Sacked by the "downturn", an unemployed architect touring the country in a bus...

I used to live in New York City. I designed homes for the tycoons of Wall Street; Park Avenue, Scarsdale, Greenwich. It was great fun. And, after years of saving up for a down payment, I was just about to buy my own little place in Fleetwood, half an hour north of the city, when the economy fell apart. Architects are like canaries in a coal mine when the economy slows, and true to form, there were massive layoffs in firms all over the country. Devastation of the profession. So, I decided to try to find something else to do for a while. I bought a 23' school bus and I'm on the road to see if I can figure out what that might be.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hi Team,

Jesus came this a.m. to layout the sidewalk.  We met with public works too, and nailed down all details.  (Sorry for the nail reff, Jesus.)

The end of the drive by Castle Lite is an inch or two too low.  However, Derek assured me, I think Saturday, that we could set the side walk correctly and Castle Lite would reset the brick to meet.  Public works agreed with me today that a 2% slope in the sidewalk is permissible to allow me to still attain reasonable runoff from our drive.  All is good.  He also suggested we put 2" conduits under the walk for future tree irrigation.  Edgard is coordinating the plumbing hook up to the new meter, which went in a few days ago.  The plumber will be here tomorrow to finish the service connection, and to install drains, garbage disposals, and other misc.
Interstate mopped down the floors today.  We examined room by room.  There were a few areas of swirl marks to address near the kitchen, some deep gouges between the dishwasher and the island, some blending needed from the side hall to the pantry, the pantry floor itself, and some work near the closet in the bedroom hall.  Jacob is taking care of these areas.  In the bedrooms, I found blemishes of two kinds; some areas of discoloration that seemed smooth none the less, and some deep gouges, who's removal, in my opinion, would require more time than I think is worth allocating at this time.  All things considered, I deemed these rooms ready for the densifying and polishing steps.  Jacob indicated he would be able to get a shine similar to the wet look, throughout, except down in the gouges.  With that result, I will be proud of the look of our house.  I hope to be on track to have Merry Maids clean on the 16th.

Darl is here working on electrical, most parts are on hand.  Andrew is milling wood for the lofts.  I bought an pneumatic nailer for trim installation.  (I don't know how I have lived this long without one!)  5 bedroom window walls are 60-80% trimmed, with a good push from Ares and Andrew, and Andrew and I yesterday.  I remounted the island sink to receive butcher block, and to be ready for the plumber.  We will need more timbers soon, from which to reclaim milled wood for the bedroom light shelves, and other non-c of o things.  Ares and I hope to start rail drilling jigs tonight.  We're also hoping to start sanding and varnishing the rails this weekend, possibly with help from Vy and others.

Thanks one and all!

Roy Pertchik

Design and Construction Consultant
NYS Arch., NCARB Cert.
381 Oxford Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
917 294 6605

Let's make the world a little better

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Click here for a Flickr show of pics from demo to date ;^)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The GC for the Magic house, under construction, has introduced me to a new client!  We're working on the plan and it feels like a great collaboration.  Did I mention that in Palo Alto, there are fruit trees everywhere?  ;^)

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Well, demolition and excavation, anyway!  Click here for a Flickr show ;^)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Excavation Underway!

 I'm taking a sequence of time-lapse photos, one every day from a fixed station point, a tripod head mounted on a pole atop a fence.  I'll put those together on Flickr at some point, but in the mean time, here are a few random shots.  It's really exciting, and creating wonderful buzz around the Magic community, of course.  By the way, the previous Architect/Builder was let go, and a new Contractor hired.  I feel I lost friend in the process, but the new man, Dan Fulga, is quite decisive and competent.  I have taken on the full role of architect, now, and have redrawn and improved the drawings for the project, bringing them up to what I consider a standard of professionalism that was missing (some 180 hrs in May, so far.)  The work I've produced in this expanded role has been well received, which of course has pleased me (dazzling them with competence ;^)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A new footrest, take III (or IV?)

I'm using a big Jet milling machine at Techshop to fabricate a new foot rest for the tall chair.  I started with a brass bar 5/8" x 7/8", and milled a 2" portion to 5/16", then I heated that patch with a blow torch, to brick red, let it cool, and bent it.  Then I milled coves into the two "wings."  Sometimes, I'm surprised at how my experience with classical architecture influences my designs.  After polishing, I'm pleased with this test sample.  I'll start to work on the full foot rest tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Oakland!

How could I pass this up?  :-)  Very moving.  The arc of my life from NYC to the Obama campaign in Florida, to here... a lot to get comfrtable with.

I'm going to Santa Cruz later, to see the open art studio tour, and to see a 40 acre intentional community with a barn that needs renovation.