I had an idea that it would be fun to spend Christmas in Marfa, Texas. Jae and I drove there from Tombstone on Christmas Eve. I had somehow gotten the notion that Marfa was the sort of tourist destination that would attract holiday revelers from distant places and welcome them festively. I could not have been more wrong.
It was pretty much dead. The cool restaurants were closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The bar and grill at the fancy hotel in Marfa — the El Paisano, where the cast of Giant stayed when filming nearby — was closed. The uncool restaurants were closed, too. Even the Dairy Queen was closed, and when a town’s Dairy Queen is closed, that town is existentially closed.
Jae and I managed to find a bar called Padre’s that was serving food, simple fare but good, and it had a small but attractive selection of beers on tap. The bar was located in a big room with a stage and a dance floor, but there was only a tiny crowd in attendance on Christmas Eve — there was no live music and nobody was dancing.
The place had no heat working whatsoever — it was like hanging out in a cold storage locker. The bartenders wore heavy coats as they went about their work — the patrons were dressed in warm-weather clothes. Is this a Texas thing — freezing in bars?
We stuck around until the chattering of our teeth became distracting then headed back to our motel. Marfa is a charming little place, but it’s not a place you want to find yourself at Christmas as an out-of-town visitor.