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.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

On again, off again...

As I was pulling out of Santa Fe, I got a call from my sister.  I had been helping her and her husband to decide which of two paths to take with the piece of property in Durham in which they own an interest.  My sister told me they wanted to seriously consider the riskier option, to break off their own chunk, rather than go along with a larger group to develop the whole property together.  This would be for me, the culmination of a week's worth of intense scuttling to coordinate a real estate appraiser, and a real estate lawyer to help me develop both scenarios in sufficient detail for M & B to make an informed decision, and to be ready to go either way by the deadline on on the 7th.  It would also be the conclusion of my own preparations to possibly move there to coordinate the project, a consideration that was decisive as to when I started this trip who's first destination was Durham with the intention of getting to know what kind of life that area had to offer me.  It would also be the conclusion of family chatting now and then over the course of 15 years, about what we would do with the land; would I be the developer, would I design some spec houses?

And now, having thought I had taken care of the final info for them to make a decision (after leaping off my sick bed) which I thought would probably be to take the safer course of going with the group, as I now was driving to Bandelier, with plans to meet Cheyenne, African Children's activist, and then Tania and Jeff, organic farmers, and then Lori, world traveler and house builder, all in Taos in the following days... I am called upon to take one more look at the option of breaking off their chunk..

Rather than go back to Marie and Winter's, where I might face all sorts of social distraction, and rather than pressing on to Bandelier where I would face unknown challenges, I instead doubled back to the woodsy RV park I'd visited a few weeks ago, especially because I knew I would have an electrical hook up with which I could run my computer continuously and give my "house battery" a good sustained charge before heading north.

The picture above shows the inside of the bus after my emergency charrette, which I started at 3 a.m. so that I could get a good idea about how the subdivision could work, before making coordination calls at 6, which would be 8:00 a.m. back east, giving the consultants the most time I could to also leap into action doing their work....

There is a ton more to this story, but the glorious sunshine of Taos beckons, and also a chance to play in Taos plaza, where I hope Bonnie, whom I met yesterday, a stunningly beautiful woman with a long grey pony tail, who made me flush and nearly stammer as I attempted to be charming, might come to here me play...

To be continued...


  1. Hey Roy! That looks like my adjustable triangle in the picture! You can keep it as it looks like you are having fun.

    Be well,

  2. Ha! Hi Ron. No, it's mine. Had it for years. :-)

    I am using AD markers (bought my own, too), so I guess my HH training is helping out.

    Yes, having a blast. I'm in Taos, now. It's a very cool town, with a real hardware store and lumber yard, pottery and other craft supplies, etc., as in people here are actually doing thins, as opposed to Santa Fe, where it's all precious galleries and all museums all the time.

    I played vibes in the town square two days ago and got a little restaurant gig at $50 a night, plus dinner. :-)