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Saint Francis of Assisi Church, Midtown Manhattan

Just down the block from my hotel on 31st and 7th Ave., it turns out to be the patron saint of my home town.

Taxi Sculpture in Stationery Store Window This Morning

Swing Dancing with the Baby Soda Jazz Band

Several years ago I ran across a Dixieland-style band playing in Union Square. They were really good. The bass player's bass got my attention (I used to play a "gut bucket," or washtub bass, in a high school quartet). It really sounded good. I introduced myself to Peter Ford and he said maybe he could make me one. I pestered him for a couple of years until he finally sent me the pre-cut parts, which I assembled and I've been happily playing it a little almost every day along with Sirius radio or CDs (hey, I'm a member of the band!). I take a break from the computer when the music moves me. The bass is fascinating, little-understood. Now I hear the bass notes. It's like learning a new language.
   After pizza as good as it gets with my friends Ed and JC (Franny's on Flatbush in Park Slope/Brooklyn) last night, I caught a cab to the Radegast Bierhall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where Baby Soda was playing. The music and dancing were great and I caught up with Peter.

Check out Baby Soda's website: http://babysoda.org
So far all the music I've seen on this trip ask been vintage '20s-'30s. I just love it.

Lloyd Kahn in Brooklyn


Tiny Home on Wheels

"Brothers Adam and Aaron Leu stand on the porch of their "tiny house," which has been bought by a Kentucky couple and will be transported there. The house, approximately 130 square feet, includes a kitchen, bathroom living room and loft. It took the brothers about 3 1/2 months to build."

Interview of Lloyd by Mike Litchfield

Mike Litchfield, author of Inlaws, Outlaws and Granny Flats: Your guide to turning one house into 2 homes (which I recommend in all my bookstore appearances), did an interview of me about owner-builders and tiny homes on KWMR, our local community radio station, and it was posted on CozyDigz, Mike's online editorial column for Fine Homebuilding a few days ago: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item/23718/tiny-homes-simple-shelters

Book Signing Last Night in Brooklyn

Spoonbill & Sugartown is a unique independent bookstore in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn — everything in the book world that Amazon is not. This was my 15th signing/slideshow event in the last 3 months and it was off to a good start when, before I started, a big guy came up and said he first saw Shelter when he was 8 years old and it had inspired him to become a builder. Plus my good friends from Bolinas, now living in NYC, twin skateboarder/artists Shelter and Ivory Serra showed up.
   I did the slides (11" MacAir and lightweight Epson digital projector all of which I carry in my backpack) and answered questions, and 2+ hours flew by. Such good vibes.
Collage poster by Rachel Day
  I was pretty wiped out, especially after 4 nights of minimal sleep, and walked down to the Venezuelan restaurant Caracas on Grand and had 2 "Dark & Strong" rum/ginger drinks and a plate of shredded beef w/rice and black beans. Great place, cool personnel, great food and drink (about 25 types of rum). Williamsburg is a great area, just across the river from Manhattan. There's a peacefulness in the air, even with all the activity and people. Absent is the roar of the Big City.
   Ahh! End of my tour. Now one more half-day at the book expo and then 3 days to scout for adventure in this, the capital of the universe.

Wooden Dome

Hi Lloyd!
I wanted to drop you an email about the dome I am just finishing construction of. I first became interested in the tiny home movement when I realised that by reducing the amount of space we sleep in, we could increase the space we live (in). By sleeping in a small pod, it would force you to spend more time outside, maybe utilizing outdoor bathrooms and kitchens.
   My interest in domes was sparked by your own domebook, which was on the shelf of a farm I was staying at. I was in love with the aesthetic! Later that year I was lucky enough to stay in a stunning 30ft dome in Dunster, BC (If you are ever up that way it's definitely worth a visit!) and fell deeply in love with the feeling of living in a circle! Since then I have been studying natural building at Aprovecho (http://www.aprovecho.net/). I constructed my 9ft Diameter 'dome pod' on their property to house long term work traders. Work took approximately 2-3 months.

The HemLoft - a secret treehouse, hiding in the woods of Whistler, BC

Thanks to Bruce Weaver

Photos From Times Square Last Night

I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby…

Thanks to a tip from singer Tamar the night before, I ended up going down the stairs of Sophia's on 46th Street last night, and it was like time travel, stepping into another era. The Nighthawks, an 11-piece band dressed in tuxes playing music of the 20s and 30s, and were they good! The dancing was spectacular. There was a tuba. A guest singer, Ginger Something from LA came onstage and did I wanna be loved by you, boop-boop-ee-do to perfection. The crowd 50s, 60s, even a few ancient 70 year olds. Dancers younger. Room full, fine ambience. Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Kate Smith (Fine and dandy, sugar candy), Gershwin. I had clam pasta at the bar that was excellent.

A Ton of Ideas For Using Old Pallets

From Mike W
(Turn off sound.)

'30s Music in Brooklyn Last Night

I read about this group in Time Out mag and took the F train out to Barbes, a small club with a great selection of beer and single malt scotches (had Taslisker, with smoky flavor, umm-mmm good). Warm and homey neighborhood club and Brain Cloud, ("…(whose) brand of western swing draws from the New Orleans-meets-Texas. strings-meet-horns, jazz-meets-country sound that Bob Wills perfected on his mid-40s  radio broadcasts…") plays there on Monday nights, with Tamar Korn doing vocals. After them was Feufollet, a Cajun band from Lafayette, Louisiana, and it was hard to hold still. In between groups I walked a block to the Han Noi Vietnamese restaurant for dinner. Later I talked to Tamar at the bar about the Mills Brothers, who used to do horns and trumpets with their voices and she told me about The Nighthawks, playing tonight at Sophia's at 46th and Broadway, so off I go right now. And oh yes, I did go the the Book Expo today and made all my appointments on time, I am such a responsible business person.

When She's Good…

I got into my hotel in Manhattan around 4 PM yesterday after 3 hours sleep the night before, and when my plastic key didn't work twice, I asked for a different room and could it be up high? Well the angel at the desk gave me a suite on the 26th floor and to my amazement it had a large balcony with deck chairs, best room I've ever had here. Thank you lord. The climate is perfect, a bit of rain, shirt sleeve weather, a comfortable 70 degrees. I hit the streets about 6, headed downtown (I'm at 31st & 7th), got some Japanese bubble tea, ran into this wonderful group of people in Union Square doing the Argentine tango, had a great Vietnamese meal at the Saigon Shack (114 MacDougal), cappuccino at Cafe Reggio, wandered shooting pics, watched the last 4 minutes of a great game between the Celtics and Lakers (those guys are so beautiful!), walked into the Bitter End just as a powerful little singer, Sirsy and her band were doing a rock and roll version of Johnny Be Good, and was it good! I listen to mostly blues, also bluegrass, "outlaw country," 50s R&B, and Vivaldi, but there's just something about rock and roll. Thrills my soul.

A Few Pics from Mother Earth Fair

Mother Earth News Fair A Winner

The Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup was outstanding. To tell you the truth, I was a bit leery. The Green Festival, which I've attended over the last 5 years, has seemed increasingly weak. Sorry to say so, but true, and I feared the same might be true here in Puyallup, Washington. But Cheryl Long, Mother Earth News editor-in-chief and my buddy, talked me into coming, and am I glad she did. If  I'd known how good it woud be, I'd have hung around for the 2nd day, instead of flying to NYC Sunday.
   There were animals: chickens, goats sheep, pygmy pigs, small-scale cattle, alpacas. A great selection of electric vehicles. There were all kinds of things that interested me in contrast to the same-old, same-old Green Festival stuff. Demos of shake-splitting and log-squaring-off, a completely different type of composting toilet, soapstone woodstoves, roofing materials, a beautiful copper still made in Portugal, a complete building dedicated to fiber arts, an array of solar devices, the Emmrod compact fishing rods
   A guy had a tattered copy of an early printing of Shelter and opened to the last page, where there's a picture of a hobo/buddha Jack and I ran into in the Nevada desert in 1972, and said, "I think about him every day."
   I had several hundred people at my presentation, and it was a sympatico crowd. They were with me. Plus, Mother Earth announced they were giving me a lifetime achievement award. Ulp! It went well and afterwards I signed books for about an hour. A nice looking couple, surfers, came up and told me they read my blog daily, and said, "We came from Hawaii to hear you talk." Wow.