September 23, 2011
Shacks

I read a book about an addict once. His addiction was trying to get back to his original first high. There are aspects of our personalities like that, based in childhood.  For us in design and media they are often visual moments.  One of my moments was going on a field trip to the Fontainebleau Hotel when I was eight years old and seeing a small abstract painting done almost entirely in red and black.  That painting made me want to be a painter. Unfortunately, growing up in Miami, other moments involved neon. I had to be restrained during much of the 80’s – I even worked briefly for Miami Vice.

On the way to Key West there was a small Island in the middle of the 7-Mile Bridge called Pigeon Key. It had a number of wooden shacks that the government had built to house workers as they built the bridge. My childhood friend Tim and I used to snorkel off Pigeon Key in High School and college. I always wanted to come back there and live when I grew up. Perhaps, and I pray, my neon addiction has subsided over the years but my shack addiction has persisted.  

The other day it was overcast and Paul and I were feeling cabin feverish; I made a point of picking up my camera as we fled the house and took a drive west.  I don’t really care about the mansions of the Hamptons. We always take family and friends on “the tour” when they visit and certainly they’re beautiful to drive past but they do not interest me enough to photograph.  When Paul and I seriously want to fantasize about another way of living – we head for the shacks along the bay side of Napeague and the facing stretch of The Springs…and it is a fantasy.  Shacks are almost impossible to insure and you are often right up against your neighbor and, believe me, a stockbroker on a jet ski is just as noisy as “Joe the Plumber” on a jet ski. I can get nuts about noise.

I suspect that we live rather formally, otherwise we wouldn’t be cruising past these tiny houses, dreaming of popping open a beer and kicking back on our very own hand-me-down sofa, barefooted watching gulls and the weather, not worrying about a shave or getting an appointment at Fredrick Fekkai…Oh, and I’m 32 years old on that sofa and the six pack is not a reference to the beer sitting in the fridge. 

Well, that’s why we fantasize isn’t it? 

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