How to Live in El Paso: The Pink Store

the pink store exterior, palomas, mexico
An hour and a half isn’t really that long of a drive in West Texas.
How long since you’ve been to the Pink Store in Palomas?

If you’ve just moved to El Paso (Ha! Nobody’s moving to El Paso.), the Pink Store is a glorious retail emporium just over the border from Columbus, New Mexico, 83 miles from our fair city via New Mexico Highway 9, according to Google maps.

The Pink Store is in Palomas, a little Mexican town dedicated to international commerce, some of it legal. The Pink Store sells all that wonderful stuff you used to get at the Juarez Mercado in a much smaller footprint. Pottery, furniture, textiles, decorative tin. The Pink Store has it all.

The Juarez Mercado, meanwhile, is like the zombie corpse you prop up at your table to pretend like you’re having dinner guests. (I’m not the only who does that, am I?) I mean, going to the Mercado these days is like visiting a mausoleum.

interior of the pink store
Whatever you want, they’ve got it.
The Pink Store also has a first rate Mexican restaurant. And they’re happy to give you a shot of tequila in their efforts to entice you to spend your whole paycheck and max out your credit cards.

The two blocks which comprise the commercial center of Polomas are like Main Street USA in Disneyland, if Main Street USA was called Border City, Mexico. There are optometrists, dentists, pharmacies, bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and a little stall that sells queso menonita and asadero. Palomas is a fantastical distillation of transnational commercialization. And the Pink Store is an essential reduction of that distillation.

Now that Dusty has closed the retail component of El Paso Saddleblanket, Juarez would be well served to convert the first two blocks of Avenida Juarez into something a lot like Palomas.

Or maybe they could use a couple blocks of Mariscal, which Ciudad Juarez already owns, and which the city is planning on turning into a park. Because really, who’s going to go to Juarez to go to a park?

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