Francesca Mari's Profile Photo

Francesca Mari is an assistant professor of the practice at Brown University and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine focused on housing and equity. She was an associate editor at Texas Monthly from 2012 to 2016. During that time, she edited features, oversaw the travel channel, worked as a social media editor, and assigned and edited culture stories for the Texas edition of the New York Times. She also wrote for Texas Monthly—about Playboy Marfa, John Updike's trash, the invention of the sweet onion, fashion bloggers making bank through affiliate marketing, and many other things. Her 2015 TM feature, "The Talented Mr. Khater," about an international conman who buried a woman alive, was named one of the ten best stories of the year by Longform and won the City and Regional Magazine Award for feature writing.

30 Articles

News & Politics|
February 24, 2016

Gender Bender

Colt Keo-Meier is Texas’s preeminent researcher on transgender issues. But for him, it’s not just about the science. It’s personal.

Food & Drink|
September 17, 2015

Southern Comfort

Alba Huerta, arguably the best bartender in Texas, chats about serving cocktails in Houston.

August 19, 2015

Brave Heart

Brené Brown explains why being vulnerable is the toughest and worthiest thing you can do.

True Crime|
June 16, 2015

The Talented Mr. Khater

In 2011 Callie Quinn moved from Austin to Chile to experience a new way of life. Then she met a charming fellow foreigner—and almost lost everything.  

November 23, 2014

Texas Man Treasures Finds in Updike’s Trash

Ian McEwan signed books this fall at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, where he was presented the glasses and envelope containing a 1953 issue of The Harvard Lampoon, at his right. (Photo credit Daulton Venglar)MANCHACA, Tex.

August 12, 2014

The Click Clique

Amber Venz was just a pretty Dallas girl with good taste and a blog, until she figured out something revolutionary: how to make money with every post. Meet the 27-year-old queen of a whole new fashion empire.

Texas Trip Guides|
May 1, 2014

Trip Guide: Oaxaca

Plan a summertime weekend exploring Mexican markets and moles using this guide with tips on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay.

Food & Drink|
April 15, 2014

Fixing the Fruits of the Earth

The sweet onion! The mild pepper! The maroon carrot! These and countless other tasty fruits and vegetables wouldn't exist but for the scientists of the Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year.

October 28, 2013

Texas’s Love Affair with James Turrell

Turrell, now one of the most famous artists alive, has long captivated the attention of Texas's art patrons, bringing world-class art to the state's museums and universities.

October 25, 2013

Texas Business Report: Making a Killing In the Funeral Industry

America's leading death-care provider, based in Houston, charges 42% more for its traditional funeral services; Torchy's taco is suing the Texas Taco Company; bags might not fly free at Southwest; and more.

October 23, 2013

So, Is It Art? Talking to Playboy Marfa Artist Richard Phillips

On August 28, 2013, we talked to Richard Phillips, the artist behind the controversial Playboy Marfa installation. Read more about the art-versus-advertising debate here.FRANCESCA MARI: When were you tapped to do this piece for Playboy?RICHARD PHILLIPS: I was contacted before the New Year by Neville Wakefield, who is the

October 21, 2013

What Is Art?

When Playboy Enterprises—yes, that Playboy Enterprises—erected a forty-foot-tall sculpture near Marfa, it was convinced the town would appreciate its take on the local art scene. Instead it started a revealing debate.

September 13, 2013

Did Playboy Screw Prada?

The dustup around Playboy's controversial art installation outside of Marfa revealed regulations that might require the removal of the famous Prada Marfa sculpture.

Politics & Policy|
June 28, 2013

Best and Worst Legislators 2001

Rodney Ellis was excellent. Gary Elkins was— well, significantly less so. Bill Ratliff was a model of dignified leadership. Domingo Garcia was a one-man leper colony. Our biennial roundup of the Legislature's leading lights and dim bulbs.

Travel & Outdoors|
June 5, 2013

Miles and Miles of Texas

The Hill Country Drive, the BBQ Market Drive, the Backwoods Drive, and thirteen other summer trips, from the mountains to the coast, that will take you down some of the prettiest, most picturesque, most wide-open stretches of asphalt Texas has to offer. Buckle up!

May 24, 2013

Hog Hunting With Texas’s Next Literary Giant

Philipp Meyer is impressing the literary world with his second novel, The Son, a multigenerational epic about an oil and ranching dynasty in Texas that is being called the most ambitious Texas novel in years. But how did this East Coast-reared man manage to capture the spirit of the state?

The Culture|
December 5, 2012

Larry Clark’s Perverted Marfa

But all the casual sex and violence in director Larry Clark’s new film, Marfa Girl, is less surprising than its means of distribution. 

The Culture|
August 31, 2012

The Kids Are All Right

Meet eight of this year’s valedictorians, the products of schools across Texas, from El Paso’s Silva Health Magnet to Houston’s Westbury High.

Bum Steers|
August 23, 2012

One Bar Owner Finds Out That You Don’t Mess With the Alamo

Christopher Erck, owner of the Worm Tequila and Mezcal bar in San Antonio, applied to trademark the phrase, "I can't remember the Alamo," a joke the custodians of the historic structure found none too funny.

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