Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Architectural Acronyms, What?


Image by: monophonic.grrrl - 
OMD -Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark- 

New article, read all about it here! Architecture and Morality

Friday, June 29, 2018

Improving Suburbia 13 LI Welcome Center

Long Island Welcome Center

It's about time Long Island had a "Welcome Center" let alone a few good rest areas which we are still in need of. I visited the center briefly, so unfortunately, I can't give much of an informative review but from what I did see it was impressive. I found some local businesses out on the terrace selling local products (they may not be there any longer due to some silly NYS regulations) and bought honey and some other items, which I enjoyed. The Interior of the center, in my opinion is very nice, displaying and highlighting many of the Island's features. The exterior of the building is a bit of kitsch, and an attempt to recreate the East End shingle style architecture as best they could. For anyone visiting Long Island for the first time or second and even life long Islanders like myself, I do recommend a stop at this place, you will be pleased.

 (Please stop back to this post as I will try to update as often as I can)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Chipotle Example ISP 12

Architects are sometimes not denied, in the practice of architecture that is. So it is for this Chipotle building located in the middle of high suburbia. Regardless of weather you agree with its style of architecture or not (see images below) it's an elegant example of simple modern but best of all it's architecture. You may ask, "Well, aren't all buildings considered architecture?" The short answer is NO. Briefly speaking, buildings express themselves architecturally in one of two ways: First - (Besides their utilitarian function) they display some form of rigor and discipline that follow developed principles in the science of architecture. The second type of building is the unabashed deviation from expressing any architectural qualities, except those of minimal effort and thought. These buildings are typically your strip malls, tire stores, deli's, bagel shops, your basic "Builders special." ( I know not every tire store or bagel shop is an awful expression of architecture) It is sad that most architecture found in the suburbs follow this the second type of building pattern. But why?

It's not for lack of knowledge or budget that creates the second type of "awful building." Most perpetrator's of this sort of construction are well aware of what they are doing. The same budget that creates a strip mall type building could create an appealing structure at the same cost if cleverly done. Unfortunately one major obstacle to achieving this, is the builder simply not wanting to pay the architect to do their job- architect denied. A "Builders" set of plans cost a fraction of the price of a well designed set of plans, even if the project is of equal size, scope and cost. Architectural fees are much greater for buildings that require creative thought, design development and architectural integrity. Builders want to pay the lowest price possible for a set of plans and not intellectual exercises or should I say proper design practice. Builders are not concerned (generally speaking-I know there are great conscientious builders out there) about creating architecture and much less paying for it while they wait for the perfect plan to be developed. I'm not a strip mall designer, but designing anything in a solid afternoons worth of work simply doesn't cut it (Sorry for the dig-I left an office once that operated in this very way). Until some miracle of miracle happens in suburban architecture, the mantra shall be; "Draw me up the builders special- I'll be here tomorrow for those plans."

When I saw this Chipotle building, standing alone in a strip mall parking lot, along a very busy highway, I was impressed. Here is a successful example of creating architecture in suburbia. Yes it's possible and for that, this building makes my ISP portfolio.  Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the architects of this building or the Chipotle  franchise nor do I represent them in any way- I'm using these images I took as "Fair Use" for purpose of explaining the opinions in my article. 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

HP-28 Dune Beach, Southampton

Sorry its been a while since I last posted - Here I am, back at Dune Beach, Southampton on a spring-feels like winter won't let go day...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Montauk Man 11

Montauk Man Part 11

As Tom and I entered the bunker we scrambled frantically to find the wooden escape hatch the old man told us about, or should I say Brad McCallaster told us about. It became apparent there was no way we were ever going to find anything in this dark cavernous space without a flashlight or some light of sorts, none of which we had. "Tom start feeling around for the hatch!" I could here footsteps approaching from outside, my heart began racing even faster than before, sweat trickled down my face, I was patting down every surface I could touch in double time. "It's no use man! We're going to die! I can hear them right outside, I'm making a run for it!", "Tom, shut up, stay put it's too late for that, they'd shoot you down like a dog, we only have one chance, find that hatch!" I knew we were done for, we could not see a thing, let alone some mystery hatch, if it even existed. The men were right outside the door now, I grabbed Tom and huddled in a corner with him, trying to imagine we were invisible. Tom went to scream as I put my hand over his mouth and whispered, "shutttt uuuup". At that moment search lights began scanning the inside of the bunker, back and forth, flashing across the floor, walls and ceilings. I then heard the voice of Colonel Harris; "Come on out you two, it's the end of the road, don't get me any more upset than I already am..." Tom was trying to get up but I still had him in my hold. The lights had not found us yet, but I noticed as they flashed by in the center of the room, a wooden object; It had to be the hatch.  "Tom, when I give the signal follow my lead" I screamed out "OK Harris, we're coming out!" Harris replied in a mocking way, "I'll give you a hand..." Two special ops men entered the bunker, their lights and laser sights were set on us. They motioned with their rifles for us to move. I got up and Tom followed me, "Stay close behind me, and grab onto the back of my shirt and do exactly as I do," I whispered to Tom. I started walking in the direction of the hatch with the lasers still trained on me, as soon as I was near it I reached down to grab the handle when a round hit me in the arm and I fell to the floor. Tom crouched beside me, "You alright man!", "No, I'm hit!", "You shot him! You fuckers!"  Tom was pissed, he was finally in a place he could help: Pissed not helpless. "Tom, reach into my pocket and take out the amulet the old man gave me. Throw it as hard as you can against the wall." Tom reached in my pocket, the armed men fired a warning shot towards him "Stop! Hands up!"  they yelled. Tom at that very moment flung the amulet at the wall, which exploded on contact and a bright pink light filled the room, all noise ceased, all activity stopped. The soldiers were frozen in place, a few bullets they had fired in response to Tom throwing the amulet were frozen in mid air, one a couple of inches from Tom's forehead. "Tom open the hatch and let's go" Tom opened the hatch and helped me get down, I couldn't believe it, the old man was right. Tom was ahead of me as we began crawling through this small concrete lined tunnel. "Tom stop..." I turned around to close the hatch. The bullets the special ops men had fired were still frozen in mid air and the pink night glow still illuminated the bunker and Colonel Harris walked over past his frozen men and looked directly at me: "You little weasel. You pathetic vermin! I should have killed you back at the Manor. I thought you were some love sick fool trying to score with a beautiful lady. I thought my warning would be enough to get rid of you, but you're turning out to be something more, a distraction let's say. We need Tom, but you...how shall I say it, are a fly, and I'm the fly swatter. Soon you'll be a little mess on a wall." "Colonel, I'd like to say thanks for being the pig that you are. I'll never forget how you helped me become your superior in every way." The colonels eyes flashed red as he clenched his jaw and tightened his face. He was furious and started for me. Suddenly the pink glow died and the noise of the world turned back on and the thuds of the mid air rounds finally found their mark. I slammed the hatch shut and shouted to Tom to move it!

Tom and I crawled what seemed to be for hours; The colonel did not pursue us thank god. We had to stop and make a makeshift sling for my arm. My knees were bloody and the rest of me was blood stained from my wound. I had placed a tourniquet, fashioned from my shirt around the wound which stopped the bleeding but I was a terrible cold mess. Tom put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I'm sorry man. This is all my fault. I let them use me and drag you into all this. You must have a life somewhere with people who care about you...sorry man..." "Tom. Forget it. I was at Montauk's doorstep into the afterlife before all this began. It's not your fault. The fondness I have developed for Montauk far outweighs me or my problems." We sat there in the dark, feeling sorry for each other, I thought it was a good time to spill the beans and fill Tom in on my Montauk account so far. "Do you believe in the supernatural?" "Huh? You mean besides the Montauk dude I was trying to find?" "Tom, the forces we are up against are of another dimension. I know you're a super smart guy, top in your class at whatever Ivy league school you attended so maybe you will understand there is more to life than you think. Harris is evil. He is biblical evil, a horseman of some sort. Don't ever find the Montauk man for him. We would have no chance against him if were not for the Montauk Man. There are also others I have met along the way, Brad, Elijah, Marcus and Red of course you know about" "Listen I know you were shot and all man, but what's wrong with you? Are you delusional? We're being chased because of me and because of this Montauk dude. You're just an unfortunate innocent bystander. You know how the military is, collateral damage. Sorry man." I struggled to speak any further, "Tom, let's get out of this tunnel, I need help." We kept crawling in the dark,  the adrenaline  of our encounter and my flight or flight mode was long gone and I was in deep pain, claustrophobic, bloody and cold; I needed out of the tunnel, soon. Tom had stepped up his game and no longer complained like his usual self. I think he was finally starting to become a man, accepting his fate, be it good or bad. I explained to him how just inches from his forehead were bullets ready to strike his cranium, splattering his brains all over the god forsaken bunker. He cursed and vowed to beat Harris at his game whatever it took. His new found courage gave me the strength to keep moving. We had left the beach in such a hurry that we had nothing on us: no food, water, supplies, nothing. If we didn't get out of this tunnel soon I would surely die in it. The pain in my arm started gnawing at me. I felt weaker and weaker as I lost more blood, draining what little strength I had. "Tom, I'm not doing well. I may not make it. Promise me to continue our mission. I know you didn't believe what I had to say back there about the supernatural but if I don't make it please look for Elijah and Brad back in the village. Please go to the Manor and look for a mystery woman that holds some secret to all of this. You will find her because she is Brad McCallaster's daughter. Her brother may be the Montauk man and her other younger brother is an evil Avery, I'm sure connected to Harris somehow."  "You're talking nonsense, save your strength!" We kept moving, slowly. I wasn't going to go much further, I could barely move, I blacked out.

I awoke but not in the tunnel.

It felt like days later. Once again, just like back on that beach near the lighthouse so long ago,  I was covered with a blanket, warm and safe. I propped myself up and looked around. I was in a room which had a country feel to it with a horse print drape covered single window. I didn't know where I was and had no idea what the hell was going on. There was no sign of Tom or anyone else. "Hello?" I said in a mild nervous tone. "Hello?" No one came. I tried to get up but could not, I still felt dizzy from the blood loss and shot to the arm, I laid back down and fell asleep again. I awoke but this time a beautiful lady was sitting next to the bed in a old wooden chair. "Well, welcome back to the world..." "Who are you? Where am I?" She smiled and said only to be still, that I was still weak. I looked at her closely and it became apparent to me she was the lady from the Manor. The mystery lady I first saw walking on that beach; it was finally her. I had found her or she me... She was stunning. Her wavy blonde hair, lovely big brown eyes, was a pleasant surprise to wake up to; An angel I thought. "Where am I?",  "Please, don't talk. Relax you need your strength." I couldn't contain myself. Although I still felt weak, I had to talk to her. "I know you. You're her." Her smiled vanished. She looked at me without any expression, as if the gig was up.  I could tell she was uncomfortable. Finally she composed herself and made some determination where to take this interaction. "You're at the Deep Hollow Ranch. Yes, I know you know me and I know you, since that night on the Montauk beach. You were saved... unlike my father but because of my father." Was it you who saved me?

Part 12 coming soon.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Video of the Week-Understand Your Bearings!

Just had to post this for my fellow architects- This should help with learning bearings...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Shadmoor HP-27 Montauk Man Part 10

               Hamptons Portfolio 27 Montauk Man Part 10 Shadmoor State Park

After a long break, here is the continuation of the "Legend of the Montauk Man". I had never been to Shadmoor State Park located in Montuak, NY and had no clue where the WWII  bunker would be, which was the focus of my visit. I arrived to the small parking area, parked my car and anxiously rushed off to the trails with my back pack, skipping the park map, hoping to encounter someone along the way to ask about the place. Now mind you, you cannot see the bunker, as big as it is , from the parking area or the trails which are cut out of the tall bush. After a few twist and turns of traveling the paths, I came upon a group of about 6 people, nicely dressed, older folks, retired I would guess, enjoying the park. I greeted them and asked if they knew where the "WWII Bunker" was. The older of the bunch chimed in first telling me I missed the sign to the Bunker and that  I needed to turn around go back to the main trail and come around the other way. A younger fellow more enthusiastic interrupted him and said I could go straight ahead make a right then make another right and there it would be. I thanked them and before I headed off the older man said once again it would be best to go back. I instinctively continued travelling straight ahead as the younger man suggested. I took about 20 steps forward and couldn't believe my eyes: There was the Bunker! I went left up the elevated path and stood before this dilapidated concrete fortress in awe. About 10 seconds later I watched the group I had spoken with continue on the path past me. I thought, "What the hell just happened?"  Were they messing with me? After all the Bunker was right there and the older man wanted me to chase my tail and the younger man would have sent me right past the place! - I don't get it. They must have had something else in mind for I don't believe they had bad intentions in steering me the wrong way, I do believe they were sincere. If anyone could figure out this mystery let me know.  PS: I did find the the older man later on in another part of the park and asked him if there was another Bunker he was directing me to and he said no there wasn't. I left it at that (I wasn't about to berate the man at this idyllic park) and went on my merry way....

View to Camp Hero and the Radar Tower

The Legend of the Montauk Man Continued Part 10

There we were, behind the sand dunes watching what was left of our camp. Marcus finished destroying the site with his monster truck, screaming out the window he'd be back as he tore off the same way he came. It was early morning and we survived our first encounter with the junk yard dog.  However, I knew, next time we wouldn't be so lucky. I was starting to wish I was back home, in a warm bed with no one chasing me. I couldn't let myself think these defeating thoughts and lose my edge- I needed every stitch of help I could get for even a small chance of getting out alive. I have to stay strong and help Tom, find the Montauk Man and rid Montauk of these evil doers who don't belong here. Tom and I collected what was left of our belongings. Fortunately the tents were still in tact. "Tom, you OK?" "Yeah, I'm alright but I still don't see how this is all going to work out..." "Tom, you may be right. Next time they will send out the pros for us, we need to do better."

We moved on, hugging the shore line in the dark, with a cold sea wind chilling our bones, Tom complaining as always he was cold, tired and hungry. The sun began rising as we reached Shadmoor State Park.  Up above the Shadbush was the old World War II bunker. It had been built as part of the US coastal defense system but since abandoned after the war. She was beautiful sitting there overlooking the ocean. I indicated to Tom we should go check it out. We needed to scale the eroded cliffs that nature sculpted to get to the elevated terrain. There were trials everywhere and we walked up one which fortunately took us straight to the bunker. I saw a little smoke trail and followed it around to the other side, Tom was close behind me, nervous I suppose. I was startled to see an old man with a little dog and their makeshift camp. He was brewing some coffee. He looked up at us, smiled and asked, "Would you and your friend like some coffee?"  I was suspicious but comforted by his hospitality. I was chilled to the bone from our hike and the timing of this warm offer was godsend. Tom spoke up first, "Why yes sir, thank you!" "Tom wait a minute. Sir, we're sorry, we don't mean to trouble you..."  "Oh, no trouble at all. Please join me and Chester for some coffee, we could use the company."  "In that case sure we'll join you." The small black dog, a mixed breed with long hair, had large eyes and pointed ears, it was as docile as this vagrant-he was curled up in ball at the feet of his master. You wouldn't think to find a homeless man out here, in a place full of unbelievable wealth but there he was, with his dog.  "Make yourself comfortable and I'll pour you some of this brew, hope you like it."

Lanky, with noble features you could tell he was something in his past life. He had the demeanor and tenor voice of somebody like a Charlton Heston when he played Moses. This fellow intrigued me greatly, I had to ask about him. "Say old man, what are you doing up here?" "Well, Chester and I like to travel, we get around. When I saw this place I had to stop and stay for a while." "Hope it's not too forward of me to ask but you weren't always travelling... at least not like this?" "You mean as a bum?... I had a previous life. But it didn't go so well which may be obvious seeing me in my current condition." "Sorry, I didn't mean to pry or assume...." Before I could apologize further he continued, "You know what I really miss? My kids. I shouldn't have done to them what I did, very selfish of me...I still see them but not as I did in my past life." "I'm sorry to hear that old man..." "Oh, don't you worry any. I won't bore you with the sad details. I really rather not talk about it except to offer you this: A man can build a life into an illusion and believe that illusion to be real. Your time is limited but you act as if it's not." Tom was listening in on the conversation while sipping his coffee and seemed amazed by the vagrant. "You were rich, weren't you and lost it all?" "You can say that," "Wow, that's gotta hurt!" "Tom stop that! I'm sorry sir. Tom is a bit on edge lately..." "Edgy? You call getting chased like an animal being edgy? Hey old man ever been hunted before?" "No, can't say that I have." "Don't worry about Tom, he likes to make up stories" "Stories? Who's looking for the Montauk Man....?" "Tom settle down. Sir do you mind if I ask you another question, it's something that's been bothering me and maybe you could be of some help." "Ask away" "Do you know a man named Elijah, a man a bit down on his luck, hangs around the pubs in Montauk village?" "Oh I see, all of us bums must know each other - sorry my dear fellow I didn't mean to offend you. Yes I know Elijah an old rascal.  He's one of Montauk's best" "See Tom, I told you Elijah was real" Tom shrugged his shoulders, "OK if you say so. But we ran a background check on every known resident of Montauk; No Elijah currently living, I'd remember that unusual name." "Sir, please tell Tom about Elijah, if you don't mind.."

"Sure thing. Elijah is the soul and spirit of Montauk. He embodies everything that is magical about this place and I'm proud to call him my friend. In fact I'll be seeing him soon." "When you do please tell him hello for me..." "I certainly will." Before I could ask him any further questions he turned to Chester, picked him up and began petting him. You could tell by the way Chester looked at the old man he would die a thousand deaths to save his master.

I was amazed with the old man (Who wasn't so old, he just had that haggard life look) For some reason the image of Brad McCallaster from Elijah's story about the Montauk Man, came to me every time I looked at him but this couldn't be him, Brad was dead. I sat there on the sandy ground, drinking my coffee which was horrible and full of coffee grinds but enjoyed it more than any other cup of coffee I ever had- Funny how appreciation works in life. The sky was brilliant blue and the cry of the seagulls was soothing. I didn't want to press this stranger who was busy with Chester for any more information and just enjoyed the moment. "Would you two like to stick around for the day, maybe go surf fishing with Chester and myself?" I looked at Tom, "What do you think?" "Fish for dinner, I'm in!" The old man mysteriously found us a couple of old tired fishing poles that somehow still worked and we headed down the cliff via a more manageable path the old man led us down all the way to the beach. We set up a make shift camp and fished from morning to early afternoon. The old man was a sight to see. Casting his line into the big ocean, smiling enjoying himself to no end. Just looking at him brought a smile to my face. A smile would come to anyone's face looking at this character straight out of a Wile E. Coyote cartoon with his shirt and pant ends exploded away and far too short for his tall frame.

We caught some large bluefish, striped bass, flounder, what a nice catch for the day! The sun was setting and I decided to start a campfire with the drift wood I found on the beach. Tom and the old man began filleting the fish. Evening turned into night and the fire was going strong and we roasted our fish on the open flame. The old man pulled out a bottle Vodka (seemingly from nowhere) and passed it around. At this point it felt like Christmas; our belly's full and our cares temporarily forgotten. I don't know if it was the liquor talking but I felt the obligation to tell the old man of the possible danger he was in because of us. "Old man, I have to be straight with you. We're being chased. You may be in danger as these bad guys chasing us could happen upon us at any moment." "You don't say sonny? I sort of figured that out already." Chester was eating from the old man's hand, enjoying the days catch as well, Tom was rubbing his belly, happy as a clam and the moon was illuminating the shore on this star filled glorious night. The old man didn't seem phased by what I just told him.  "How did you know?" "Well your friend did say you were being chased like animals. That is unusual out here in Montauk but I'm certain you did nothing wrong except maybe get mixed up in something you shouldn't have..." I was suspecting something very odd about the old man. He seemed to know more than he was saying like he knew exactly what was going on: It was almost like our meeting was set up. He acted not like a homeless man but more like someone who could conquer the world if he wanted to, he just chose not to... He needed nothing, feared nothing and other than when he was speaking about his kids he seemed very happy. This didn't strike me as the character of someone who lives on the streets; I was beginning to believe he was no homeless man. I went with my gut and waited for his back to be turned to me and blurted out "Brad!" He turned and looked me straight in the eyes, like Moses demanding Pharaoh to let his people go. Just at that moment  a high pitched whiz passed by my ear and I heard a sharp horrifying thud and yelp; Chester had been hit. The old man quickly turned around picked Chester up who was bleeding-he was still alive but in bad shape, he looked at his master whimpering for help...The old man consoled him and told him he would be OK. I looked down the shore line and saw red lasers looking for their mark. Tom spoke up first, "They're here!" We have to move now!" "I can't leave the old man and his dog!" The old man pointed to the bunker on the bluff, "Make your way to the bunker! Inside is a wooden hatch that leads to a tunnel. Take the tunnel which will lead you to safety!" "But what about you and Chester, I can't just leave you like that!" "Here, take this..." I took what looked like an amulet and asked what it was for. He said when the time came I would know what to do with it. I tried to pick up the old man but he refused, "Get to the bunker!" he growled. By now a few more silent rounds we're hitting the sandy beach as a strong search light scanned the area. In the distance, I could hear a chopper approaching.   The old man stood stoic holding Chester in his arms and still pointing to the bunker as bullets flew by him...


 At that very moment some type of military ordinance went off near the old man who was holding Chester in his arms, it created a large red flash and blinding smoke. I could have sworn the sea stopped moving the wind ceased to blow and the earth stopped turning. My ears went deaf and I grabbed Tom by the shirt and dragged him up the cliff and headed to the bunker. When we made it to the safety up above the beach, all at once the world "turned back on." I could hear the ocean again, rounds being fired, and faint yelling from the beach. Our panting was heavy and the smell of fear was strong in  the air. I tried to spot the old man and Chester, thinking I could still save them somehow but they were no where to be seen. It was then when I caught site of HIM; Colonel Harris. He was coming out of the red smoke clapping his hands as he looked up directly at me with his two red pupils. I was mortified. He tipped his hat to me and with a sinister smile gestured to his soldiers to follow us. I pushed Tom to move and we trekked to the bunker in terror as fast as we could. "Tom, look for a wooden hatch, it's our only chance...!"
Lewis Portal