Even though I had heard of Prada Marfa prior hitting the road, the town itself wasn’t a stop on our list (other than perhaps a quick photo) until I spoke with my friend Stephen. He had just completed his own three month roadtrip (for AOL’s Gadling – check out their Marfa post here), and identified the small Texas town as one of his favorite stops.

“It sticks with you,” he said.

And it’s true. Marfa was our first taste of “big sky” Texas, and I still feel a peculiar sense of vastness when I think about it. It’s not emptiness, and not loneliness, just a different sense of space than I’m used to having. (Would a Dixie Chicks “Wide Open Spaces” reference be too obvious here?)

Marfa is small, no doubt. One set of direction I received to a particular sight included “You’ll go through our stoplight” – meaning the one and only (blinking) stoplight in town!  So, while Cory finished up a work phone call at the local coffee shop, I went on a solo photography tour of downtown Marfa. It wasn’t hard to cover the main street quickly!

On the Saturday morning that I walked down the street, the city was absolutely quiet. Was everyone still asleep after a late night at Padre’s? Having missed that morning’s farmer’s market, was I out on the streets too late in the day for the locals?

I’m not sure, but I didn’t see another soul on the street!

The town began as a railroad city (a train still runs through, but no stop), but now exists as a modern art center & tourist town.

The El Paisano Hotel (an historic landmark) was used as home base for the film Giantstarring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean. Other notable movies filmed in Marfa include No Country for Old Menand There Will Be Blood (maybe that’s why I always seem to confuse the two in my mind!).

Downtown Marfa is gorgeous – Southwestern with a lost-in-time quality. As we’ve journeyed farther across the US, we’ve seen our fair share of rundown old towns – most with great potential to become quaint, historical towns, but lacking the resources to do so. Marfa, while by no means metropolitan, keeps the structures looking fantastic, while maintaining the historical presence.

Marfa’s popularity with the art community (The Chinati Foundation, The Lannan Foundation, and a film festival), along with a vibrant art and music scene help keep a steady stream of visitors and inhabitants.

The Presidio County Courthouse is gorgeous – I didn’t get a chance to go inside, but would have loved to tour the building.

Have you ever seen a pink fire station? I have, and it’s located in Marfa.

Marfa is all about funk – in the most positive way possible. Check out this sweet “Ride of a Lifetime”! Apparently it’s a regular sight in Marfa, according to a quick Google search.

My favorite spotting was the following art installation (part of Los Angeles Nomadic Division’s visit to Marfa) in a vacant gallery on the downtown strip.

Titled Second to None, by Ry Rocklen, the piece featured an impressive display of trophies, and absolutely nothing else.

I like to think my reflection in the photo gives the added element of myself as second to none. Too far? 🙂

And as a bonus, on my way back to meet up with Cory, I spotted a sneaky (or shy) friend for Gnomeo!




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