessarily bad people, just different people, and it’s safe to walk down the street, if you are the right type (and by that I mean the right type for Montrose and the bad type for the rest of the world) of person. What is the right type of person? Well, I can say, while driving I saw a large black man walking by himself. Yes, I know… that’s not the quality he needs to walk on “The Street” yet. He needed an edge. He looked like the thugged-out, everyday black guy you might see in a bad rap video but that wasn’t the normal edge this guy was smoking. His edge is what he has in hand. A gun… NO….. you are so predictable, no weapons of the sort…well maybe. Drugs?…. HAHA!!…. this is Montrose, not some little ally in downtown Houston. Before I tell you what he has in his hand, I saw that there was a bigger tougher black man coming up “The Street” to him. And the most interesting part about him was that he had the same thing in his hand. It was their own penises. What were they doing? I could tell you but its best to leave things to the imagination. It doesn’t get any more edger than that, well maybe. Later that same night, on the same street, I saw three tall, blonde, and female figures standing next to each other just 2 close blocks down the street. My first thought was that they were just some female prostitutes (it’s rather common here) but when I drove closer and closer and yet closer still. I began to realize that they were not female at all. There stood three of the most feminine males I have ever seen. Their hair had a perm, their nail were done in newest styles and their make-up was done with the same artistry and skill as Vincent Van Gogh.
Montrose, the street where nearly everyone in Houston has been on, is not a terrible road to be on…if it’s during day. Montrose in the daytime is quite different, mostly because it becomes less hostile with most of the inhabitants fearful of the light. The University of St. Thomas is located on the street. It being a private university makes their main focus directed heavily on religion and morals. In the past, I would say that the university is losing the battle for the souls of Montrose, but with it’s brand new renovations, and it’s powerful looking Chapel of St. Basil, with it’s dome (which I can tell you is 24k gold), that can be seen for an amazing distance, St. Thomas might win (by the way, they only pay the janitors minimum wage with no benefits so that they could pay for that dome….what a easy sacrifice). This very second, students are going to the university and renewing their faith and learning. And because of all this, the daytime is filled with the cleansed souls of college students…well, that’s partially right…you will still see a cross-dresser or a little drug dealing happening behind a tattoo parlor. That’s why I say, “the streets can be like Montrose but only Montrose can be “”The Street”.”
I’m sure at this point you will begin to wonder why I still went to see the guru. Well, I have a strong stomach but those to which this gift is not acquainted I can only say, too bad. With that in mind, if that story of the street bothered you in any way, walk away now, because the terror of that street has spread, not only into the businesses that are on the street, but has branched it’s way to many other’s causing a labyrinth of weird gooeyness all over the city of Houston. You would think that going down another street just off Montrose, keeping a good speed of about 120 mph, aiming for all unlucky, and mysterious looking pedestrians, who might also be from that strange and wonderful street, would be enough to get away from it all, well maybe, but….Montrose is stronger still. Those same doubts have claimed the lives of others, I am here, as your guru, to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.
With the pangs of hunger we finally arrived at the great restaurant to which the great name of La Tapatia was given. We ourselves only stumbled upon it, but it’s greatness knows no bounds. We all have to keep in mind that college costs money. When your in college you have to watch what you buy and what you do, because you never have any money. So, when you are hungry or want to go hang out, you just about know, that you can’t. That’s why college kids always find the cheapest and best food that there is. The easiest to find is Mexican food. It’s greasy, it’s cheap, and the places that have good cheap food usually look as cheap as the food is…as a matter of fact, I think we saw some refried beans holding up wallpaper (only joking). I still love it though, and will defend it with my life…actually, if it came to that, I would just find another one, because they are a dime a dozen around the Houston area.
To give a better description of La Tapatia itself you have to remember every creepy and putrid place you’ve ever been in…ok, it’s not that bad. It’s just a typical low maintenance restaurant, with a awful paint job, that you wouldn’t bring anybody in your family, except maybe the younger siblings to scare them by telling them your going to leave them there. You see, the worst part about the place isn’t the place itself but everything around it. There is an old and shady abandoned building right next to it, with a really peculiar low rent apartment building on the other side. It’s right down the road from the infamous Montrose. Those who do not keep a wary eye on Montrose will soon find themselves next to exquisite people of unknown sex and background and with all this in mind, you have to tell yourself, it’s an adventure. Food and an adventure, can you beat it with all the money in the world? Well, when you go there, you’ll have more than if you had gone else where…who needs good service anyway? This place has very nice looking young women in very tight spandex pants. Don’t you just love womanizers and our male dominant in society? Now that I bring up the waitresses there, this place like I said is right next to Montrose, and most of the guys that go there…. are with other guys…so why do the owners insist on getting curvaceous waitresses… I don’t know, but I really don’t mind. It brings me back at least every week, and as I said before, the food is always good. To have good food, and have it cheap, you would pay any price, right? Well, maybe not, but I always love adventure, and at that price you just can’t beat it. Remember, it’s right off Montrose, next to an abandoned building and an old low rent apartment complex, with a very ghetto look, and a sign that says always open.
You have learned all there is to a day in Montrose, so when you visit; keep your head up, your mind open and your car filled up with gas. This is your guru saying, “move fast and have fun.”