Marfa: “Tough to get to. Tougher to explain. But once you get there, you get it.”
So yes, it’s hard to explain, except to say that it was incredible. Every inch of its ability to fit all of the misplaced outliers of the world into one small town. Every single person I met was completely different. Every house had its own array of yard art, apparently everyone is an artist in this town. Even the misplaced stars have found a home coined as the “Marfa Mystery Lights.”
Upon arriving I felt as though I had accidentally stumbled onto a Wes Anderson movie set. In searching for a place to stop and look for directions to where I would be staying, the only places around seemed to be “gas stations” turned art galleries. These were speckled between pastel colored homes and art sculptures. Not to mention the only human activity I had seen since pulling in entailed a young-looking man with a handlebar mustache riding a bicycle in a huge fur coat. To say I was intrigued would be an understatement.
The town was created as a railroad stop, but it seems as if it almost sprung up from the middle of the desert, blooming with creatives. It inhabits only a couple thousand people and seems to survive solely off of the increasing attention for its quirky art scene. As my barista explained, “The art scene in marfa is less of an ego and more of a presence. The conversation surrounding art is unlike any other place I have ever been… and I have lived in both LA and New York.”
After checking into El Cosmico, the “nomadic hotel” with accommodations including teepees, yurts, and vintage safari tents I soon realized Marfa would become one of my favorite places in the world. El Cosmico had such an amazing atmosphere. It felt like being at a summer camp for adults in the middle of Texas.
This is exactly what I hoped to see on this road trip: the tiny places of this country that are hard to get to and hard to leave. In Marfa, life slows down. There’s more time to make art and write a book and all of the people around you seem to be doing the same thing. Things are done more slowly in Marfa. Whether it is the process of an art project or falling in love, things unravel much more slowly, and the days feel longer.