Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day Celebration

As the earth wakes up today, hopefully people feel a renewed sense of purpose.  Spring has that effect on the spirit.  Earth Day, a funny sort of remembrance, should remind us that our earth is central to our renewal.  The days grow longer, the plants poke out of the soil, and we defrost our spirits.  Instead of the grim admonishments to reduce, reuse, and recycle, we should smile that we still have the capacity to improve our earth's situation.  From eating locally to using fewer fossil fews, renewing our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint is hopefully a goal the entire world community can celebrate.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Springtime Blooms

After quite a long hiatus, I am happy to return to the Bouler-Pfluger Architects blog.  Since the last post about Hurricane Sandy, much has happened to both the architectural practice and life with the Boulers.  Fortunately, all is well and many new ideas and challenges are on the horizon.

As you can see from the  conference room above, James and Nick have opened a new office in Bay Shore, NY, as well as a satellite office in Brooklyn, NY.  They are joined by a growing staff of enthusiastic professionals who are helping the practice grow on two fronts.  On Long Island, the practice continues to take on a mix of projects in both Suffolk and Nassau counties-- from commercial buildings to new waterfront homes.  Meanwhile in Brooklyn, BPA is working with NYC's Build it Back program, where homeowners whose homes were devastated by Sandy are now able to work with the city in rebuilding their structures at a proper elevation for the flood zone.  It's a great undertaking, but also a wonderful opportunity to help people get back into their homes.

Artistically, I have also undergone quite a bit of change.  After 20 paintings depicting flooded structures last year (yes, I had flood on the brain!), I've decided it was time for a change.  What better way to signal a rebirth than to visit gardens for subject matter. Looking at Monet and Sargent, I couldn't help but be drawn to their bursts of color and the lushness of texture.  I've even been reading about local farming and botany, recharging my creative energy and inspiring me to move the artwork in a different direction.  It's a development that encouraged me to check in with the blog again, to offer an update, and to celebrate new growth.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

After Sandy

Long Beach, NY  November 2012 photo by Lauryn McDermott

The clean up efforts in the metropolitan New York/New Jersey area continue, but for many, recovering from Hurricane Sandy will take months, if not years. Life at Bouler Pfluger Architecture has also changed in the aftermath of the storm.  To help people rebuild after the devastation of many coastline communities on Long Island, the firm has teamed up with Sims Steel to form the South Shore Lift Project, in order to raise many damaged homes off of their foundations and onto ones that meet new FEMA flood elevation guidelines. Hopefully the process of rebuilding will be swift as many homes are currently open to the elements, often without heat or power. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The New Parrish Museum

Olivia and Jackson with artist Malcolm Morley and his wife Lida

Jackson in front of a Ross Bleckner painting

The new Parrish art museum is a brutal version of a long house filled with an engaging mix of paintings, from hundred year old visions of the East End to modern color fields.  The exhibition rooms now feature the work of British artist Malcolm Morley, for whom James was a studio assistant while in graduate school.  During that time, Malcolm had just started his series of images dedicated to model planes, so it was particularly exciting to see some of those paintings again, as well as how Malcolm went on to develop the imagery.  A WWII history buff, Jackson was completely impressed with Malcolm's fighter planes, as well as Malcolm's red plaid suit.  While exploring the museum, Jackson's own fashion sense was rewarded with an impromptu photo shoot with the local paparazzi. When visiting the South Fork, make sure you stop by this nifty new version of the Parrish Art Museum.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sadly, Sandy

East Village, November 2012

This week I thought about the woman whose arms are now empty for babies 
Swept away by the storm.
I learned to listen to the stories of others.
I watched my fellow educators make sense of our lives, while reaching our students like a life raft.
I  heard about friends grandbabies pets lost dreams and a widow who clutched her husband's slippers because that's all she has left.
I watch neighbors battle the storm recovering slowly in baby steps, while comforting their children in the cold quiet darkness under dusty quilts from the attic.
Texts, calls, posts, tweets, face to face.
How are you?
Thank God we are fine.
Grateful and guilty. 
My parents under my roof, rolling meatballs and making coffee.
The inlaws, with us every step start to finish, reminding us to fill up our gas cans, remembering Katrina, Ivan, and all the others before.
Armed with canned food, extra boxes, warm coats, we battle to help, but feel helpless to give true solace for what was lost.
Over the phone, a voice bravely facing pain-- can you put me on your list to rebuild?
Dumpsters filled with a lifetime
Long lines of cars and polling booths snake through Election Tuesday
Awaiting the next storm; turn off the radio.
A collective gasp for air.air.air: a reminder that it could be our last.

Book Nook

from Dwell Magazine
Birding Nook at Potic Cottage

As I clip decorating ideas, inevitably I pull a picture which includes bookshelves.  This pic from Dwell Magazine, however, is truly unique-- almost a book 'womb'.  In a NYC apartment of 240 sq ft, what you don't have in space, you must compensate for in clever ideas.Those hidden spaces, used more often for storage than habitation, are rife with possibilities. It reminds me of the birding nook James created for the kids at Potic Cottage. Now I'm tempted to add a few bookshelves in the far corner.