Monday, August 01, 2005

Whither Marfa?

The upscale hipster gentrification of Marfa is the lead story in today's issue of Salon. Andrew Nelson and Stephanie Corley's account of the rift between longtime residents and recent transplants highlights an interesting ethical dilemma for conscientious urbanites looking for rural outposts of like-mindedness.

What if the people you're moving in on would rather have a Wal-Mart than a local NPR affiliate? How do you reconcile the desperate need for economic development in a poverty-stricken border county with the fact that it might mess up your wide open vista? No one wants a town like Marfa to become a prohibitively expensive enclave for the genteel like Aspen or Santa Fe, but how will they keep that from happening as more city folk seek refuge there?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I read this article earlier today and really liked it! Especially that rancher's comments about the triple As! Ha ha. The only time I visited Marfa was in 1997, and even back in 1999, I heard it had changed immensely since my visit. It's interesting to hear how locals view a Wal-Mart as a sign of progress. It made me feel sheltered and snooty! What do you call someone who doesn't like Wal-Mart, but who also doesn't want old-timer Marfa residents pushed out of their town by Prada-wearing hipsters?

Terri R.

Rachel said...

I'd call that "normal." Or at least "sensible."