two hours east of el paso is marfa, texas.
having gone to summer camp in the area as a little girl, it came as a surprise to me as i got older that this little place in the middle of nowhere could become a trendy art colony that is often referenced in vogue and other high brow lifestyle publications. so, i guess what i’m saying is that i knew about marfa before it was cool—only joking.
marfa was cool waayy before i was born thanks to minimalist artists like donald judd as well as providing the perfect desert backdrop for movies like giant starring elizabeth taylor and james dean.
my los angeles born and bred cousin, jill, had never been so we decided to spend a quick 24 hours in what many of the new-overall-clad-hipster- residents called “the new austin”.
i picked jill up from the el paso airport at 3:45pm on a thursday and we set off straight for marfa. it being november, the sun set quickly and we were soon driving in the dark. i came to a screeching brake when we passed the prada store, lit up in all its glory on the side of the road.
note: little did we know that this was the best photo we would capture of the beloved little shop with a sealed door. if you go- take note that the sun rises from behind the store so it is best to photograph in the late afternoon when the sun is behind you.
we got back into the car and continued to drive to our hotel/campground/tepee- el cosmico.
i have never been so excited to go glamping in my life.
Our accommodation was a beautiful furnished tepee with a fireplace and furniture. that is about as close to camping as i go these days. (one day i will tell the story of bonnaroo 2009. but that is for a later date.)
we unpacked our things and went for a quick dinner at cochineal. it was one of the only places open that night and it has nice interiors, a great patio area where i can envision myself throwing an elaborate cowboy-chic happy hour, average steaks, but a really friendly staff.
from there we drove 15 minutes towards alpine to the marfa lights observation site. the open clear skies-free from light pollution- are probably my favorite thing about this place.
if you have never seen the milky way before–(jill hadn’t and watching her reaction to seeing stars and planets and satellites and the marfa lights made me giddier than a jewish girl who gets to put a christmas tree in her house for the first time.) than you absolutely need to. get in your car and drive somewhere– dark.
after talking to some drunk/high old hippies we went back to our tent, lit the fire, took a bunch of polaroids of each other…it wasn’t as creepy as it sounds… and went to bed on what was possibly the most comfortable bed i have ever slept on.
here is a polaroid of me in my matching pajamas sitting on said bed with my flashlight because i come prepared.
the next morning we attempted to brush our teeth and wash our faces in the communal outdoor bathroom, explored the campground a bit more and took off to get some breakfast. here is jill in a hammock.
this is the pumpkin waffle from the half cafe//half flower shop buns and roses. yes, even hipster-cool art colonies can get basic every once in awhile.
after breakfast we set off to explore.
a billion art galleries, one hotel, one city hall, a few bookstores and gift shops later we made it to the chinati foundation.
after exploring donald judd’s work we break-ed for lunch at food shark.
after some marfalafel we got back in the car, visited the prada store one last time and drove back to el paso.
marfa was the perfect unconventional 24 hour adventure.
24 hours in marfa:
- prada store
- el cosmico
- marfa lights
- buns and roses
- ballroom marfa
- hotel paisano
- ayn foundation
- chinati foundation