The Olde Country

My great grandparents arrived in America over a century ago from Sicily. They were dirt poor, uneducated, swarthy, and considered undesirable by the ruling Protestant standard of the day. Sicilians weren’t much liked by other Italians to the north back home either. They wandered the country from Alabama to Chicago and eventually settled in Boerum … Continue reading The Olde Country

It’s Complicated

Last night I had dinner at a friend’s house. The group was composed of the usual San Francisco mix: a college professor, an architect, and a collection of software engineers of various stripes. They were single-ish. Childless. Forty-ish. Well traveled. Charming. Between them they could speak eight languages. They were old enough to be semi-established … Continue reading It’s Complicated

Memphis Bluff

I was chastised by one of my readers for focusing exclusively on the negative aspects of Memphis without depicting the flowering of some of the historic neighborhoods. Evidently they’re much better now than just a few years ago. So I’ll highlight one of the select spots in town that are currently flourishing after decades of … Continue reading Memphis Bluff

Moving House

I spent the last week helping pack and unpack for a family as they moved to their new digs. I’ll start with the house porn since the new place was magnificently staged by real estate professionals. Then I’ll work backwards to tell this story. The new house is four stories tall and was last used … Continue reading Moving House

Miami’s New Temples

I scratched my head over this one for a while before I eventually came around. Give me a minute to come full circle here. This is the latest architectural statement in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood. Faulders Studio and Wolfberg Alvarez Partners created an eight story garage meant to be a catalyst for the larger neighborhood. The high design celebrates … Continue reading Miami’s New Temples

Church and Plate

Yesterday I enjoyed a Sunday breakfast with friends at Wat Mongkolratanaram, a Buddhist Thai Temple in Berkeley. The Temple has been serving food in their courtyard as a community event and fund raising mechanism every Sunday for years. This is the Thai version of Lutheran church basement hot dish. (I recommend the green papaya salad … Continue reading Church and Plate