Selena made Corpus Christi famous.
If you aren’t a Selena fan, Corpus Christi would probably come across as any other city in Texas. I remember the first time I went and going down the interstate and thinking how industrial it looked. There’s nothing exactly striking about it. The downtown area by the bay is beautiful and if you take a drive down the coast it’s wonderful but the rest…nothing really distinct. Although I had the best BBQ food in my life while visiting 😉
But to a Selena fan, it’s more than just the place where she lived. It’s where fans can feel connected. It’s our Mecca. All the things you read about and seen in photos are all located in this town. From her humble home in a regular neighborhood to the studio she recorded in. It’s the closest you get to her.
I have been fortunate enough to go twice back in 2012 and 2013. I went with a couple of friends the first time and loved it so much, I had to share it with my husband. He isn’t a huge fan of hers but appreciates her enough to find it worth visit.
I remember getting off the freeway and seeing it and thinking, “Oh..that’s it? Alright.” But once you step inside, you’re immediately surrounded by all things Selena. The lobby is covered in her photos and award plaques. There’s a number of photos under glass on the desks that I’ve never seen before. The lobby alone is a mini museum.
You are then shown the studio where she recorded a number of her songs. I believe this is the same studio where she recorded at least some of the songs from the Amor Prohibido album.
Next you are guided to the main area where all the displays are. When you first enter , you may think it’s small but there’s so many little trinkets to look at. Everything from her belt buckles, hats, and her drawings of her clothes. You are surrounded by concert outfits, photographs, awards and posters. I remember my heart beating so fast because this was just everything I’ve wanted to see.
I managed to spend 2 hours the last time I visited. I just wanted to look at things over and over and soak it all in. I wanted to look closely at the materials the concert outfits were made of. These were the famous outfits I’ve seen countless times on video but to see them up close is a whole new experience . I loved how the jacket for the Entre Mi Mundo album cover actually had some very very faint staining or some kind of dirt on it. It was very slight but it made it all more real to me. My personal favorite was the dress she wore to the Grammys in 1995. It’s not her most well known outfit but it’s such a timeless dress. It could easily be worn today.
The gift shop is simple but it does the job. You can’t really find any kind of official Selena merchandise anywhere except here. It’s all in this one place. I managed to get a bargain on her “Classic Series” of albums.
I felt like I was in some kind of Disneyland. I could talk about Selena things and they actually knew what I was referring to. No one seems to know who she is here in Australia. The first time I visited, my friends and I talked to Bill (Suzette’s husband) for awhile. He was a great guy and was able to answer a lot of questions and introduced us to Brian Moore who helped record a number of songs throughout the years. Brian actually brought us upstairs to the mixing studio and at the time, Enamorada De Ti was going to be released in about 3 weeks. He let us listen to a number of songs on the album and talked about it. He even showed us an area where Selena used to sew and work on her outfits. I hold these experiences very close to my heart. Going to the museum is worth every cent.
Visiting the grave is tough. It brings you back to reality. No one was there except us both times but judging by the amount of flowers and notes, she doesn’t go a day without a visitor.
Mirador De La Flor
What I loved about the statue is that there is constantly a group of people visiting it. Both times I was there, a steady influx of people would surround it and talk about her. I’ve never seen a statue generate so much conversation! I took time to read all the little messages scribbled on by fans. They couldn’t of picked a more beautiful location overlooking the ocean. It’s also gorgeous at night with the lighting.
Then on to her old neighborhood. I didn’t want to look like a complete tourist driving by but I couldn’t resist. I was just in the midst of reading “To Selena, With Love” so a lot of stories were fresh in my memory of her and Chris at home. I was trying to picture her with her giant dogs in the yard. I didn’t take any photos because I didn’t want to look nosey! I’m sure we looked obvious anyway while slowing down in front of it in our out of state license plates.
Some people like to visit the hotel. I saw it the first trip as my friend’s were curious. I felt a little uncomfortable, just because of what took place. It’s not exactly something I want replaying in my head. I’m not going to judge those who want to take a look but it did make my heart heavy to see it. I don’t really recommend this as part of “the tour”.
There’s a few other small sites throughout the city such as places she used to eat, her old boutique location and some murals. But these stops seemed to be the most important to pay a visit to.
Selena really does have her mark all over the city and you can obviously tell the city still loves her. It’s fantastic to see that after so long, the town has a deep love for celebrating and remembering someone so important to its past.
I’d love to hear your experiences!