Marfa, Texas

26 Nov

Marfa is a peculiar place. If I were just passing through, I doubt I would be inclined to stop. Marfa doesn’t stand out among the numerous other small west Texas towns, yet has a quiet and artistic culture all its own.

El Cosmico Marfa, Texas

I have been wanting to take a trip to Marfa, Texas for a short while now. When I heard there was talk of tearing down Prada Marfa, I set planning in motion. Taking the six-hour roadtrip from Austin didn’t seem too long, considering the airport nearest to Marfa is three hours down the road.

El Cosmico Teepee Marfa, Texas

Anthony was on board with the trip as soon as he found out we could stay in a teepee at El Cosmico and bring Nola, our dog. We might have made a different decision had the weatherman predicted that it would be a blistering twenty-five degrees while we were there… Thankfully, the queen-sized bed in the teepee was outfitted with mattress warmers, so we stayed toasty, as long as we stayed in bed.

El Cosmico Teepee Marfa, Texas

Our first stop in town was Pizza Foundation, and it was the best food we ate all weekend.  Businesses in Marfa have weird and limited hours. Pizza Foundation, for example, is only open Thursday through Sunday. Other places are open only for lunch, or are open for dinner, but close at 7pm. And then, there is the Latenight Grilled Cheese Parlour in the Museum of Electric Wonders where you can get a gourmet grilled cheese only from 9:30pm until 12:30 or 1:30am. In many other cases, it was indistinguishable whether a business was closed for the day, or closed for good.

Pizza Foundation Marfa, Texas

After driving the wrong way and then course-correcting, we found out the the infamous Prada Marfa is not in Marfa at all. Rather, it is in Valentine, Texas, about 30 miles down highway 90. Prada Marfa is as odd and charming as it looks in all the pictures.  On the way back to Marfa, expect to get stopped by U.S. Border Patrol.

Prada, Marfa

Anthony and I grabbed a drink at Jett’s Grill in El Paisano Hotel, where James Dean, Rock Hudson, Carol Baker, and Elizabeth Taylor stayed while filming Giant. The hotel opened  in 1930 in anticipation of an oil boom that never happened. In its glory days, El Paisano was called one of the grandest hotels between El Paso and San Antonio.

El Paisano Hotel Marfa, Texas

Artist Donald Judd, whose work can be seen in modern art museums across the nation, including the MoMA, the Fort Worth Modern, and the Blanton in Austin, moved to Marfa from New York City in the 1970s. His work remains a large part of Marfa’s history and culture. Anthony and I visited Judd’s Chinati Foundation, built on the old military Fort D.A. Russell.

Donald Judd Chinati Foundation Marfa Texas

We tried to visit the The Wrong Store, and even called the number on the hand-scribbled note they placed on their door saying, “We are here, call xxx-xxx-xxxx.” No answer, but gawking at the hand-carved door and peeking through the windows still put me in a state of wonder.

The Wrong Store Marfa, Texas

Before leaving Marfa, we stopped at Boyz 2 Men for some mediocre $4 breakfast tacos, which would never fly in Austin, and at Frama, for hot chocolate. I loved Frama’s Scrabble letters menu.

Frama Coffee Marfa, Texas

Unfortunately, we did not even attempt to see the Marfa Lights. Visibility was terrible with the bone-chilling weather.

Frozen Cacti Marfa, Texas

Marfa was a a pleasant change of pace from not only my normal city life, but also from the pace of a typical getaway.

11 Responses to “Marfa, Texas”

  1. Maria M 26 November 2013 at 11:18 AM #

    Marfa sounds quaint. I haven’t been further south than Austin, but admit I loved Texas, (except for the cowboys wearing spurs). I hope to be back there visiting family and the F1 track some time in the future.

  2. Caitlin 26 November 2013 at 1:08 PM #

    Ooo! I want more info on how I can stay in a teepee with a queen size bed!

  3. HelloHomebody 8 December 2013 at 12:06 PM #

    This looks like such a fun place! That teepee looks so cozy!!

  4. Clark Childers 12 February 2018 at 12:08 PM #

    Love your post. We are a boutique AirBNB hotel, right on the Marfa Square. Check us out next time you visit. Especially our vintage bomb shelter! – / @105Lincoln / #105Lincoln


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