After swinging back through Austin, we hit the road for Marfa, and oh, what a long road it was. Marfa is essentially in the middle of nowhere, accounting for some of its appeal; it’s an artsy little enclave in the desert with plenty of space to do its own thing.
At first, we enjoyed the drive through Texas Hill Country, but then 6.5 hours turned into 7.5, and then 8.5…
When we finally pulled in, we weren’t sure what we’d find–mostly because Marfa’s businesses keep unconventional hours, and it was pretty late. Luckily, Cochineal was open, and we had a great dinner there before checking out the hotel.
I’d heard Marfa was really well experienced while camping, but we didn’t really have the time or gear necessary to make that happen. And when TripAdvisor didn’t have much in the way of accommodation advice for me, I took the easy way out and booked a room at Hotel Paisano, the historic hotel on Marfa’s main drag.
While I’m usually a little wary of the term word “historic” in relation to my sleeping arrangements–I’m unnaturally terrified by things meant to look like they’re from the past–the Hotel Paisano looked nice–and it was, albeit a touch shabby. I was pleased to learn that the cast of the James Dean movie Giant had stayed there while filming, a fact you couldn’t not pick up if you wanted to enter or exit through the lobby.
We spent our first and only real day in town mostly eating, photographing and browsing; it was a Tuesday, and many of the town’s shops and galleries were closed (surprise). We still managed to see some beautiful art and artisan wares, though, as well as plenty of nice building EXteriors…and the food we grabbed at cafeteria-style Comida Futura and grocery market The Get Go was awesome.
That said, there’s still plenty to go back for. For one, the legendary Pizza Foundation had shut its doors indefinitely while it raised funds to relocate (you can donate to its Kickstarter here). We also didn’t have time to check out famed food truck Food Shark, and the came-recommended Do Your Thing coffee shop–accessed via the gem of bookstore Marfa Book Company–was closed for the month. Plus, it would have been nice to linger for a few days and soak up some of the pervasive creativity, if nothing else.
On the way out of town, though, we did catch a glimpse–a dark, passing glimpse–of what’s perhaps Marfa’s most famous icon, the permanently installed sculpture Prada Marfa. While I couldn’t completely see it, I saw quite a bit of its surroundings–or lack thereof–and that’s perhaps all I really needed to bring the point home.