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

Big Picture

There are some serious forest fires burning all across California at the moment and the smoke from distant counties has turned the air here in San Francisco into an autumnal barbecue flavored mist. Bits of white flaky ash are drifting down from the sky like cherry blossoms. Last year around this time there were similar … Continue reading Big Picture

The Apartment Complex

Garden apartment complexes do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to suburban affordable housing. Young singles, the elderly, married couples saving for their first home, recently divorced folks starting over, and people who tried but somehow failed to move on to other arrangements – these are the inhabitants of America’s low density rental … Continue reading The Apartment Complex

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

The Big Move

I spent the afternoon yesterday helping my neighbors pack, clean, and complete a series of fix-it projects around their apartment. They’re moving from San Francisco to a semi-rural town of 28,000 in western Massachusetts. My neighbor bought her one bedroom apartment a decade ago for what seemed like the outrageously high price of $400,000. Today … Continue reading The Big Move

Maids’ Rooms, Garden Pavilions, Coral Vanities, and Thought Experiments

A recent post about the regulatory and cultural dynamics in Thousand Oaks, California was reposted on various platforms on the interwebs and elicited some very different responses. Readers on right leaning sites were incredulous that anyone would criticize the hard working and already over taxed families who were merely defending what they’ve earned. What right … Continue reading Maids’ Rooms, Garden Pavilions, Coral Vanities, and Thought Experiments