Author Archives: ABC

Book Launch Tour for Railway Palaces of Portland, Oregon

It’s celebration time! It’s been a few months since the release of The Railway Palaces of Portland, Oregon: The Architectural Legacy of Henry Villard. Because things have been busy, I’ve had little time to mark the occasion. At the end … Continue reading

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I have an ambivalent relationship with dawn. For most of my life, I have avoided it, I have been one who smacks the alarm clock and sleeps in. Partly I justified that by my work habits, for I often found … Continue reading

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Alcatraz Avenue and Racine Street

The days and nights have been beautiful of late. We are in transition—all of us, now more so than ever—and what comes next is anyone’s guess. Yet let me repeat this—each morning has been beautiful. Wednesday? A day of purple-haze … Continue reading

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Driving through the vast spaces of the American West is sometimes like taking part in a road film. Yes, the horizons are wide, but they also obscure—even if only by the curvature of the Earth. What we see is constantly … Continue reading

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Golden Gate in Red

It’s an apartment living problem—or perhaps more specifically an urban problem. To live in a building such as mine—built around 1915, three stories, 14 units—in a neighborhood filled with such buildings, is to live in a dense “community.” If my … Continue reading

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Field in Winter

Field in Winter. Watercolor and Gouache on Paper, 18.5 in x 30 in, 2016. “The first event leads you to notice further events which may be consequences of the first, or which may be entirely unconnected with it except that … Continue reading

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Seeing the real thing

Sometimes you just have to see the real thing. Recently, I visited the conservation labs at the Legion of Honor, also known as the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco. The first thing to greet me, once I got through … Continue reading

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Mouth of the Columbia

I remember the day that I went to go get my California driver’s license. I put it off for a long time, because it felt like some kind of betrayal. Although there are many Oregonians who absolutely abhor Californians and … Continue reading

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Farallones / Islands of the Dead

Light is different at 10,000 feet. Sure, this can be said of light at almost any altitude, but 10,000 seems to be a magic number for me. As a passenger aboard a commercial airliner, 10,000 feet is only experienced when … Continue reading

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In the late 1960s, when ABC first proposed to built a television tower atop Sutro Hill, many in San Francisco were agast. Sure, you couldn’t get a television signal worth a damn in the city—too many hills—but parking a big … Continue reading

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