Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A to Z - Eye on Texas: M

Eye on Texas - let's head west to Marfa, Texas for the letter M.

Marfa is a city in the high desert of the Trans-Pecos in far West Texas, located between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park.  The city was founded in the early 1880s as a waterstop; the population increased during World War II, but the growth stalled and reversed somewhat during the late 20th century.
 rugged desert plains. Make sure you have plenty of gas in your pick-up truck if you choose to trek out here
 Today, Marfa is a tourist destination and a major center for Minimalist art. Attractions include Building 98, the Chinati Foundation, artisan shops, historical architecture, a classic Texas town square, modern art installments, and art galleries.

I always thought the Prada, Marfa sounded cool - it was just plopped out in the desert - a bare storefront. What does it mean?  or stand for?
Marfa may be most famous for the Marfa lights, visible on clear nights between Marfa and the Paisano Pass when one is facing southwest (toward the Chinati Mountains). According to the Handbook of Texas Online, "... at times they appear colored as they twinkle in the distance. They move about, split apart, melt together, disappear, and reappear.

I always thought I'd like to visit Marfa, Texas but it's a loooonnnnggg  drive through a whole lot of desert nothingness to get there. Texas is a huge state - check your map. If you visit Marfa, fill me in on the cool factor.


  1. I've been enjoying this trip through Texas. While I have been there before (Corpus Christi/San Antonio in 1997), I feel I don't know enough about it. Luckily, I'll be going to my nephew's wedding there this Fall (he left Connecticut a couple years ago and has never looked back).

    1. Thanks Al. Texas is darn big with a lot of variety. Depending on when in the fall, it can still be darn hot. But indeed he has minimal snow to shovel in winter.

  2. I love the photo of the building in the desert - is it really all by itself as it appears, or is there a whole street that the photo doesn't show?

    I think I like Marfa - that quote about it at the end could easily be talking about my writing LOL!

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

    1. we need to do a Texas road trip. C'mon over and let's have an adventure. Peter could be a troubadour.

    2. A tour of America is in his plan at some stage - and I'd love to tag along :-)

  3. I'll answer Annalisa's question for ya....Yes...the Prada building is right out in the middle of nowhere...between Alpine and Marfa... with absolutely NOTHING nearby. It sits off the highway all by itself. Was not there when I went to college in Alpine back in the 60's and again in the 90's, but then neither was Prada!

    There is a new wave of Marfaians from Calif to NYC who are experiencing the minimalist/historical/Texas culture unique to West Texas. It's worth the drive from anywhere in Texas or the flight into Midland or El Paso and then a not as long drive to Marfa. On the way you can visit Fort Davis, Alpine and a Letter 'V' town. Right, Joanne?
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

    1. Thanks Sue - as a Texan, you have far more info to share than I do. Marfa is on my list of places to visit. Annalisa - c'mon across the pond and we'll do a road trip.

    2. I'll meet you there. One of my old stompin' grounds I never tire of.

    3. Thanks Sue. I think it makes the building all the more impressive!

  4. That one store all by itself. That is really odd.

  5. I've always been intrigued by Marfa having seen the point of interest designation on the maps about the Ghost Lights of Marfa. I finally got to go there last summer. Just passing through quickly actually.

    We'd spent the night at Alpine as we were heading back to Los Angeles. Since we got an early start it was still fairly early when we reached Marfa and since it was daylight we didn't get to see the mystery lights. Did stop at a rest area before coming to Marfa and read the plaques about the lights, the desert life, and history. Marfa was pretty dead when we hit it so it didn't seem like that much of a happening place.

    I missed the Prada store, but somewhere between Marfa and Van Horn there was an odd sort of Prada display beside the highway. Just a big glassed in display with shoes or purses or something--caught a fleeting glimpse as we sped by.

    Getting to Marfa isn't all that bad. It is desolate, but its kind of an interesting drive. I wouldn't want to commute on a regular basis though.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

  6. Replies
    1. yep - that would be perfect

    2. Hahaha! A one-way ticket, I presume?

      Beautiful lights, and a catchy slogan!