Say hello to Enrique Limón, City Weekly's new managing editor. Born in San Diego, Calif., raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Limón arrived in Salt Lake City in late December after serving as arts & culture editor for the Santa Fe Reporter in New Mexico. Read more from this interview at CityWeekly.net and follow Limón on @EnriqueLimon
So, how do you pronounce your name?
Imagine Henry-k, but without the H. Enrique Iglesias has done a lot of footwork when it comes to people getting my first name right, as has Bacardi Limón with my last.
What's your first impression of Salt Lake City?
That it is an extremely vibrant place to be in (even in December), and a more diverse and multicultural place than most people give it credit for.
Tell us more about your San Diego/Tijuana upbringing.
I was actually born in San Diego and grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. It was, in a way, the best of both worlds. There's something about border towns that just makes me feel at home—a certain ingrained survival instinct—that, as border folk, defines most of what we do.
Your parents had hopes you would become a charro (Mexican rodeo star), true? What happened?
Horses and I just don't get along. I remember being 2, 3 years old and being mortified after being propped up on a full-size horse. My parents even invested in a mini pony (an extravagance at the time), to help me get acclimated. I blame an ear infection I got as a toddler with permanently stunting my sense of balance. About my only regret in not sticking with it is the insane wardrobe that comes with the role.
You attended Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico and earned a degree in international business. What were your early career aspirations?
I started working professionally in media at a very young age. I was already on TV in Mexico when I entered college, so I skipped communications school in an effort to acquire business know-how and to get the left-brain/right-brain balance correct.
So how did you find your way to journalism, or how did it find you?
We found each other. My dad owned a printing shop and he was instrumental in the founding of several newspapers. My grandfather before him did the same, and my great-grandfather, Hernando Limón Hernández, a general in the Mexican Army, was the editor and publisher of EL Hispano Americano, a first-of-its-kind bilingual weekly that was distributed on both sides of the border.
You were a TV star, of sorts, in Mexico; why the love for print journalism.
After being involved in many forms of media, I switched to print in 2008. I believe it’s journalism in its purest form. Starting off in television, the moving image is always part of my process, so peppering multimedia bells and whistles into my stories is second nature.
A number of alt-weeklies throughout the U.S. belong to the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN). You seem to be well known by many in the organization. Why is that?
Probably for being a drunken mess at the annual conventions, as well as someone that holds no cows sacred. I was a part of their last Academy for Alternative Journalism class at Medill School of Journalism back in ’09 and I’ve hosted the association's awards ceremony for four years in a row (the last time here in Salt Lake City over the summer). The association has been good to me; they’re good people.
What is your highest hope in your new role with City Weekly?
I would like to start a petition to better our toilet situation. For those not in the know, the current setup involves making your way down a narrow hallway on the abandoned part of the building. Adding to the creep factor, an old Halloween banner that reads 'Keep out!' written in blood splatter is prominently featured at the end of the hall, along with a poster of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. If anything, I'd like to see the oversize googly eyes used to replace Jack's own removed. Sometimes I'm here on the off-hours, people.