Marfa sometimes doesn’t do magic
Updated: Feb 1
Marfa (pop around 1900) so beloved of artists, looked, from my internet research, to be a suitable refueling stop on my west Texas road trip.
Even so, as I did my research looking for vegan friendly coffee shops/restaurants on my route, I struggled to find anything open on a Thursday morning. Most seemed to only offer weekend service.
I pinned one place to my map app: Do Your Thing seemed to offer coffee and toast. My map app notwithstanding, it was somewhat challenging to find, being that this cafe is in an industrial building in a (perhaps repurposed) lumberyard.
I persisted and found my way into the cold industrial interior. Minimalist art is what Marfa is known for. Minimalist decor could probably describe this coffee shop's interior. Minimalist customers too, being that I was the only one.
Even though I sat as close as possible to the rather ineffective gas fireplace, the concrete and metal environment made for a cold experience as I enjoyed a very good cup of gingery Turmeric milk and avocado hummus toast garnished with za'atar and Korean chili flakes.
There is nothing minimalist about the prices in this establishment. I paid the equivalent of a week's grocery budget at home, for this meal with the drink served in cardboard and the sandwich on a chipped enamel plate the like of which I have plenty of. At home.
But I was on the road and prepared to pay for the luxury of having someone else make my food and make it well. Though expensive, what I had was authentic and flavorful and definitely not formulaic fast food.
I walked around a few streets seeing much crumbling adobe and much evidence of artistic aspiration and vacancy.
The surface of Marfa holds interest.
On my little walkabout, though I saw few people, I found commentary at every turn in this section of town.
Marfa certainly seems to feel empowered to instruct one on how to live.
Creatives making statements invisibly (to me on that day)inhabit industrial buildings.
Though I generally have a bias toward small towns, Marfa, on this morning, wasn't exhibiting the magic promised on the coffee shop sign.
I contributed more to the local economy by filling the petrol tank in my vehicle before I got back on the road heading south: destination Chinati Hotsprings, way out in the vast, remote, Chihauauan desert borderlands of west Texas.