Camp Meeker

June 26, 2007


to visit.  a small town proxy?  catskills in on the bohemian highway?  how close to that great bakery/garden near occidental?


in miniature

June 26, 2007


my childhood dollhouse could set the tone. was it really swedish? i think it was a lundby from the 1970s and it looks like it was furnished from the early 1970s lundby catalogs. this one from ’74 was heavily represented and this one too.


June 26, 2007

A wonderful weekend in the mountains, but I realize that if we should ever procure a spot in the country, the drive is as important as the destination. My ideal weekend travel experience is, of course, a lot like the NY-Williamstown drive, a little bit of free(high)way to break out of town, a bit of meandering on country roads, an opportunity to happen upon thrift stores and/or a swimming hole, outlet store, pie shop, fruit stand all the while keeping in the 100-200 mile range (3-ish hours).

Other thoughts: trying to reconcile old (those historic wood floors are so nice) vs. new (clean and shiny) habitats and how that fits with green. Something about returning to our poorly insulated, ant-haven Edwardian complete with stopped up utility sink! makes me want to live somewhere new and clean. I respect ants. Yes, yes, ecosystems and all, but maybe some new prefab could be plunked down in a beautiful spot and appropriately protected from the elements. How synthetic is the whole prefab thing anyway?

Sort of related: This new development in W. Berkeley looks interesting. This is the kind of newness I can get behind, but hard to get a sense of it all from the limited pictures.

Tomales house

June 21, 2007


the geographic standard

June 13, 2007

The geography standards put forward from the National Council of Geographic Education remind me where my obsession with things place-based originated:

People’s lives are grounded in particular places. We come from a place, we live in a place, and we preserve and exhibit fierce pride over places. Our sense of self is intimately entwined with that of place. Who we are is often inseparable from where we are. Places are human creations and the geographically informed person must understand the genesis, evolution, and meaning of places.

Where we’re from is so fundamental that sometimes it’s hard for me to focus in on the “small” picture and just live. In some ways, the stage is already set for the little girl. We’ve made a Californian, a San Franciscan, no less, and that basic fact will always be a part of her, but when she’s older and she writes stories and draws pictures, I want her internal dialogue to be rich and productive. I want her surroundings to inspire creativity, not just opposition. She doesn’t need a rose-colored filter on her microscope, but I do hope she has an understanding that places are unique (even in this age of the Internets).

upstate new york

May 29, 2007

why is it so cheap there?  weather?

ithaca seems nice.

what is the residue of the burned-over district?

wool mills

May 23, 2007

only 11 wool mills left in america


yolo wool mill

list of US wool mills

more prefab

May 23, 2007

sweetwater bungalows

the premise

May 23, 2007

I imagine this to be a sort of virtual bulletin board as we try to figure out where we belong and what to call home. I’m coming at this as one half of a couple, as a parent, as a geographer with some training in how, where and when communities form, and as a mindful early twentyfirstcenturian, agnostic but interesting in carving out a life with a purpose. What I’d like to explore:

where to live in terms of geography.

where to live in terms of setting–rural, urban, etc.

how to understand and manage the pressures of life today–two careers, avoiding long commutes, overpriced real estate, overdependence on cars, and too much time computing, not enough creating.

refinements to follow.

tryon farm

planetizen on the market for a piece of earth in one’s subdivision

and other examples from the WSJ