Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Scratching the Marfa itch...

I read the Travel Section in the Boston Sunday Globe religiously.  That’s how I found out about Marfa, Texas.  The article I read about Marfa was published in 2009.  And Marfa has been in the back of my mind since.  So when Greg and I were talking about a warm weather vacation for this winter, I said that I wanted to go there.  It was like giving a dog a bone.  Greg should have a PhD in Travel Planning and once he got started, he mapped out the whole trip that culminated in six nights in the itch I wanted to scratch.

I will say this with undeniable certainty.  Marfa is darn cool.  While it’s stuck pretty much out there on its own, about three hours from El Paso and about six hours from San Antonio, it is a little jewel of a town in the Chihuahuan Desert with a thriving art scene and great places to eat.  It’s also a great base for exploring the surrounding desert, but more about that later.

Without further ado, here’s a short photo tour of Marfa, Texas.

This is the courtyard of El Paisano Hotel.  If you are familiar with the 1956 movie Giant with James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, some of it was filmed in Marfa and in the hotel there are nice displays about the movie and t-shirts for sale with James Dean emblazoned on them.

Here’s an interior shot:

If you look closely, you might recognize James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor in the window behind the chairs.
Marfa is also known for its vibrant food scene, particularly the food trucks.  We got to try Fat Lyle’s and I have to say OMG!  I had the best lunch there.  I had the Crispy Fried Brussels Sprout Haystack. It might look like a heck of a mess but here's what it is: Crispy fried Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, blue cheese and spicy mayo and a hot sauce over a bed of hand cut fries. I am seriously thinking of trying to duplicate this for Christmas dinner next year.  It was just that good.

All around town, you see old cars with FOOD SHARK on them.  They are advertising another food truck that is very popular there.  We didn’t get a chance to try it.  They were closed on the day we wanted to go because it was cold.  Damn!  But here’s one of the cool cars we saw roaming around.

This is a 1977 AMC Matador (Barcelona Edition).  Not a car you see every day outside of Marfa.

Art is important there.  The Ayn Foundation is now exhibiting Andy Warhol's "The Last Supper" and Maria Zerres' "September Eleven" in Marfa.  Olive the pug was even allowed to go in to view these works, but I was not allowed to photograph them.  Oh, well…  But we did make it out of town (about 40 miles northwest of Marfa near Valentine, Texas) to view an art installation called “Prada Marfa.”  Here it is.  What do you think?

Here’s a friend we made while staying in Marfa.  He is a Curved-bill Thrasher.  He was very curious about us and let me sit on the couch in the sitting room of the house we rented and snap away.  Seems Texans are friendly…even the feathered ones.


TexWisGirl said...

love your pretty thrasher. we don't get those here.

i had seen that prada marfa in a news article or magazine before. too cute.

and i knew about 'giant' being filmed there but that's about all i knew about marfa. the food trucks sound interesting, though!

Sandra said...

cute fluffy bird and is that a Prada shoe store? whatever it is it is tiny.... the interior is gorgeous and i would like to sit in that sun beam.. this if the first time Iheard of Marfa, now i know where it it

kat from ky. said...

Please send me the recipe you devise! The Brussels Sprouts had me drooling! I had googled Marfa when you left!

Brian King said...

Very nice fountain! I don't know that I've ever seen a Matador. Talk about an old car. Great photo of the thrasher! Love that eye!

Pamela Gordon said...

An interesting town. The hotel lobby is right out of the past for sure. I remember Matadors back in the day but not like that one.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

I've never heard of Marfa, but it sure sounds like a great place to see. I remember some of the settings in Giant. Fried Brussels sprouts? Shard to imagine, but your description makes them sound delicious!I remember that episode.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Sorry about the typos in my comment. I hit paste or something and ended up with that last sentence that means nothing. lol

Lynn said...

wow what a super post. I recently saw that Prada building in a French advertisement :-). Had never heard of Marfa and that BS plate looks to die for...I did see Giant...what a cool trip, look forward to more.

Debbie said...

i can't think about anything but that yummy food dish!!

WoW-zers, it looks sooooo good!!

Gail Dixon said...

That brussels sprout dish sounds amazing! Looks like a taste explosion. When I was working I had a customer from Marfa--the nicest people you'd ever want to talk to. What a beautiful bird to end your post with. Love him!