El Paso is where I started. I don't feel like I'd be making the music I'm making now if I hadn't gone there.
The Best Thing About El Paso?
There are a number of things to enjoy about El Paso, especially the majestic Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest state park in an urban setting in the country. Being on the border though, and having a sister city in Juarez Mexico, has had an undeniable impact on the culture, diversity, food and lifestyle of El Paso. Tex-Mex food was invented here but that’s just a single byproduct of a blurred cultural landscape that makes El Paso like no other place. The food scene makes it obvious with the amazing Tex-Mex, classic Mexican, bbq, and other cross-cultural fine-dining. The fresh ingredients that move back and forth across the border feed this amazing food scene, and the culture and vibe of the city makes it clear how big an influence it is to be on the border.
Here's a summary of living in El Paso from a local:
Living here is a unique bi-national, bi-cultural, tri-state, experience.
I can literally see Mexico from my apartment window. I live in Downtown El Paso, 15 minutes walking distance from the US-Mexico Port of Entry and walk to Ciudad Juarez. I can go walk across the border for breakfast, open up a PO Box in Mexico (can’t wait to beat shipping costs and buy Spanish language literature!), and come back home within an hour. I carry both American Dollars and Mexican Pesos in my wallet. I have Spanish language books (hello Vice Magazine, Spanish Edition, and the history of the Mexican romantic painting movement) on my table, and read English news articles on the internet. The newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, El Diario, offers a much different perspective from the El Paso Times. I navigate between two cultures constantly.
The Worst Thing About El Paso?
The Job Market
The biggest complaint about El Paso is how difficult it can be to find work. If you go there with a job or you’re going to be working remotely then you’re set. If you lose your job and need to work locally it can be tough.
Here's a note from a local about finding a job:
The El Paso job market was hot garbage while I was applying. I applied federal and had to leave the city to land the job, but eventually found my way back. Try USAjobs if you haven't already. Takes a while to get hired because of background check/drug test but if you manage to get in you'll have some upward maneuverability.
Lifestyle Of El Paso
El Paso is heavily influenced in language, food, and overall culture by being on the border of Mexico. If you’re game for that vibe you’ll love it here. It is extremely casual with little fancy activities but TONS of bars and great inexpensive restaurants to enjoy on nights out.
You’re also surrounded by vast beautiful terrain that means a good chunk of your time can/will be spent getting out doors for hiking and camping in the mountains, state and national parks, and canyons all around El Paso.
If you're interested in what happens in El Paso area during the year check out the calendar of events: https://visitelpaso.com/events/calendar/2023/1
Workstyle Of El Paso
This is a really interesting and possibly emerging aspect of El Paso. The local economy is rough for finding a job. High-end knowledge work is hard to come by. However, it has the lowest cost of living of any major city in the country. Which means that people who can work remotely and are attracted to a low cost city with great outdoor lifestyle are heading to El Paso. At present that is the most powerful work culture draw to El Paso. Great outdoor culture, casual but fun lifestyle, and extremely low cost of living. What a draw for a wfh’er.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
Cost Of Living
El Paso has the lowest cost of living of any major city in the country. It also has a first time homebuyer program available through the city. If you’re getting started, particularly with a young family and would love an inexpensive and supported path to homeownership this is a great city. If you’re empty-nesting or retiring and want to maximize your bucks El Paso also fits the bill.