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Clyde Semmoh joined us on our trip to the US, for a couple of reasons, one of them being to meet up with his old skate buddy Chris in Phoenix. It was nice for us to hear all of the exciting stories from these skate pioneers. 

Vintage stores

 

We were amazed by the quantity as well as the quality of the many kinds of vintage shops. There was really beautiful furniture and accessories for relatively low prices. We had to refrain from buying enough to fill an entire container.  

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phoenix - texas -  marfa - new mexico - santa fe - taos - san francisco

phoenix

We booked a flight from Amsterdam to Phoenix, Arizona, and back through San Francisco. We rented a car at the airport in Phoenix. After spending 2 days in Phoenix we drove toward Marfa, Texas.

Qcumberz Vintage Shop

4429 N 7th Ave Phoenix

 

Is it pretty? Is it ugly?

Color, surfaces and shadows.

Certainly inspiring

marfa

Our destination in Texas is Marfa. We had heard and read about it and wanted to check out for ourselves if it was actually that special.

 

In all respects it is a typical Texan village. But surprisingly the intellectual art scene from the rest of the USA has left a mark in a way that respects the ancient atmosphere of the village. 

 

It all started with the New York artist Donald Judd who moved his studio to Marfa in the early 70’s.

 

Marfa published in Ideat magazine

Pizza Foundation

 

An old garage has been beautifully converted into a gallery and pizzeria. The pizzeria is only open for lunch. As we have previously reported, there are limited places to eat in the village, so you naturally end up here.

 

phoenix - texas -  marfa - new mexico - santa fe - taos - san francisco

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Marfa is a very little village but it has its own radio station which is located on the main street.

 

www.marfapublicradio.org

Tumbleweed - laundry & lattes

 

 

 

 

It was difficult to find somewhere to get breakfast at such an early hour, especially since there are a limited amount of restaurants in the village.

 

For a good cup of coffee you should go to Tumbleweed - a coffee bar with an adjacent laundromat. 

 

home.tumbleweedlaundry.com

120 N Austin St, Marfa, TX 79843

 

 

Judd Foundation

 

The Judd foundation manages the buildings and the work of the artist Donald Judd. Just outside the village is a group of barrack like buildings. There is a large part of Donald Judd’s work displayed there as well as the work of many other artists.  

 

In the countryside next to the barracks you can wander between the imposing open concrete blocks arranged in the pasture. We were surprised how this minimalist work could have such an impact.

 

www.juddfoundation.org/marfa

 

Food Shark

 

From Thursday to Sunday, Food Shark serves lunch between 12pm and 3pm from their truck/ They are located under a huge canopy in the village. This covered ‘square’ is a project created by Donald Judd.

 

www.foodsharkmarfa.com

 

Do Your Thing

 

 

 

Hotels

 

There are only a couple of places to stay in Marfa. 

 

The Thunderbird is an old motel that has been renovated, where the retro style of the past is properly maintained.

 

El Cosmico is just outside of the village. If you stay there you will sleep in large caravans and there is also a site where you can put up your own tent.

 

We stayed in Riata Inn, an old-fashioned motel, but decently priced and a very nice couple who owned the place.

 

 

www.thunderbirdmarfa.com

www.elcosmico.com

www.riatainnmarfa.com

 

El Cosmico

 

 

 

Freda in her shop

 

Chair Tastic.

Recycled chairs 

 

Galleries

 

There are galleries throughout the entire village. Large, sleek, modern rooms with impressive modern art installations are located in converted office buildings and are often hidden behind closed facades. A bizarre contrast to the dusty streets of this village in the Texas desert.

 

www.ballroommarfa.org

108 E. San Antonio St.

 

phoenix - texas -  marfanew mexico - santa fe - taos - san francisco

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santa fe

new mexico

The colors of Indian summer were spectacular in New Mexico.

 

Santa Fe is beautiful but we thought that the old city was rather polished and full of museums. The thing we enjoyed most was touring through the neighborhoods outside the city center with distinctive houses and beautiful avenues you could recognize from movies. 

 

We found a very nice place to stay along the road as we drove into town. A motel, but personally decorated with cowboy attributes.

 

www.santafesilversaddlemotel.com

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

 

 

In a beautiful building in the center of town, you will find a lovely little museum which made us more curious about her work and life. We had to visit her home and studio in Abiquiu. Unfortunately, this was not possible, since you need to book well in advance.

 

www.okeeffemuseum.org

217 Johnson Street

 

Shiprock Santa Fe Gallery

 

If you want to buy something in the typical Santa Fe style then you should look at Shiprock Santa Fe Gallery in the city center on the main square. 

 

www.shiprocksantafe.com

53 Old Santa Fe Trail

 

Santa Fe Farmers Market

There is a nice farmers market next to the station. Check out the website for opening days and times.

For the Heart of the Horse Ranch

Through his sister Maartje, we meet Joost Lammers, who is a horseman.

 

He turned his passion into his profession. He moved to the US more than 12 years ago just south of Santa Fe with his partner Erica to start an equine center. There Joost deals with horses who have suffered a trauma. 

 

We particularly liked to see how they go there to work with a lot of patience and love. 

www.fortheheartofthehorse.com

Earthships

 

Joost and Erica’s house is located next to the outdoor arena and the stables are called the ‘Earthship’. The foundation and walls of the house are old tires which are covered by a layer of soil where plants and grass grow. 

The house has a closed exterior and the other side is completely open with windows and doors. It is a simple house but at the same time regulates warmth and coolness very well, which is very welcome in the prairie.

 

 

Dan and Maya moved from California to the more isolated areas of New Mexico 45 years ago.

 

For the first few years they lived in a tepee in the mountains with their young kids. They then began slowly building their own home. 

 

In winter, when there was so much snow, they were often stuck on the mountain for long periods of time.

 

Meanwhile, after more than 40 years, their house is more or less finished. We were very impressed with what Dan and Maya have created.

 

Here are more photos of their house

Dan en Maya Szpakowsky

 

mora

It was a half hour drive from Santa Fe to Mora. It was a wonderful trip but we got lost at one point because the GPS did not reach there anymore.

 

We ended up in a deserted village which we found felt a little magical. We arrived at the post office in Mora where we would meet Maya and Dan, a little later than planned. 

 

They showed us the way into the mountains to their home. Halfway up we got into their car since our car could not go up the steep path.

 

 

Taos

 

Taos is the little sister village of Santa Fe. We thought the village was nice but the scenery on the way to it was much more spectacular.

 

 

Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center

The landscape of this part of New Mexico was made famous by paintings made by Georgie O’Keeffe. 

 

Georgie O’Keeffe came to Taos for the first time as a tourist in the late 20’s. A few years later, she stayed for an extended period at Ghost Ranch, a resort with a ‘pioneers’ theme. Where wealthy people from large cities spent their summer to pose as cowboys.

 

Meanwhile, Ghost Ranch is still a place where you can go on vacation. It no longer has a cowboy theme, but it now has an extensive cultural program.

What has stayed the same is the magnificently colored mountains where Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired.

 

www.ghostranch.org

217 Johnson Street

 

© 2016 by Mirjam Bleeker and Frank Visser / all rights reserved