Homes

My itinerant career brought me to live in a number of places - here is a sampling! All these moves were disruptive but also interesting. Every place I've lived held something special that I found unique and appealing. I certainly became accomplished at planning and executing a move. (Tip: Mark your boxes for the room where they belong in the new place!)

Map of homes
Grand Rapids

1957-1969: Grand Rapids

This was my fourth childhood home - the previous 3 were parsonages provided by the churches where my father served as minister. We moved here when he switched from the ministry to teaching, first at the college, then at the seminary. I was 10 at the time. It was a modest house with 3 bedrooms - one for my parents, one for the girls, and one for my father's study. That left by brother and I bunking in a sunroom off the dining room. (I have pleasant memories of falling asleep to the sounds of dinner parties in the room adjoining.) After a while I moved to the basement, where my radio "shack" was located. I stayed at home through most of college (which was around the corner).


900 West End Ave

1970-77: New York City

I was in New York City for 4 years of grad school in art history at Columbia, then 3 years working as a book editor. I lived in several places in NYC, inluding various Columbia dorm rooms and a nasty apartment in a great neighborhood on West 76th St & Columbus Ave.

I moved into an apartment at 900 West End (at 103rd St) in October 1973 with Susan Sherman. According to my notes, the rent was $240/month!

I loved living in New York City. We didn't have much money, but there was plenty to see and do. Most memorable were the Tall Ships of 76 and the famous blackout of 77!

Santa Monica

1977-80: Los Angeles

To be honest, the best experience of my working life was in the three years I spent at the Office of Charles & Ray Eames in Los Angeles. During this heady time I lived in 3 different places and situations: (1) alone in a tiny apartment in Venice, in walking distance to both the office and the beach, (2) a larger apartment in Santa Monica, shared with Jack Slater, known from college days but newly re-acqainted, who became a great friend, and (3) the house on Hill Street in Santa Monica (shown in aerial view), shared with Jack as well as Laura Vellenga (we were now a thing) and her daughter Kristin, who moved here from Seattle.

Utah houses

1980-86: Utah

When the Eames office closed, and there were no jobs in interactive video in Los Angeles, I took a position in Orem, Utah.

Laura and I said we were married at the interview, but we didn't actually marry until June, when Ray Eames kindly let us do the ceremony on the grounds of the Eames house!

Our first home was a new contemporary design in Orem, which we bought from the architect. The spacious high ceilings were inspiring.

After a couple years, we decided to escape the Mormon domination and moved to Salt Lake City, where we found a house with a splended view over the valley. The house had a guest apartment where friends and family could stay - my sister stayed for several weeks!

Colin was born in SLC in 1982 after a classic race to the hospital.

Frederick MD

1986-89: Frederick MD

We moved east initially to take the job with Crawford in Washington DC. We stayed there when I switched to Philips Media, also in Washington

Laura and I, with Colin, bought a late Victorian house up on a ridge outside of Frederick, Maryland, about an hour from DC. It was a lovely house in a sweet area; we enjoyed exploring the nearby Civil War historic areas like Gettsyburg, Antietam, and Harper's Ferry.

This was a troubled time, however: we separated in 1988 and divorced in 1990. The court gave me custody of 7-year-old Colin.

Rosehill Drive

1990-93: Bethesda MD

Colin and I lived in an apartment in Frederick for two years. I met Wendy, who moved from Portland and bought a house in Bethesda, MD. Colin and I moved in with Wendy and her kids in June 91.

When Philips closed the Georgetown studio. I started freelancing with AOL, National Geographic, Mediashare (San Diego), and, prophetically, Philips Europe.

Brussels

93-94: Brussels

In 92-93, I consulted for several studios in Europe doing CD-I projects sponsored by Philips. In July 93, that became a full-time post, based in Belgium, with frequent travel across Europe.

This was a dream come true - to live in Europe while my kids were old enough to benefit but young enough to go where we told them!

Here we are moving into a lovely townhouse in the French-speaking commune of Ixelles. We would have happily stayed on, but we were 'recalled' to London.

Kingston

94-95: London (Kingston)

During this time, aside from my work trips to Milan, Lisbon, Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Eindhoven, etc, we also took family trips - skiing in Austria, a trip to Normandy, a weekend in Alsace, a few days in the Dordogne with friends, and such.

We found a roomy suburban house in Kingston-upon-Thames, at the border with Wimbledon. Colin went to a wonderful boarding school in East Sussex, while Sanford and Emma went to excellent schools in the city center. But what seemed a reasonable commute in August proved excessive when September came. Hence the next move....

Battersea

95-96: London (Battersea)

In June 95, we moved into a fabulous townhouse facing Wandsworth Common in the now fasionable Battersea section of London. This was a few blocks from Emily's school, and it was an easier commute for Sanford and me into central London.

We made new friends, including other parents at Emma's school who lived in the area. A lot of socializing took place during the week. (Presumably everyone went to their country place on weekends.) Colin flourished at his boarding school, Ashdown House; every few weekends he would come home or we would visit him in East Sussex.

Bethesda again

96-97: Bethesda, again

We would have stayed in London, but Philips ended CD-I, and nothing else turned up. We returned to the U.S. and to our house in Bethesda, which had been occupied by renters in our absence. The kids resumed local schools, and I freelanced again.

After more consulting, Philips offered me a staff job in Knoxville TN. We did a house-hunting trip there, but Philips relocated the work to Briarciff Manor, NY.

Balmville

1998-2005: Balmville, NY

Newburgh was an hour from my job, but we loved the architecture and bought a Victorian "cottage" built in the 1840s for the head nurseryman of Newburgh's famous A. J. Downing, the architectural taste-maker called "the Marha Stewart of his day." This was a lovely house on 1.4 acres, next to the local country club: we joined, and I took up golf, which made for pleasant outings with the boys.

On a more personal front: My marriage with Wendy deteriorated and came to end: I moved out in April 2005; the final divorce decree came in August 2006.

Foundry Condo

2005-18: Foundry Condo, Newburgh NY

Despite the ex-marital rancor, Wendy the real estate agent lined me up with this fabulous condominium in a 1880s industrial shell. The unit was on 3 floors and featured an 18-ft ceiling and views of Washington's Headquarters and the Hudson River. One year, I opened it for the Historical Society's annual house tour.

During this time, my son Colin came to live with me. Always a misfit with trouble holding jobs for long, he sadly became addicted to oxycodone and then heroin. He died of an overdose at age 32 in 2014.

Grand St

2018-present: Grand Street, Newburgh

Alice and I became an item in 2012. Our relationship purred smoothly for years, with me generally working out of town Mon-Thurs. I couldn't believe my luck when she agreed to move in together.

We had been living about a mile apart. The first place we viewed was about at the midpoint, and we jumped at it. The apartment is spacious, in an old building with an updated kitchen. We are in walking distance of the library, the post office, the restaurants on Liberty Street, and Alice's bookbinding studio. Life is good.