Whomever coined the term Middle of Nowhere had probably just been to Marfa, Texas. For travelers accustomed to zipping up the east coast of the United States, one can easily rush through three states in one day. Not so with Texas. If El Paso looks like the end of Texas - just look south into that deep point near Big Bend National Park. I quickly figured that Marfa residents would have to travel at least 4 hours to get to store which sells fresh orchids. Based on the fact that I require fresh orchids in my life ... . . I will probably never be a resident of this remote and fascianting part of the planet. This tiny town (population 2,400) has a remarkably varied history.
Movies: Giant to No Country for Old Men
Art: Donald Judd to a multitude of minimalist Wannabees
Foundations: Chinati Contemporary Art to Pizza
Strange Roadside Attractions: Prada Marfa
Actually, Prada Marfa is in Valentine, Texas ... . about a mile north of Marfa. As far as I could tell, Valentine consists of a railroad crossing and this stomp-on-the-brakes surprise. That's the whole point. When you've driven for hours and seen nothing but a few random cows and a number of rusted out former gas stations, it's quite the shock. Actually, it's a tongue in cheek art installation done by two German sculptors. And , of course, it's controversial among the locals. I'd heard of it and loved the concept, so I felt it would be a perfect photo op with the little silver bullet. There are lots of pics out there, but not a single one which included my little all American travel icon. We got out our maps and determined it would take 8 hours of virtual non-stop breakneck speed to arrive before sundown. Our calculations were precise. What we hadn't counted on was a broken down van with a lone confused rastafarian parked in front.
With 7 minutes of light left, my driver (aka - Dear Sweet Husband) knew what to do. He pulled up and quickly convinced him to move on ... . . in the name of Art.
[view large to see the reflected portrait and the bullet holes in the awning]
I also suspect he may have alluded to the fact that his crazy wife might become hysterical and throw herself in the dirt by the side of the road if she missed this long anticipated photograph.
The "inventory" of this store/sculpture includes 14 shoes (right foot only) and 6 handbags , personally selected by Miucci Prada from the 2005 collection.
Several hundred yards down the road called for another stomp-on-the-breaks snapshot.
By now DSH has become accustomed to my jumping from the car and running to the middle of a desolate road to snap another fleeting moment.
Love this great old motel sign. The actual structure has long vanished . Muchas gracias to those who made the decision to leave this reminder of another time.
Beautiful downtown Marfa and the
Best Pizza You've Ever Had in a Broken Down Gas Station.