El Paso, Texas

Borderplex

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What's it like to live in El Paso?

What’s it like living in El Paso (vibe, type of people, political views, etc)?

Hi! There are several things you should know when coming to El Paso. First, we are the definition of a large city with a small city feeling. We are the 22nd largest city in the US but traffic and other big city issues aren’t that bad here. Second, the weather, it’s HOT here. Expect multiple weeks of 100 degree weather. Rain and snow are rare but still happen. Third, property and other items are cheaper than Cali but our property taxes are some of the highest in the state. Just something to watch out for since you’d be double taxed in California and Texas depending on how you work.

Other important things, speaking Spanish is not a must but it definitely helps a lot! There are a bunch of indoor and outdoor activities here as well. Bars and restaurants are plentiful as well as hiking trails and bike paths. I’m not sure what else you would like to know but feel free to message me and I can offer direct answers to your questions. I’ve lived here forever and have a white collar job so your experience would be similar to mine I think! Good luck!

What’s it like living in El Paso (vibe, type of people, political views, etc)?

There are lots of good previous posts asking about moving to El Paso; I think they could help you get a better feel for it. Here are some basics:

weather: hot summers and mild winters

going out: primarily food and drinks and movies, but getting to be more options; some good hiking, too; not sure what the post-pandemic music scene is or will be like

culture: Mexican-dominant—great Mexican food with other options available, very family oriented, you will regularly hear Spanish

economy: many young people leave for better job opportunities and activities; although I know Fort Bliss is large part of the economy, I don’t think of El Paso as a military town

Since you have friends that moved here recently, try to get a feel from them. Visit, if possible. Some people experience and have difficulty overcoming culture shock in El Paso; others absolutely love it.

What is it like to live in El Paso, TX?

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.
In the radio, you can listen to both Latin America Top 40 and American Top 40. The Spanish music programming in the San Francisco Bay Area pales in comparison to EXA 98.3 FM or El Planeta 103.5.
I am often in conflict with my American identity and adapted Mexican identity (and sometimes wonder where my Chinese identity goes). I love Mexican culture, but sometimes feel like I stray too far away from my American side. I play American Top 40 music and American literature & TV to keep in touch with my American Side - but yearn to understand the other side of the border. There’s always a desire to go from one spectrum to another.
Life is incredibly laid back here. Things move at a much slower pace - I don’t feel any pressure to be defined by my career here, and that’s an understatement. I feel incredibly relaxed here and have a lot of time to pursue hobbies I wouldn’t be able to do back home.

What is it like to live in El Paso, TX?

I moved back to El Paso in 1990 after living in the NY/NJ east coast area for 10 years. What struck me after being gone for so long was the climate difference, and the friendliness. As the years have passed, I realized it was the best move I ever made in deciding to move home.

The city has grown A LOT since I returned. But one thing hasn’t changed much; it’s still a friendly place to live, and contrary to what some people assume, because it’s a border city, the crime rate is surprisingly low, and we experience none of the violence that’s such bullsh*t in the media. (I tend to be a little defensive about my hometown, especially when I read outright lies about it.) In fact, we’ve been rated one of the safest cities to live in the US. Its population is quite diverse, with Ft. Bliss here, and Mexico a stone’s throw away. I will admit, I have a difficult time with the summer heat, as June and July often sees temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. That’s my biggest bitch. The heat.

El Paso. It’s all good.

5 Things to Know Before Moving to El Paso