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The head of fashion advertising and branding firm Laird + Partners
reveals why he and his wife Jenny just can’t stay away from a certain desert town.

I was drawn to Marfa, Texas, because…

Of Donald Judd. I had always heard about the incredible art installations Judd had created there and, being from Texas originally, I think I was especially drawn to the atmosphere of the place. But as impactful as the art is to see, it is the raw open beauty of the landscape and the unexpected and interesting mix of people who keep me returning again and again.

From Marfa’s single stop light, my favorite view is…

Straight north to the County Courthouse. It is a beautifully preserved Gothic building that literally commands you to take notice. And you can’t miss something that tall in a place so flat!

When I arrive, the first thing I do is…

Check in to The Thunderbird Hotel and drive through the DQ.

During the day, I…

Ride a bike over to The Chinati Foundation to see the powerful Judd and Dan Flavin art installations, and then head over to Ballroom Marfa to check out whatever new exhibition they have up at the time.

And at night, I…

Usually end up at one of several good friends’ house for a drink and what we call in Texas a “good long visit.”

I always pack…

Jeans, boots and a big sweater. It is dusty and the temp’s really drop after sunset.

Favorite restaurant (and what I order)…

I love Cochineal for dinner. It was opened by former New Yorkers who used to run Etas-Unis on the Upper East Side. Jimmy, the bartender, makes a mean cocktail — and you will not believe how well you can eat in the middle of nowhere. The lamb chops are my personal favorite paired with a quartino of one of their amazing featured wines. For lunch, the Future Shark is the new outpost of the famous Food Shark team. The whole town gathers for lunch every day for simple but delicious food in this cool old-storefront setting.

If you’re driving through Marfa, make sure to stop at…

Prada Marfa is about 25 minutes out along Highway 90 in the tiny town of Valentine. It is a really interesting installation by the artists Elmgreen & Dragset that replicates a mini Prada boutique on the side of the highway in the middle of the desert. Completely sums up Marfa — unexpected sophistication and style meets total isolation and sparseness. And I never leave without popping into the Marfa Book Company. Right on Main Street, it has one of the best offerings of hard-to-find artists books, as well as interesting titles on design, architecture, Texas, etc.

What’s not cool to do in Marfa…

Don’t dress flashy and obnoxiously talk on your cell phone all over town. You will get dirty looks and, more importantly, you totally are missing the point of being in Marfa!

More to explore in Culture


  • http://www.ycwb.com/news_special/2013-01/28/content_4304612.htm http://www.ycwb.com/news_special/2013-01/28/content_4304612.htm


  • Laura

    It kinda sounds like where we are living now….Granbury, TX…come visit us Trey & Jenny!
    Your cousins,
    Laura & Allen