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Remodeled Tiny Home From 1940s

"…This remodel was completed using all reclaimed materials. This small house was first built in the 1940s. Since then it has been through a lot. From a goose-check station, to rental house, and now this wonderful remodel.
Photos by Lincoln Barbour/tiny house design by Jessica Helgerson…"

I Shall Be Released by Nina Simone


Old Craftsman House For Sale In Berkeley

Not tiny, not cheap, but nice.
"…Built in 1907 and almost untouched since, this Craftsman Style cottage hasn't been on the market in five decades, and yes, it needs some serious updating, but at least you won't have to rip our someone else's misguided attempts. While there's no indication from the realtor who the architect might have been, the carpenters of this 4-bed, 1.5-bath house deserve some credit as well.
Inside, box beams, paneling and built-in cabinets in redwood, from trees we'll never see the likes of again, and two pantries-- on serving the dining room, and another with a vintage icebox from a time when ice was delivered in blocks by a man with a horse and cart. Three fireplaces, and in addition to two bedrooms down, there are two wonderful rooms upstairs…
2821 Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, $729K…" http://shltr.net/berkcrafts

Tiny Texas Houses

One of the featured sections in Tiny Homes is this demolition/construction company near Austin, Texas, today written up on the inhabitat.com website: "Based out of Luling, Texas, Brad Kittel has been working in the salvage mining and building business for 30 years and for the last five years or so has been practicing "pure salvage building". Kittel and his crew deconstruct and salvage old buildings, mining them for materials that they turn into tiny, handcrafted homes. Tiny Texas Homes are rustic, smartly designed and efficiently built in their factory before being delivered to your site.…"

For San Franciscans

If you grew up in San Francisco long enough ago, you knew Laughing Sal, now in her new home on the Santa Cruz boardwalk:

Down at the Boardwalk Yesterday #2

Down at the Boardwalk Yesterday #1

Three tiny buildings

100 People at Bookshop Santa Cruz Last Night

Each time I walk into Bookshop Santa Cruz,I get this happy feeling. It's a wonderland of books (and magazines), tons of books face-out. A great aspect of a great bookstore is the discovery of unanticipated treasures…

Over 100 people showed up for the slide show. Mostly young, maybe 80% in the 20-30 yr.-old category. Preaching to the choir: everyone loved the book, so we were in tune, good vibes. They've sold about 100 books in the bookstore. One guy came up and said "I want to thank you for my 38 years of building." He'd been inspired by Shelter. I just can't convey how many people's lives were changed by that book; I hear it all the time these days. Another guy came up and said he'd been a student at MIT in 1972 when I'd attacked domes and plastics at a conference titled "Responsive Housebuilding Technology." (As a result of the conference I ended up writing an essay, "Smart, But Not Wise."

Next Wednesday I'm doing an appearance in San Francisco at City Lights. (I'm giving out tons of mini-books at these appearances, encouraging people to give them to friends, and especially to children.)

Cowells Is Rolling

Shot this with my Canon Powershot S-95 from the pier yesterday. Not bad for such a small camera at such a distance (maybe 2-300 yards). Cowell's has got to be the best place to learn to surf in NorCal. Forgiving waves. No slash-and -burn hotshots. And right around the corner from the mighty Steamer Lane. I stayed at a great near-the-beach motel, the Edgewater Beach on 2nd Street. It's across the street from the pier, up on a kind of knoll, and you can actually see the surfers at Cowells from the parking lot.

60 Acres in Maine With Tiny Home For Sale $7K

$6900, 60 acres, 200 sq. ft. cabin, Cornville, Maine:

Thatched Roof Trailer/1964 Plymouth Barracuda

Sea Otter at Steamer Lane Yesterday

I could swear this guy had an abalone on his belly and was hammering it with a rock. Floating around just outside the wave zone, livin the good life…

"The sea otter is a secondary consumer and feeds on animals such as sea urchins, clams, mussels, mollusks, abalone, snails, crustaceans, small fish, etc. A fully grown sea otter can eat over 25% of its own body weight."

Sunny Morning/Coffee Artistry in Santa Cruz

Boy do I love this town! Yes, it ain't what it was in the '50s (what is?), but it's got so much. A lot of it having to do with the town's Feng Shui, perched as it is on the northern edge of the huge Monterey Bay (Monterey is at the southern edge). There's a clarity in the air from the ocean. Colors vibrant. That extra warmth we don't have in the San Francisco zone that allows for the occasional avocado tree, and better corn and tomatoes.
This temple or whatever has been here (West Cliff Drive neighborhood) for at least 60 years.
There's that Southern Cal vibe. I've always felt that southern California starts in South San Francisco. The further south you go, the warmer things get, and the looser. It's just more relaxed. More fun where the livin' is easy. Skateboarders flying all over town. Surfers out everywhere yesterday. A town of serious cycling. This morning I'm at the ultra-cool Verve Roasters, 816 41st Ave, serious barista folk, good wi-fi connection (pic below). That's a Hungarian wild cherry pastry there. In same block on 41st is the Cliff Cafe, great breakfast, the Freeline Surf Shop, The Santa Cruz Skate Shop, Pink Godzilla Sushi -- lively hood just a few blocks from the Hook.

On My Way to Santa Cruz

It's 7 AM and I'm at The Java Beach Cafe on Noriega and The Great Highway in San Francisco. On the western edge of San Francisco -- Ocean Beach. Been a while since I was at this cafe and in the interim they've fixed it up; tables shaped like 1940s Wakiki surfboards, and the coffee is really good, as is the fresh crumb donut.
   When I come into SF from Marin county, I usually skirt around the northwestern part of the city. A sharp right after the toll gate, thru Army base, along bay, past Palace of the Legion of Honor, then out to the beach on Geary or Lake.
   Then this morning, down Highway One to Santa Cruz, where I'm doing a slide show/book signing at Bookshop Santa Cruz tomorrow at 7:30 PM. 1520 Pacific Avenue. It's one of the country's best bookstores. I also get to see 13 months old grandson Maceo, now walking and as well,  playing his own set of conga drums.
   Santa Cruz is my former turf. I spent 3-4 years there on and off in the '50s, a rare time for surfers in retrospect, before rubber suits. Think four guys out at Steamer Lane on a foggy morning with 8' surf (don't get me started). I love going down there, even though it's over-populated and expensive. It's still got that slightly SoCal climate and looseness and the beaches are still there, and there's a good feeling. People play a lot: surfing, skating, biking, paddling, all kinds of activities possible in the warm climate.
   Off I go, making this coastal drive for probably the 300th time, through the fields of mustard and artichokes and brussels sprouts, with waves breaking at dozens of beaches.

More Details on Nature-watching Studio

Thanks to Justin for sending us this link to the full facts on the little house pictured in my post of March 24:

"A small writing studio (just 100 sq. ft.) in the Willamette Valley, Oregon that the owner calls her “Watershed.” The owner is a philosophy professor and a well-known nature writer. She commissioned the studio as a retreat for herself and for visiting writer friends. Her first request was for a roof that would let her hear rain falling.
The designer is the owner’s daughter. Erin Moore currently teaches design studios at the University of Arizona School of Architecture. She uses her own small firm, FLOAT, and her residency at MOCA Tucson to conduct small-scale projects that engage architecture with ecology.
The writing studio site is a small piece of land along the Marys River about 20 minutes from the owner’s home in town. The studio sits just uphill from riparian wetlands that are part of a project to restore hydrological and ecological function to the whole Marys River watershed.…"

Hand-made Axe Video

Hi Lloyd and friends!
This is the only email address I could find for you; thought you'd like to add this to the blog. It's simply exquisite.
-Dawn Owens

"This is a short documentary movie that shows the whole process of how the John Neeman tools are being hand crafted.
   'It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that millions of people have ceased to use their hands as hands. Nature has bestowed upon us this great gift which is our hands. If the craze for machinery methods continues, it is highly likely that a time will come when we shall be so incapacitated and weak that we shall begin to curse ourselves for having forgotten the use of the living machines given to us by God.'
Mahathma Ghandi"

Louie's Shop

I stay in the circular room on the right. Yesterday morning, it was drizzling, mist in the trees, cozy in the radial room with the wood stove. I can get some good writing done here, away from the almighty //www.

Two Buildings in Eureka

There are tons of wonderful buildings in Eureka.

Shit-kicker Offroad Vehicle of All Time

Day 5 Heading Home

Slide show in Arcata last night went great. Packed house. Couldn't find a place to eat, or a room in Arcata, so about 9PM I got a tank of gas, Sobe soda and some, ahem, Dorito barbecue nachos, and headed east through the hills, destination Reading, on Hwy 5. Found a nice little motel in Weaverville, $50, took hot bath on cold night, got donuts and coffee at bakery this morning and am now in Reading.
I have a problem on the road. I keep seeing things to photograph. My friend, photographer Jack Fulton and I can hardly get anywhere on a road trip. Every 5-10 minutes, one of us will say, "Um…" and we'll stop and jump out with cameras. In the next few days I'll post various images from this trip.
Above: Heading north from Mendocino yesterday
Below:Great hunting/fishing/diving store in Eureka. The real thing

(Below: maybe my favorite brewery anywhere, The Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka. Had a 9.5% dark stout, corned beef and cabbage (was St. Patrick's Day). I couldn't have eaten a plate of food this size when I was 18 and surfing every day.