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, July 25, 2010

Point Reyes, Oakland, and..

I stayed a few nights at Sandy's house in Fairfax.  She showed me some of the surrounding towns, including San Rafael and a few marvelous places on Point Reyes, which include some spectacularly well preserved little villages with shops and galleries, surrounded by luxurious hill houses.  "This is the gold standard for what you are looking for," she explained.  With a phone call or two, she managed to find and introduce me to Bruce Mitchel and his wife Nancy.  Bruce, a big bear of a man, is an established woodworker, turner, and  sculptor, who welcomed us into his home and studio.  After a few days, I went to visit my friends from NYC, John and Mary Katherine, who relocated to Oakland perhaps 10 years ago (time flies!)  While here the last two days or so, I went to a wood shop collaborative in Berkeley that I found some time back on Craig's list, and arranged to be able to rent access for the month of August. Then I went to the Richmond Art Center and saw an exhibit in which Bruce had a small piece, and saw Bruce and Nancy, too.  Tomorrow through Thursday, I'll go to Mendocino, Fort Bragg and Willits to see if those art communities might offer what I'm looking for at a price I can manage.  If not, I'll come back here to Oakland and rent the shop in Berkeley to make some stuff, and take it from there...

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