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Night Scenes Manhattan May 28, 2014

I Can't Give You Anything But Love…

I went to the Broadway musical "After Midnight" last night and was it good! Music of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, the '20s - '30s era of great music at The Cotton Club in Harlem. The play opened with a guy stepping on to the stage and talking…and it struck me that this was so REAL…no special effects, nothing digital, just real human beings. Not a YouTube video. Rare in this electronic age.
   It's just a spectacular show, old school all the way. If you could time-transport it to the '30s, the audience of those times would love it. Wonderful singing and dancing, non-stop, it's hard to believe the collection of talent here, the great songs. "Stormy Weather," "It Don't Mean A Thing, "Come Fly Away.” There were times during the dance numbers when the collective audience would gasp.

NYC Street Scenes

Lightweight bike trailer

Vocal Harmony, Washington Square

People just showed up, drifted in and were harmonizing to old Beatles, Dylan songs.

You Can Take the Boy Out of the City…

OK, those of you weary of my over-enthusiasm, or in general, averse to superlatives: skip the following.
   There is no city in the known universe that comes close to NYC. I'm staying in a small hotel in the old Village and right now having a latte and superlative breakfast wrap (eggs, cheese, sausage) in what is -- yes, sorry about this -- the coolest cafe I've ever been in. Grounded at 26 Jane Street, a couple of blocks from the hotel. Good colors, good Feng-shui (light pours in from street and skylight), greenery abounds, v. hip music, fast wi-fi, half the people here are on Mac laptops, everyone looks cool. No flakes.
   The hotel is in a 160-year-old building. I get to my 3rd-floor room up a steep flight of narrow steps (any steeper, it'd be a ladder). There are old nice quilts on the 2 beds. The windows open (unlike new hotels, where you are cut off from fresh air). Feels sort of like being in the attic of an old farm house. Traffic on street below, but it's not bad, and dies down at night.
   NYC is in one of it's very good moods. Weather balmy, fresh breezes off rivers, the sidewalk restaurants are full. When she's good, she's very, very good…
    There's something very intimate about dining out here; you're so close to people -- you hear everything they say. I often end up in conversations with other diners.
   I've got a lot of good photos. Trouble is, it takes a lot of time to process and get them out there.
Deja vu factor. In 1957 I spent the summer living in a $60-per-week room on Morton Street (1st trip to NYC),  working the 4PM to midnight shift in a Durkee shredded coconut factory in Queens…another story…

We Aren't The Only Ones Doing Mini Books

Click here.

Poppa's Got A Brand New Carry-on Bag

I've always had backpacks for airplane travel, eschewing suitcases and wheeled bags. I figured it was a good workout to have the weight on my shoulders, and I always walked up the stairs instead of using escalators, and never took the moving walkways. BUT on my last trip, I had so much weight, it wore me out. This time I got an Osprey rolling pack (with day pack, wheels, and shoulder straps), a new Da Kine day pack, and cut down on clothing as much as I could. Much improved.
   Even though I have a (11") MacAir laptop, a bunch of camera gear, couple of books, and on this trip, a digital projector, the weight is on wheels -- such a relief. Well, duh.
   Airports are stressful enough as it is. I'll get my workouts in other ways. The strap is for a fairly aerodynamic camera bag, in which I have my new Olympus OM5-D10 with 3 lenses -- gonna carry it in my city explorations here. The vest is a Columbia Omni-Shade -- lightweight, bunch of pockets Also, stealth vaping -- heh-heh -- works in airports.

I'm Off For NYC

At SFO airport now, catching the 10 PM redeye to JFK, arriving 7 AM. I love to do it this way, arriving in the Great City at dawn. Just after crossing the Hudson, my pulse starts pounding. Now THIS is a city. I'm hopelessly in love with it. I can't sleep even a bit on airplanes, but I don't take naps, rather stay awake until bedtime that night, and, voila, I'm into east coast time.
   I'm going to the BEA big book convention (and exploring city with new camera, seeing friends, seeking adventure). Staying at hotel in the Village, old building, I'm excited by this.
   Any tips on NYC? Coffee, food, music, whatever?

Buck Owens -- You Gotta Have A License

You Gotta Have a License by Buck Owens on Grooveshark

Books, a 3D Pen, Camping Hacks, and Fun Maps from Mike W

Book Arts
A blog for creative types interested in the (un)conventional world of Book Arts! Posts here will feature artist's books, illustration, book binding, typography, sketch-booking, scrap-booking, print-making, paper making, altered books, how to guides, zines, paper engineering and more! Feel free to submit your own work, thoughts around the subject, or even just inspiration new and old. Happy researching!

Smallest 3D Printing Pen
The world smallest 3D printing pen enables you to doodle in the air!

41 Genius Camping Hacks You’ll Wish You Thought Of Sooner
For some reason, this won't click through, so copy and paste into yr. browser.

40 maps they didn’t show you in school

Mike W

Michael Kahn, Artist

My cousin Mike and I were a year apart and we hung out together whenever we could as kids. We were the same size and looked a lot alike. He went to college at UC Santa Barbara and threw the javelin on the track team. He always painted, from a young age. After college, he moved to New Orleans, then NYC, where he sold paintings on the street. Next he settled down in Provincetown, working as a waiter to support his art habit.
   In Fall, 1965, I hitchhiked across the country, on I guess what you'd call a vision quest. The counterculture was rocking then.
   This photo is when we went clamming in P-Town. Mike's wearing the John-Lennon-style hat I'd bought in NYC.
   Mike then went on to build a phantasmagorical sculptural village in Arizona, which he called Eliphante. He told me he was inspired by the work of Bob De Buck and Jerry Thorman in Placitas, New Mexico, which was depicted in our book Shelter. Eliphante is featured in our book Home Work, pages shown here.
Mike passed away 4 years ago. His wife, Leda Livant, has just put up a website of some of Mike's paintings here. The Eliphante website is here. (Lotta links.)
   BTW, when I left P-Town hitchhiking on a Saturday afternoon, I got picked up by some kids from The Rhode Island School of Design. They were going to a Bob Dylan concert that night, well all right! It was one of the first Dylan performances where he did folk music the 1st half, then brought out Robbie Robertson et al for rock 'n roll. Things were so loose then that I was right up at the stage with my camera and got some memorable black and white shots.
    After a month on the road, I came back to San Francisco, quit my job as an insurance broker, and went to work as a carpenter.

See 32 Pages of Tiny Homes on the Move Free Online

Rick Gordon has created this Flipbook. You can get a pretty good idea of the book from these excerpted pages -- except the photos in the real book are a lot sharper than this. Boy, do people love this book. A bunch of people have said they can't put it down.
Click here: http://shltr.net/thom-flipbook
If you have friends who would like this, please forward them this link.

Sonny Boy Williamson - Bring It On Home

I've heard this song off and on for years, but driving along the coast the other morning -- wow! What power! I was trying to think of other songs that are this perfect, and I thought of Dust My Broom by Elmore James. Masterpieces.
Bring It On Home by Sonny Boy Williamson on Grooveshark

Rooftop Gardens in Brooklyn

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Building a $300 underground greenhouse for year-ro...":
Check this out
World's largest rooftop garden...bee hives too:


Maker Faire, San Mateo 2014

Fun! Tons of kids (There's a "Lost Children" booth. I did one presentation on Tiny Homes on the Move yesterday, doing another at 3:30 today on Center Stage…Kevin Kelly talked to a packed crowd about his book Cool Tools yesterday…Two pics at Faire: flame-spouting monster (consumes a lotta propane), motorized skateboard, The Boosted, cost, ulp, $2K…I'm staying at a motel in Millbrae, found great breakfast place this morning across the street, Millbrae Pancake House…Will try to post more pics…some time…

Off For 3-Day Weekend…

 Took off early Friday morning/driving along the coast, The Hives punkin it up with "Go Right Ahead" on radio:
"Our god is a sinner, our king is a con
The room’s about to crumble as I burst into song…"
…Then The Dave Clark Five in a surprising rocker, "Wild Weekend," part of great selection by British DJ Michael Des Barres' rock n roll program on Little Steve's Underground Garage on Sirius Radio…the new span on the Bay Bridge is such a disaster, a horse's ass of a design; the towers look like bad special effects (compare to Golden Gate Bridge towers)…The western span of the Bay Bridge (the old one, at left) is elegant by comparison…
Graffiti at Ocean Beach, San Francisco
On my way to The Maker Faire in San Mateo…

Tiny Homes For The Homeless Built Out of Dumpster Garbage in Oakland, California

"Gregory Kloehn goes dumpster diving, but not for the reason that most people would think. He isn’t homeless. In fact, he is an artist from Oakland that is trying to help the homeless and develop his craft at the same time.
Instead of building sculptures that he would sell to rich people to add to their massive homes, he decided to focus his efforts on helping house the homeless population in California.…He uses what he collects to build small, one room shelters for the homeless.…"
Click here and here.

Beach Panorama From North Shore, Hawaii

"I know u love panorama's. Sunset point on the right and rocky point to the left. Photo credit to my wife Emie. Shrimp trucks rock!

No gasoline in Point Reyes Station for the next 4-6 days!

From the Marin County Sheriff:
Due to a vehicle accident that occurred last night where a truck ran
into the Greenbridge Gas & Auto Service station located at 11401
Highway 1, Point Reyes Station, the station suffered major damage that
has disabled the power to all of its gas pumps. The owners of the
Greenbridge Gas & Auto Service are now advising that the gas pumps
will remain inoperable for another 4-6 days until repairs can be
This closure of the Greenbridge gas pumps in Point Reyes will mean
the only other operating gas pumps in West Marin will be at the Bo-Gas
station in Bolinas. Due to the warm days leading up to this coming
weekend, I anticipate that we can expect a number of stranded
motorists expressing frustration in our West Marin Communities with
empty or near empty gas tanks. Even those who may call for road
service (AAA, etc.) can expect extremely long response times from
service vehicles and tow trucks coming from the East side of the

Perfectly-proportioned Shack in Woods

Sometimes I'll see a little building where everything looks right. Builders (and architects) could learn a lot by studying small rural and farm buildings.

On-the-road Ducati Motorcycle

Also from Pepe Alvarez

I'm Doing 2 Presentations on Tiny Homes on the Move at the Maker Faire in San Mateo This Weekend

This thing is huge -- 50,000 people. And fun! Surprising to me because I'm hardly nerd-oriented. There's a wide range of things going on here, from ultra-geeky to downhome funk. This'll be the 4th time I've gone and I always have a great time. It's savvy, friendly, interesting, and very well run. I wander all over the large fairgrounds with my camera. It's great for kids, all kinds of robots wandering around, ingenious mobile vehicles, 3D printing (hot right now), the "HomeGrown Village" hall for gardening, homesteading, building, food preservation, etc.
   I'm doing 2 presentations on Tiny Homes On The Move:
    -Saturday May 17th, 3:30 PM on the Maker Square Stage in the Homegrown Village
    -Sunday May 18th, 3:00 PM on the Center Stage. Click here.

-Kevin Kelly will be talking about his best-seller Cool Tools at 1:30 PM Saturday on The Center Stage.
-Snowboarder Mike Basich (our star builder in Tiny Homes) will be talking about his remote mountain homestead and homemade ski lift at 2:30 Sunday on The Center Stage (just before me).
One thing: traffic is heavy. Check out the Faire's suggestions. You can bring a bike and park a mile or two away. General Faire info here.
Finally: Lew and Evan will be manning a Shelter Publications booth in one of the maker halls on how we make books. They'll be giving away free copies of the Tiny Homes on the Move mini-book and selling copies of the full-size book for $20 apiece (cheaper than Amazon).

Spanish Motorcyclists on a Harley in California

I ran across these guys last night. Left to right, Guillem Ramirez and Xerta Puig. They flew from Barcelona to Chicago, rented the Harley, and were finishing up an 18-day vacation. They travelled on Highway 66 and, were on their way into San Francisco, then heading down Highway 1 to L.A., where they'll drop off the bike and fly back to Spain. He's a builder and she has a business that sells nativity items.
   (When we start up The Shelter Blog in a few weeks, I'll be putting much of the building stuff on the new blog, and doing more posts like this.)

Buell HD Racer Motorcycle

Best bike designed by Buell; HD racer. Disk brake fixed to wheel! Underhung exhaust (weight low).   Fuel in frame.  Belt tension wheel. HD Sportster designed engine (1200cc?).
Pepe (Alvarez)"

My First Slide Show/Book Signing Tonight in Bolinas

I'm doing a slide show with about 100 images from Tiny Homes On The Move tonight at the Bolinas Community Center on Wharf Road, at 7:30 PM. We'll also be selling books (at a discount) and giving away free mini-books (2x2" -- 64 pages).

Tiny Home for £10,000 in UK

"…tiny home with double bed, fitted kitchen, bathroom and widescreen TV (and solar panels to keep down bills)
 •Basic model of the wooden 'microhome' is 13ft high and costs £10,000
 •It has been designed by Dr Mike Page of the University of Hertfordshire
 •Home doesn't need planning permission and is said to be easy to build…"
Click here.

Walking Home — Tiny Home

"WALKING HOUSE is a modular dwelling system that enables persons to live a peaceful nomadic life, moving slowly through the landscape or cityscape with minimal impact on the environment. It collects energy from its surroundings using solar cells and small windmills. There is a system for collecting rain water and a system for solar heated hot water.…"

Well if you say so. Looks like it would be right at home in Dwell magazine. A reminder: I put up stuff I find interesting, not that I necessarily like. The story behind this one is weird.
Click here.
From Luke Griswold-Tergis

Tiny House, Tiny Boat All-in-one

"Too bad you're not working on a new book because this could be in it."
  Luke Griswold-Tergis
Click here.