Lubbock, TX

The population of Lubbock, TX is approximately 200,000.  I couldn’t swear by it, though.  Except for Texas Tech University, it looks and feels like a modern ghost town–dead after the oil dried up and the farmers and ranchers pulled out.  I can’t imagine why tens of thousands of students would want to attend college in the wasteland of West Texas, but there they are.  The campus is nice enough, but the rest of the area?  Ugh.  Flat, dry, dusty, windy.

Lubbock isn’t all bad.  There’s a Buddy Holly museum, (Buddy Holly was born there), although you’ll be hard pressed to find anybody who can tell you where it is.  There’s also the Walk of Fame near the Coliseum, where you’ll find a huge statue of Buddy Holly as well as plaques honoring other musicians (and pardon me if I can’t recall their names–most of them are country music “stars” I’ve never heard of).  Lubbock also is the home of Cap Rock Winery–the third largest winery in the state.  I’ve actually had some of their wines, and found them drinkable.  But then, I’m not the most discriminating wine drinker.

The main attraction in Lubbock, from my perspective, was the Hub City Brewery downtown in the Depot District.  They have decent food, and they brew their own beer.  They were out of their Raider Red, which I wanted to try, but I did have an excellent American Brown Ale.  Later I made the mistake of ordering their Ogalala Light, which turned out to be a tasteless malt beverage on the order of Coors.  I’d have been better off ordering water–at least then I wouldn’t have ended up with that nasty aftertaste.  I wonder if their brew master cringes every time he has to brew another batch of that crap.

Lubbock’s liquor laws are strange.  You can order drinks at a restaurant or bar, but you can’t buy beer, wine, or liquor to take home.  No liquor stores, and no convenience stores selling beer.  It’s not illegal to possess alcoholic beverages–you just can’t buy the stuff in town.  So  liquor stores have cropped up right outside the city limits like fireworks stands outside of Austin.  I’ve heard that there are traffic jams between the city and the border liquor stores on Friday nights.  The city limits, by the way, extend miles beyond the actual city proper.  You could fit 10 or so Lubbocks inside those city limits.