small homes (113)

This Blog, My “Tour,” My Next Book, Blah Blah Blah…

I don’t spend nearly as much time on this blog as I used to, because:

-I need to devote time to books

-I’m doing Instagram, which I like a lot, and each Instagram post gets put on the blog (and Twitter) automatically. The trouble is they look a bit weird, with hash tags, and too-large type. For which I apologize.

-I wish I had the time to do blog posts like I did a few years ago, but I need to focus on projects that bring in income. I told Stewart Brand a few months ago that I’d done over 5,000 posts, with no corresponding income and he said, what took you so long to figure that out?

Guess what just came on the radio (playing at this moment)? “I’m so tired, Lord, of bein broke all the time,” by Canned Heat. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xU209vIy0KI

  Cosmic timing, eh?

My “Tour” I’m writing this from Courtenay, a (real) town I like a lot on Vancouver Island. I’m in the early stages of a tour of bookstore appearances with my new book. I just did the Community Hall on Hornby Island; the place was packed — young and old kindred spirits. Before I left, I did Mollusk Surf Shop in San Francisco and started by showing a few old scratchy B&W photos from surfing in Santa Cruz in the’50s, before wet suits and polyurethane foam, it was so much fun! Beer, cider, great music. Standing room only, some people couldn’t get in. A couple of angels made it possible.

Dates:

-Thursday (tomorrow): Russell Books, 734 Fort St, Victoria, 7 PM

-Tuesday, May 23, 7PM, Vancouver Public Library, Main Branch, 350 West Georgia St, Vancouver

-Thursday, May 25, 7:30 PM, McNally Robinson Books, 1120 Grant Ave, Winnipeg

-Saturday, May 27, Toronto: 11 AM, the Public Library at Parkdale; 2 PM, The Public Library, Danforth/Coxwell

-Thursday,June 1, Spoonbill and Sugartown in Brooklyn, 7PM

I’ve booked 6 flights for this sojourn. Sheesh! Booked into AirBnB places in Vancouver and Toronto to avoid high hotel bills.

New book: I’m working on a book on the ’60s. Someone told me a few weeks ago that it’s been 50 years since the “Summer of Love,” and there are a bunch of exhibits, articles, a lot of attention on the era, and most all that I read or see about it doesn’t correlate with what I saw happen. So I’m writing about  it from my own perspective, with my own photos. I grew up in San Francisco, went to high school in the Haight Ashbury district, and was 10 years older than the group (baby boomers) that caused it all to happen. I dropped out of the insurance business in 1965, partly because I felt I had more in common with young people than I did with my own generation. I’m not sure if it will come together as a book, but I’m following my modus operandi of: If you don’t know what to do — start. We’ll see.

Other books “The Half Acre Homestead,” a scrapbook on barns, a book on Baja, possibly a wild book on building by a French friend of mine…

Print-on-demand or short run books  A lot of things that don’t require a major book. The first one will be a 48-page book: Driftwood Shacks: Anonymous Architecture of the California Coast. In past years I  put together a bunch of handmade, hand-lettered sort of scrapbooks on trips: roaming through the southwest deserts, LA, NYC (both visually rich), Southeast Asia, the Greek island Lesbos (on a motor scooter)…I’ll see if it makes sense to do limited editions.

I feel like’ I’m just getting rolling.

I love it here in Canada. So many wonderful people + a bunch of true and lifelong friends. I told Michael the other day it feels like a “separated at birth” situation, it’s all so familiar and friendly and tuned into my sensibilities.

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On The Road to Santa Cruz

I had a radio interview to do yesterday, so hit the Cliff House in SF for an Irish Coffee and popovers to start the day, then got rolling on Hwy One, making the coastal SF/SC journey for maybe the 300th time. By the time I got through Half Moon Bay and it was just brussels sprouts, strawberries and arroyos leading down to beaches, I was sailing, getting that exhilaration that comes from moving smoothly through space.

Got into SC, took right on Swift Street, past Haut’s shop, then to Steamer Lane, which was breaking and surprisingly uncrowded. I SO love Santa Cruz, having lived here on and off in the ’50s. The water’s warmer, the waves better, it’s more tranquillo, like it’s 15% LA (Santa Barbara is 70% LA). Like San Francisco, it’s overcrowded and expensive, but its carefree and playful, with soul intact.

When I discoverd surfing at age 18, I rearranged my classes at Stanford so I had no classes on Friday. I took off at noon every Thursday (either on my Harley 45 or hitchhiking) and spent 3-1/2 days of the week in SC. 4 of us rented a cabin on Ocean Ave. for $20 a month.

I can hardly believe it now, but we surfed without wet suits. So stoked were we. SO cold.

There were maybe 20 surfers in town and for some reason they accepted me, didn’t treat me like I was a college jerk. SC then had a population of 25,000 in winter and 75,000 in summer.

Right now am in v. cool new barista shop, Cat and Cloud, on Portola Ave., soon to head back up the coast for a meeting in our office this afternoon, where we’ll be strategizing tour/marketing/blah blah for the new book.

Ike and Tina Turner, Shake a Tail Feather Baby playing right now. What an incredible band! Their CD “Proud Mary”is a great chronological record of this phenomenal band.

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Lloyd’s Bookstore Appearances April-May 2017

In the next 6 or so weeks, I’ll be doing slide shows from the new book, talking about options for young people seeking shelter (and avoiding high rents or bank mortgages), and signing books. In Northern California, Canada, and NYC; then in August in Oregon.

April

April 7 – 7PM

Copperfields

138 North Main Street

Sebastapol, CA 95472

April 11 – 7PM

City Lights

261 Columbus Ave.

San Francisco CA 94133

April 28 – 7 PM

Bookshop Santa Cruz

1520 Pacific Ave.

Santa Cruz CA 95060

May 4- 7:30 PM

Builder’s Booksource

1817  4th
Street

Berkeley CA 94710

Read More …

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SMALL HOMES Now Available

Our new book Small Homes: The Right Size is now available at independent bookstores, and Amazon — as well as from us: www.shelterpub.com/building/small-homes

Shameless Commerce Dept. This is, I think, the best building book we’ve ever done. (Yes, I’m sure I’ve said this before, but it keeps reoccurring to me.)  Shelter is everyone’s favorite; it captured the times, it inspired thousands of homes. Builders of the Pacific Coast is in some ways, my best book. It’s an odyssey of discovery where the reader rides shotgun with me over a 2-year period. Cohesive and focused.

BUT Small Homes is so useful to so many people in this era of astronomical home prices and rents, that I think it’s hugely important. It offers alternatives to people looking for rentals on Craigslist or homes on Zillow. Here are 65 very different homes, of different materials, in different parts of the world. The idea, as with all our building books is to use your hands to create your own shelter.

Two things I’ve discovered about this book (after seeing the finished product):

  1. There are a lot of homes out in middle America – Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, more so than in any of our other books.
  2. It sparkles. Largely due to Rick’s considerable Photoshop skills, a motley assortment of photos from contributors have been rendered in colorful detail. I was stunned when I saw the first book off the press. The photos draw you in.
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SMALL HOMES Book is off to Printers

We got the proofs back last week, and I almost cried when I went through it page by page. Sounds dumb, I know, but it was overwhelming to see all the pages, in collated order, full size, 4-color for the first time — after a couple of years working on it. I’d only seen rather low-quality, reduced size printouts up until now. And you know what, it’s ahem, a beautiful book.

People, home builders from all walks of life, a great variety of designs, materials, locales. It may very well be the most useful book we’ve ever done. Tiny homes are great for some people, but too small for most. Here are 65 or so homes in all, a cornucopia of ideas for people who can’t afford high rents and bank mortgages, and want to build or remodel (or contract out) their own homes.

Check out the “sneak previews” on TheShelterBlog:

https://www.theshelterblog.com/?s=sneak+preview

Book due out April, 2017. More details to follow here.

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