just because
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August 8, 2022

Revenge Travel | Busting out and loving it!

The last few years put a bit of a damper on world travel for some of us. But a return trip to Italy was definitely on the docket for this summer. Beyond the luminous summer sunlight, the sparkling Mediterranean, and the daily doses of gelato, was of course the architecture. We toured museums and monuments like it was our job, punctuated with breaks for prosecco, pasta and prosciutto. Italy dazzled and delighted and I thought they’d have to drag me out of the Pantheon by my toes. The memories will last a lifetime.


Living in United States, so much revolves around the “new” – new technology, new apps on our new devices and new things for our new houses. This summer, we were reminded of what it feels like to be emersed in history – ancient history, famous history and history that is woven into our everyday modern life. Our apartment in Rome was 105 (we counted them!) travertine steps up from a secluded courtyard off Via del Babuino, a charming and historic street with shopping for the seriously style conscious. In Pompeii we saw archeologists working with their tiny hammers and brushes under the blazing sun to uncover stone mosaic floors that are thousands of years old. And along the dramatic Amalfi coastline, we mistakenly got off a commuter ferry in the wrong town and were stranded there for a bit…. but that’s another story entirely.

August 20, 2020

Angela Berkson | An Artist de Force

Full disclosure, Angela has been one of my closest friends since high school. She was my “arty” friend and it made me feel super cool to hang out with her. We were part of each other’s emotional support system all through college as she navigated art school and me architecture. Fast forward (and it has seemed fast!) a decade or so and I still love her and her work. She settled in Albuquerque, NM, where we both went to high school, and has an impressive list of solo and group exhibits as well as having been featured in Art in America, Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and other publications.


One of the mediums that she uses is encaustic, a painting technique using heated beeswax and pigment which gives the surfaces of her works a unique depth of color and texture. Because I’m a big fan, we have one of her pieces, a rotating arrow, in the window at our office. The arrow can literally spin and point up or down – we use it to telegraph the mood of the office sometimes. In Angela’s words: “that work came out of my desire to produce “interactive” art. I was thinking about how analog and old-school my encaustic paintings are. I am literally making my own paint by hand, using techniques developed by the ancient Egyptians. But the kind of visual art that is getting the most attention today is digital and interactive art that utilizes computerized technology that allows viewers to not only react to what they see, but also interact with it — to affect the outcome of the artwork’s appearance. Anyway, it ends up being kind of a visual pun when I called this “digitally interactive” because you take your hand (digits) and move the art (interactive).”


And that is why I love Angela – creative, smart and witty!

August 1, 2020

Finding Office Nirvana

Maybe it was the chocolate kouign amann from B. Patisserie, an obsession worthy pastry shop around the corner, or maybe it was the morning sunshine streaming in through the tall street-front windows, but when I first saw the empty bike shop on Divisadero, I knew it was destined to be our new office. It was no beauty to start. But after we removed the peg board from the walls, the dilapidated vinyl flooring and the grates from the windows, our vision for the space became a lot clearer. Now, the tall warm white walls supported by the old wooden columns and beams, and grounded by the clear finish white oak floors have become the perfect backdrop for our creativity and focus.


Sadly, due to Covid, we haven’t been able to spend a lot of time in our lovely office of late. Like others across the world, our team is now collaborating over Zoom and our cell phones, which has worked a whole lot better than expected! But, we still miss our space and the neighborhood. As a way to stay in touch even while we are away, we’ve created a rotating artwork display in our windows to enliven our street space. If you’re in the ‘hood, please walk on by!