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.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Trials of Job (what a whiner)...

I'm still angry about the disastrous end to my adventure in Jerome.  I've endured a lot of losses in the last couple of years; my apartment in NYC, my great job, the shut down of the construction industry, and with the difficulty of finding a new appropriate job at 54 even in good times, the possible end of my career as an architect (there may still be private commissions), the house I was going to buy in Fleetwood, and with my savings dwindling, possibly the opportunity to ever buy a house...  And yet, I remain optimistic and light hearted most of the time, I'm fortunate that that is my general disposition, even though I have suffered from an underlying chronic depression for many, many years...  But now, with so many good possibilities in Jerome obliterated by the irrational action of the landlord, I am pissed...  I drove off to the Grand Canyon and enjoyed that marvel, then Antelope Canyon, then Zion, and now Bryce, and I intend to push on to Northern California soon to see if I can find another arty town where I can afford to start my Creative Workshop.  M&B have generously offered their hospitality if I want to go back to Lexington, Ma, and join a local wood working guild half a mile away and use that shop, and also pursue my musical invention at MIT and Berklee, and possibly build a new shop with them further north if B gets a new job he is hoping for...  All amazing, but some time away, and I am so impatient to start.  Jerome still has a quircky, neat community in a beautiful setting, lot's of artists and crafts folks, a foundry, a firm that sells exotic wood species, many houses that need renovation, and I have made friends with two folks on the Architectural review board, and a gallery owner who would show my work.

Sigh...

I wonder if I can still arrange to work with Tim McQuen, CEO of Heritage Woodworking, to design them a collection of my furniture, working out an arrangement to also use their shop facilities for my private explorations.  If that was available, would I go back to Jerome?  I felt a pang of relief when things fell apart there; I did worry that the town was so isolated, and it's 450 residents are mostly retirees, who's businesses need not make money...  The market and social opportunities on the west coast attract me, even with the unknowns.  I have some phone work to do to see what's out there and to see if Tim is still interested in my designs.


Ok, I have almost no time to work on the computer right now, and internet access is very slow, but I'll try to post some pics of these last few amazing places...

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