It’s the type of place that you can imagine Bruce Springsteen working into a song and, indeed, he did: 2007’s Last to Die (“We took the highway till the road went black/ We marked Truth or Consequences on our map”).
A few doors down from the Grapevine Bistro, Bret Berman, a cartoonist and musician, is working at Xochi’s, a second-hand bookstore. There are some local history books for sale but he doesn’t recommend them.
They are sanitised, he says; not a word in them about the brothels, gambling dens and saloons that powered the town’s economy in its early days.
“If you told the true story of this place someone would burn a cross on your front lawn,” Berman says.