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Photos Williamsburg & NYC Tonight

Abe & Morgan

Lincoln before his beard (photo exhibit on civil war at Metropolitan museum), Morgan Freeman in wax at Madam Tussaud's

Photos NYC #3

From top: Barefoot & Flying, excellent cajun band in subway; great doo wop group outside Metropolitan museum; an ain't-it-the-truth book title from Chronicle Books, more turn-of-century subway station tile work

Sky High Tree Top Treehouse

I do find it frustrating not to be able to find the source or photographer of so many photos floating around on Pinterest and other photo conglomeration websites. http://designspiration.net/image/839756883/

Old Beach House

PHOTO BY Numi Thorvarsson at http://www.flickr.com/photos/numi/2484365708/ 


Photos NYC #2

I'm just going to throw photos out there. Monday was a pleasant 70 degrees. Yesterday it poured rain at times. When rains come, vendors pop up on the corners with $5 folding umbrellas and $5 clear plastic ponchos. At bottom: tile work in subway station, probably from early 1900's. See here.

Photos NYC #1

The city has just enacted a huge bike system. You pay $95 a year (or $25 for a week) and pick up and drop off these bikes all over the city.
"NYC Launches Largest Bike Share Program in the Nation -- The privately funded Citi Bike bike-share program is launching with 6,000 bikes at 330 docking stations in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn" Click here.

Manhattan Monday

Got to my hotel around 8AM Sunday, no room available, so I walked over to the Le Pain Quotidien bakery/ cafe (wonderful chain with farm tables, country kitchen ambience), had a Belgian waffle and latte, then took off on foot for the Museum of Natural History.
   25 years of trail running has given me certain mobility skills negotiating busy streets and crowded sidewalks. I think of it as ballet. I jaywalk at every opportunity (which most pedestrians do not, surprisingly, do here in Manhattan). If I have to rush to get across an intersection and have my backpack on, I do a sort of shuffling run.
   The city is in a good mood. This organism that is Manhattan definitely has its moods, depending on weather, world affairs, planetary influence, and other intangibles. Check out this lovely little park on the Lower East Side; birds were singing loudly in the trees:
Houston Hall, 200 block on West Houston

"Homeless" tiny home city reality:
All his gear in cart at right. The guy was inside the darker blue tarp.
Could hear him talking. Privacy.
What ingenuity!

Laird Hamilton on Huge Teahupoo Wave

This video is way old now, but it still takes my breath away. Check out the clip starting at 4 min. 17 sec.

Whale Exhibit at Museum of Natural History

I love this museum. I get dizzy after a little while in most museums, but I could spend days here. The whale exhibit had special meaning for me because in the last year I watch the disintegration of a 47' fin whale on a California beach. The size of the skeletons is stunning.  Below is the fin of the larger skeleton on exhibit. Note similarity to human hand.

Longboard Skateboarders in Park

Were these guys hot! I thought California boys had the fancy stuff all locked up, but these guys were busting one move after the other. One of them skidded his board into a 360 and kept going. I didn't know there was a downhill in Manhattan, but this was maybe a 500' run, in a paved section in the park adjacent to Central Park West between 72nd and 74th. No cars.
They meet up through Meetup.com, Longboarding NYC here.

Central Park is Verdant/John Lennon: Imagine

After the dryness of California, the greenness of New York is vivid. Flying in, everything looked so green. Weather perfect here. The park was -- voluptuous, if you will. What an incredible park. The bridges, stonework, lakes slabs of granite, green meadows. Half the city must have been there. Here's the memorial to John.

'This Is My Home': Anthony Pisano's Enchanting East Village Apartment

From Jerry Young

Solar-Powered Bamboo House

"‘Sunshine Inn’, a solar-powered bamboo house, was made by the Chinese team from Tongli University as their official entry into the first European Solar Decathlon in Madrid. Bamboo was chosen as the main material because, as a highly renewable resource that fixes carbon into the soil, it minimizes CO2 emissions throughout the whole production phase. This beautiful structure features two curved solar panel-clad roofs and a solar-facing wall covered which is also covered in photovoltaic panels."
For this structure and 12 other bamboo buildings, click here.

More Art at United's SFO Domestic Terminal

Hey, I've got good wi-fi, and can't sleep on airplanes (plus an electrical outlet to plug MacAir into). What's a poor boy to do?

Golden Gate Bridge/Styrofoam Hummer

On way to SFO on Airporter. The GG never ceases to be beautiful.

United's terminal always has a great art exhibit.  Styrofoam Hummer by Andre Junge.

Urban Homestead in Southern California

Note added after I posted this: read the comments(below) on this bogus operation.
"Surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a freeway, the Urban Homestead project is a family operated and highly productive city farm. It is also a successful, real-life working model for sustainable agriculture and eco living in urban areas and has been featured in multiple news medias both nationally and internationally. 
   Our work in creating Urban Homesteading as a flourishing and self-sufficient lifestyle using minimum resources and land has been referenced as a progressive and forward-thinking example and sourced as the representation of future city planning and reclamation worldwide. For over a decade, we have proved that growing ones' own food can be sustainable, practical, successful and beautiful in urban areas.
   We harvest 3 tons of organic food annually from our 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics practices, solar energy and biodiesel in order to reduce our footprint on the earth’s resources. This website documents the many steps we have taken and hopes to inspire fellow travelers on their own life-changing journey…
Click here.
Thanks to one of our many anonomai.

Get Those Pigs Stoned!

"(Reuters) - With Washington state about to embark on a first-of-its-kind legal market for recreational marijuana, the budding ranks of new cannabis growers face a quandary over what to do with the excess stems, roots and leaves from their plants.
   Susannah Gross, who owns a five-acre farm north of Seattle, is part of a group experimenting with a solution that seems to make the most of marijuana's appetite-enhancing properties - turning weed waste into pig food.
   Four pigs whose feed was supplemented with potent plant leavings during the last four months of their lives ended up 20 to 30 pounds heavier than the half-dozen other pigs from the same litter when they were all sent to slaughter in March. 'They were eating more, as you can imagine,' Gross said."
Click here.
Photo (c) 2012 By Laura Berman
Thanks to Anonymous.

Sk8ing again…

 For months I've been wistfully looking at the downhills, especially the newly-paved. Just couldn't risk a fall with shoulder not healed up. But things feel together enough for me to venture back on the pavement. So much fun!
   Since I've never learned to slide (whereby you can control yr. speed), I need to get off the board before getting to the speed where I can't get off and remain vertical.
   For now I'm just skating gentle slopes and carving. No (well not much) bombing. I wear Loaded gloves with hockey pucks velcroed to the palms. Cliff Coleman, downhill speed legend, told me that when you fall, remember 4 words: Get On Your Hands. Meaning get those hockey pucks sliding on the pavement so you're not sanding off skin.
   The other part of the equation is to also slide on your knees, i.e knee pads with hard surfaces, so you're on all fours, sliding on knee pads and hockey pucks.
   The one time I had the presence of mind to do this was in San Francisco late at night when my board hit an unsurmountable crack in the pavement, and I skidded along on 4 noncorporeal surfaces.
   Boards shown from my, ahem, sponsors: at right my smooth turning, stylish carving bamboo Bhangra from Loaded Boards; at left my carvy cruzer with drop-down deck from Santa Cruz Skateboards----for bombing and sharper turns,
   On the road again...
Posted from 30,000 feet, pretty good United Airlines wi-fi hookup, 1/3 of the way to JFK. Stylin' it in business class, free ticket from frequent flyer program.

Tips on NYC/Brooklyn?

Places to eat, espresso, music, art, theater, bookstores, buildings, adventures?

I'm off for NYC

And am I excited! Born and raised in San Francisco, the most beautiful city in the US, but, but…it never fails when the cab crosses the river and we enter Manhattan, my pulse kicks up a few notches. I like to take the red eye, can never can sleep on an airplane anyway, get in to the hotel around 8AM. Half the time a room will be available, but if not, I check my backpack suitcase (Rick Steve's model that fits easily in overhead bin -- I'm never checking baggage on a flight again -- got my gear stripped down) and hit the streets. Years ago I discovered that if I go for a run in the park, after about 45 minutes and sweating, the jet lag is side-stepped. I stay up until that night -- no naps --and voila, I'm on NYC time.
   I've probably been to NYC 50 times, used to go at least twice a year when Random House was our distributor. Hotels of note over the years: Gramercy Park Hotel in the '70s; then for some years, the Pickwick Arms, in east '60s, around the corner from Random with very small cheap (like $60) rooms. It's been redone as the iPod or something. Then the Mayflower at the southwest corner of the park (my fave part of park), wonderful hotel, big rooms, European feel, good restaurant.
   I hit the streets with zest. All the years of running training have given me manuevearble street skills. Watch the traffic, not the lights, I tell my kids. In my fanny pack, a camera, notebook, pen, phone, glasses, magnifying glass, etc. Last week I was walking around in the Valencia district in SF with friends, a great part of the city nowadays, but it seemed bleak in comparison with, say, the Village, with its trees and density of people and shops and restaurants.
   Now as Hank Williams is singing Hey Good Lookin and it's a windy clear day, I'm getting ready to go.
  Watch for dispatches from NYC next week. Hey, Good Lookin' by Hank Williams on Grooveshark

Tiny Home in China designed to be stacked and packed

"In December, Designboom showed the full scale model of a housing unit by Chinese designers Studio Liu Lubin that was '…based on the minimum space people need for basic indoor movement, such as sitting, laying and standing.' Now the first unit has been placed in a Beijing park.…"
Click here.

Timber Frame Cabin in the Trees (France) by Yogan and Menthé

Today, from our brothers in France, Yogan and Menthé, prolific carpenters, whose work appears in Tiny Homes, and will be in Tiny Homes on the Move:

"hi lloyd, with Menthé we construct a new cabin, "the boat of tree," we finish it in two weeks, i send you the first photo..."

Yogan's website here.
Yogan's blog here.
Menthés blog here.

Building Your Own Tractor From Scratch - Marcin Jakubowski

'Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).…"
Sent us by Al Whittle

The pump don't work because the vandals took the handles…

"Hello Lloyd,
Thought might enjoy this Bob Dylan´s Subterranean Homesick Blues video found here.

Freddie King - Hideaway

Hideaway by Freddie King on Grooveshark

Dresser/Desk Combo For A Small Space

 "We used left-over pieces of wood from other projects so it is not perfect, but it has changed our small living space tremendously (…the house is 300 square feet and there are two of us plus a big dog). I can now make my desk mess disappear and don't have to file everything before I have finished."

-Brendan O'Connor

Built by Pete Smith

Mushroom Insulation For Tiny Homes

"We’re not just building a tiny house, we’re growing it. That’s right, the Mushroom® Insulation in the walls is literally alive and growing. This is a radical test of Ecovative’s building materials that are under development.
    Ecovative uses mycelium (mushroom “roots”) to bond together agricultural byproducts like corn stalks into a material that can replace plastic foam. We’ve been selling it for a few years as protective packaging, helping big companies replace thousands of Styrofoam (EPS), EPE and other plastic foam packaging parts. We’re now working to develop new products for building materials. This is an exciting, radical and innovative approach to try a bunch of ideas, learn a lot, and grow something really awesome.
   Here’s how it works. Mushroom Insulation grows into wood forms over the course of a few days, forming an airtight seal. It dries over the next month (kind of like how concrete cures) and you are left with an airtight wall that is extremely strong. Best yet, it saves on material costs, as you don’t need any studs in the wall, and it gives you great thermal performance since it’s one continuous insulated wall assembly. The finished Mushroom® Insulation is also fire resistant and very environmentally friendly. …"

Video Shot With Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

Nate T's comment on the post (below) about my new camera: "…taken my first day playing with the RX100 video capture mode.

Primitive Pond Ice Curling from this winter in Groton, Mass.

…Be sure to switch viewing to HD and marvel at the pan/focus/tracking capabilities of objects in motion. I was pleasantly surprised."

Shelter at The Maker Faire

The Maker Faire was just great. I'd never think that something so nerd-oriented would appeal to me, but  there was soul in addition to all the robots and tech wizardry. We had a booth in the "Homegrown Village" section and sold more books than we have at any event ever. The booth, designed by Lew Lewandowski and manned by Lew and my son Evan, was mobbed the entire 2 days, most of the interest being in our Tiny Homes book.
My talks on "The Half-Acre Homestead” went well; maybe 125 kindred spirits in the audience each day.

Micro-Apartments in New York City

"Eager to jump on the living solo/living small trend, the city launched its adAPT NYC competition last summer, seeking proposals for micro units to fill a building at 335 East 27th Street. …    
   The units—the building will have 55 apartments, 40 percent of them affordable—will range from 250 to 370 square feet, with nine- to 10-foot ceilings and Juliette balconies. The design is meant to accommodate NYC's growing number of one- and two-person households, and the small unit size means that some amenities that might ordinarily be located within an apartment will be common spaces, instead. For example: the building will have a rooftop garden, lounges on most of the floors, a deck, a multi-purpose lounge for dinners and events, a laundry room, bike storage and general storage, a cafe, and a fitness room. …"
Click here.

Circular Geology on Beach