journalman's Diaryland Diary


Pine Tree Dreams and City Nightmares

I haven't updated in such a long time, and so much has happened as well. I will say this: I think in the absence of writing on here that I've actually bored the everloving shit out of my friends with my everyday drivvle.

My need to be introspective, reflective, and goal-centered has not vanished during my time off. It's simply sublimated into straight-up blabbiness. So in an effort to save on my friendships, I return to Diaryland.

There are many good reasons to write daily. I think my favorite is to snoop out 'last year on this day', and check up on myself. But also, I love to write. I think it's a luxury to have structure in your life to where being able to sit down alone each day and get online to whip out your thoughts is actually possible.

Until today, this laptop -- my personal computer -- hadn't been online since January 20. I used to kid around and joke that I could up and move anywhere.

For me, home is where I plug my laptop and cellphone in. Keeping true to the rule, I haven't really had a home since the start of the year. It's been rough. Only now I think I've found a suitable solution for the city. However I would once again have to move in a year, which by the way is fine with me. A year in a place sounds like heaven to me about now.

You see I had to move out of my Brooklyn apartment, and right away over New Years. I flailed a bit at my family's home, and then my friend Jillian who I thought to be slightly crazy offered me to stay in her place while I help design and file for her renovation.

I saw her as a savior. It was lovely for about 2 weeks until this weekend when she LITERALLY OUT OF NOWHERE said I had to go right away. That her dad bought the place, it's his, and he's pissed that I'm staying there.

The woman is 42 years old for fux ache. I kind of didn't think I needed a permission slip from daddy.

I was upstate this weekend, visiting my buddy Sean who is selling some land, when she called me. There I was getting thrown out of my place in absentia, after having been homeless for about a month, looking at pristine land for sale. Jillian said if I didn’t leave upstate right that second on Saturday and immediately get my things out, that her father would have the locks changed. Or something like that.

There I was on terra firma having this conversation. Land. Empty, fairly gorgeous, pristine land in Upstate, NY. A piece of the earth that nobody could ever throw me out of. Ever.

This land belongs to the family estate of my buddy Sean, and he's splitting off a piece for sale. About 2 hrs north of the city, directly on the Hudson river, and also including an elevated open field, significant pine forest, and a freshwater creek running through.

I can get 28 acres of land for, literally, next to nothing, relatively speaking. There is not one single parcel of real estate in NYC, or in a 45-mile radius of the city for this cheap. I'm talking about 28 acres here. A neighboring 50 acres would belong to a man I frequently refer to as my best friend. 28 acres for, if in Manhattan terms, the amount of money that would represent the difference between a 1-bedroom with a ‘nice’ bathroom vs a ‘not so nice’ one. I mean that’s it. For the price of a walk-in closet in the city.

I am presently dreaming of firing NYC altogether as a primary residence, after this one-year sublet. I would love to live upstate, in a log cabin I build myself, for 3 days/week, and staying down at my folks' or with friends who’d miss my company and commuting to the office the other 4.


And those dreams are just the beginning. I would do the following with the land:

1 – Immediately have a design competition at the local vocational school appealing to woodworkers who also dream of building sustainable, natural cabins. Select a winning design, and build a small, 2-room cabin in the woods utilizing as much wood, etc from the land itself as possible. Maybe 3 or 4 cabins, each of a unique design, but nothing too big. The intent is to let the FOREST be the home, and cabins just be little rooms.

2 – Using the knowledge base of serious-engineering and serious green design I rely on daily in my work, immediately produce energy through a hydroelectric turbine in the river, windmill generators, and crystalline solar panels. Produce enough energy to either power a small cluster of homes or sell back to the power grid. Or both.

3 – Plug the cabins into the green power plant. Write about it, talk about it. Tinker with it, and get really good at it.

4 – Donate an acre to a local university Engineering program to conduct green building research on the land. Co-brand our company with this facility, and benefit from results & field experimentation. Study Engineering and get a degree or two. It’s a huge part of this plan.

5 – Build that small cluster of totally self-sustaining, beautiful green homes powered entirely by the hudson river, sun, and wind. Keep 3 acres in the woods to myself, and rent or sell each home in the cluster.

6 – Take what I’ve learned, expand the research effort, take the money I’ve made, and do the same thing along another river.

It’s an amazing plan. The days of calling NYC my home are numbered.

And that, my friends, is an incredible dream that may very well be attainable.

10:39 p.m. - 2007-02-13


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