Filtering by Tag: ARCHITECTURE

How Journalists Can Think Like Scientists

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Russell Sage Foundation’s Social Science Summer Institute for Journalists. Helmed by Nicholas Lemann and Tali Woodward, it’s an intimate seminar that teaches journalists how to write about the social sciences and think like social scientists. Guests speakers included Andrea Elliott and Shamus Khan. It’s held in a Philip Johnson building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. I’m already using the tools I acquired there. I highly recommend it for everyone: from graduate students to veteran reporters.

[Image via my Instagram]

Buy a copy of my digital short story: “The Tumor” — "a masterpiece of short fiction.”

Where Deckard Lived

I made a quick detour up to the Ennis House today, in the hills above Los Feliz. This is the house where Deckard lived in "Blade Runner." Oh, and it was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It's one of my favorite residential homes in the world. I used to live nearby and would walk by it regularly. Before they stopped doing so, I went on a tour of the place. It is truly extraordinary. For a time, it appeared that it would fall into ruin, but billionaire Ron Burkle bought it, and he saved it. It's still standing.

Buy a copy of my digital short story "The Tumor"! It's been called "a masterpiece."

Black Thursday

Spider in the Sand

I had the great joy recently of seeing this house: the Walker Guest House on Sanibel Island. Designed by Paul Rudolph, it has famously been described thusly: "It crouches like a spider in the sand." Months earlier, I'd seen the delightful replica in Sarasota. In person, the real thing feels more secretive, more special. The gulf is a few yards away. I'd like to own this white box, one day.

Want to support this blog? Buy THE TUMOR, a "masterpiece of short fiction" by Susannah Breslin.

Florida Foreclosed

Foreclosure, Naples, FL / Photo credit:  Susannah Breslin

Foreclosure, Naples, FL / Photo credit: Susannah Breslin

What's more interesting than the subdivisions of affordable suburban tract homes in Florida that went to apocalyptic hell in the wake of the Great Recession are the mega-mansions worth many millions that to this day sit in a state of lush green decay like concrete block Miss Havishams. Once upon a time, you can see by their Zestimates, they were worth $1M, $2M, $3M and more. In dated photos on listings that have long since expired, before banks came along and foreclosed on them, you can see them at their thousands of square feet glory: the many-tiered tray ceilings with custom lighting, the acres of travertine set on the diagonal, the luxury showers that accommodate three at a time. Today, they are worth half their previous values or less than that. Tucked between neighboring homeowners that wish they didn't exist, their filmy windows gaze blankly at those who bother to peek over their dilapidated gates. Inside, you wade through the flooded swamps that were their manicured lawns, peer inside at their ceilings falling from leaks that make puddles on their granite counter tops, gaze into the putrid vats that used to be their swimming pools with spas and wonder where, when, and how it all went so wrong. The families aren't totally gone: the aluminum baseball bat left on the greening lanai, the stuffed yellow duck forgotten in the dust, the box of letters filled with unpaid bills from banks looking to collect and Happy Father's Day cards addressed to a head of household who must have found, to his surprise, his American Dream had fell to rot, and who, not knowing what to do, simply left.