What’s It Like to Live in a Grocery Store? Surprisingly Comfortable ~ NYT

When two artists bought the vacant building, it was ‘grim and creepy.’ Now it’s not only a home — it’s a communal arts space.

In Seattle, a Grocery Store Becomes a Live-Work Space

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Moris Moreno for The New York Times

By Tim McKeough

March 21, 2023, 5:00 a.m. ET

A few years after Demi Raven and Janet Galore were introduced by a mutual friend and fell in love, they starting looking for a home where they could live together. But for artists with careers in technology, it was clear that a cookie-cutter house would not suffice.

“We spent some time thinking about what kind of future space we’d like to live in,” said Mr. Raven, 53, a software engineer at Amazon. “And we were aligned pretty closely in that we wanted something atypical and creative.”

“It’s that dream a lot of artists have,” added Ms. Galore, 58, a user-experience design manager at Google. “You want to find a raw space, and something you can build into a live-work space where you can make art.”

Fortunately, the friend who introduced them, Marlow Harris, is not just a matchmaker, but also a real estate broker. And she knew of an unusual building for sale that she was sure the couple would like: a former corner grocery store from 1929 in the North Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle.

Demi Raven, right, and Janet Galore sit in folding chairs in front of their home, a low-slung brick building with large windows running along the street front. They are both wearing dark shirts and pants, and she has on a khaki jacket.
Janet Galore and Demi Raven transformed a 1929 grocery store in Seattle into a home and community arts space. Credit…Moris Moreno for The New York Times

The building, which had a retail space on the ground floor and a three-bedroom apartment above with a separate entrance, had most recently been used as an outreach ministry for a church. But by the time Mr. Raven and Ms. Galore saw it in 2015, the ground floor had been empty for years and the upstairs was barely habitable.

Outside, the building’s red bricks were beginning to fall out, as the mortar turned to dust. Inside, there were beaten-up walk-in coolers and leftover commercial sinks.

“It was a little bit grim and creepy, to be honest,” Mr. Raven said.

The decrepit interior was so creepy, in fact, that it inspired the couple’s first art project in the space. “We made a horror movie about it,” Ms. Galore said.

But despite the off-putting elements, the building got their creative juices flowing. “It was very much the size and shape of what I had hoped to find,” Ms. Galore said. “When you walk in the main door of what was the grocery store, you come into this big, 1,200-square-foot room with 13-and-a-half-foot ceilings and big windows.”




Bob Chamberlin talking story

I visited Bob Chamberlin this afternoon in Carbondale. For those of you that don’t know of him he’s a gentleman outlier. Bob had a great and interesting career as a photographer capturing iconic cultural shots, particularly the Bay Area in the 60’s and as a premier ski photographer in Aspen that spanned fifty years.

I’d spent the morning with Lou Dawson visiting the Vintage Ski World Museum with a private tour by Docent and proprietor Richard Allen who led us to the Bob Chamberlin area. After a few hours of WOW! (to be continued on rŌbert soon) the gentlemen directed me to casa de Bob.

I showed up unannounced and we spent hours examining old stories and adventures … like when he first met the Fun Hogs at Paul Ryan’s casita in the Bay area that included Dick Dorworth, Lito Tejada Flores, Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. We stayed in the Berkeley area with Anti-war protests and cultural street shots that are as unique as they are priceless.  The Aspen catalogue included HST running for Sheriff, offbeat People Mag shots of the Bored and Beautiful over the years and the great history of skiing in Fat City from the early 60’s on.. And he related with a smile and a snicker a recent dinner table conversation with the local ladies that let him know “There is Only One Way and that is God’s Way!” 

It was a fine afternoon spent with a great guy who I hadn’t seen in thirty years… enjoy Bob’s photos that I photographed this afternoon at Vintage Ski World.

buen onda


Bob and rŌbert recounting old lies and new ones

Crédito total, The maintenance man


Nobody wants to talk about the mud of the Colorado River ~ NYT


By Dale Maharidge

Mr. Maharidge is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

  • March 20, 2023

It’s difficult to fathom how the Colorado River could possibly carve the mile-deep chasm that is the Grand Canyon. But if one thinks of the river as a flume of liquid sandpaper rubbing the land over millions of years, it begins to make sense. “The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools,” Henry David Thoreau wrote, “but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.”

In 1963, humans stopped time, when the brand new Glen Canyon Dam on the Utah-Arizona border cut off the reddish sediment that naturally eroded the Grand Canyon. Today the river runs vodka clear from the base of the dam.

But the silt never ceased arriving in Lake Powell, the reservoir above the dam. Each day on average for the past 60 years, the equivalent of 61 supersize Mississippi River barge-loads of sand and mud have been deposited there. The total accumulation would bury the length of Manhattan to a depth of 126 feet — close to the height of a 12-story building.


An image of the Glen Canyon Dam holding back the waters of Lake Powell and the Colorado River.
The Glen Canyon Dam holding back the waters of the Colorado River.

For years this mud was hidden beneath Lake Powell’s blue waters. Now, as climate change and overuse of the Colorado have drawn the reservoir down to record lows, the silt is exposed — forming “‌mud glaciers‌‌.” And because of a gradient created when the lake level falls, the giant mud blobs are moving at a rate of 100 feet or more per day toward the dam.

These advancing mud blobs pose existential threats to the water supply of the Southwest: One day they could form a constipating plug that blocks Glen Canyon, preventing the water from flowing downriver. They could also someday endanger the structural integrity of the dam.

Asked about the dangers that the sediment posed, Floyd Dominy, the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in 1963, later quipped, “We will let people in the future worry about it.”

Now the future is here. With Lake Powell just 23 percent full, and Lake Mead, outside of Las Vegas, at 28 percent capacity, it’s time to stop trying to “save” Lake Powell. It should be abandoned and its water stored in Lake Mead.

The placid waters of Lake Powell with reddish brown rocky banks on either side as it rounds Antelope Point in northern Arizona.
Placid waters of Lake Powell as it rounds Antelope Point in northern Arizona.

Yet the Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency in charge of managing water in the West, is desperately trying to keep the reservoir because it wants to keep the dam’s electricity-generating turbines working. If the water level drops another 30 feet from the present elevation, the turbines will become useless.


The bureau recently issued ideas to create new outlets for lake water at lower elevations in the dam so it can keep producing power and delivering water to users in the Southwest, Mexico and California. But there’s only one modification that would actually solve the sediment problem: boring two tunnels at the base of the dam, one at grade level with the riverbed. That would kill the reservoir but allow sediment to pass downstream. The bureau said this option had been discussed, but “not further considered.”

The bureau is scheduled to continue meeting with water managers, tribes and others with an interest in Colorado River water starting this spring, before selecting a plan later this year. Those with a stake in the river’s future should demand the bureau put that lowest tunnel back in play and allow the Colorado to run free in Glen Canyon again for the security of the water supply. The other options could leave the lake more than 200 feet below the already low levels, allowing the mud glaciers to continue advancing.

Steep rocky banks rise above the Colorado River in Glen Canyon near Page, Arizona.
The Colorado River in Glen Canyon near Page, Ariz.

There’s another good reason to say goodbye to Lake Powell. As it has shrunk, various side canyons of Glen Canyon are no longer underwater and willows and cottonwoods are sprouting on their banks. Narrow and twisting slickrock tributary canyons — with grottos, soaring amphitheaters and hidden passages — are reappearing, like the images in “The Place No One Knew,” a Sierra Club book featuring Eliot Porter’s requiem photographs of pre-dam Glen Canyon.

That Glen Canyon, a thriving place of beauty and life, is the one I want back.

In 1969, when I was in the seventh grade in suburban Cleveland a nun gave me Porter’s book. It haunted me. In 1976 I took a Greyhound to Utah and went on a monthlong vision quest, backpacking parallel with the new reservoir, still 40 vertical feet from full. I witnessed remnants of some of the Eden-like canyons photographed by Porter before they were submerged.

In 1983, I camped on the shore of the lake next to the late Dave Foreman, a co-founder of Earth First! He’d come to protest the 20th anniversary celebration of the dam. We spent the night drinking from a case of beer. Two years earlier, Earth First! activists unfurled a 300-foot sheet of plastic over the face of the dam, simulating a crack. The lake seemed very permanent. It was brimming full.

Thus it was shocking in 2005 when I drove to an overlook and saw the water gone from the upper reaches of Lake Powell. (Little snow had fallen that winter in the mountains to feed the lake.) I then did something I never thought possible in my lifetime: I swam the Colorado in upper Glen Canyon. Because the lake had shrunk, it was at a spot that had been some 100 feet underwater for decades now exposed again to sunlight.

After crossing a vast mud flat, I bobbed downstream and then slipped and fell in muck on the way back to my clothes. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. Yet the swim had to be done. The lake soon re-flooded the site after a wet winter.


What it takes to study snow in a remote area of Colorado’s mountains that’s almost completely inaccessible during winter ~ Colorado Sun


GOTHIC — Unless the avalanche danger is unusually high, or there’s a major snowstorm in the forecast, Christmas comes once a week to the nine residents of Gothic, most of whom are scientists spending this winter at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab.   

Today, Santa is Erik Stolz from the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association and instead of gifts, his Yamaha sled is heavy with supplies needed to fuel research important to understanding the impact of climate change on snowpack and water resources.

Researchers ski out to meet the resupply sleds carrying scientific equipment packed next to drinking water, bananas cradled in a nest of rice to keep them from bruising, crackers, boxes of oat milk and a pair of ski boots that had been sent into town for repair.

The sleds are reloaded for the trip back to town, carrying laboratory samples, garbage, dirty laundry and the occasional scientist who needs to tend to sampling equipment elsewhere in the Gunnison Valley.

TOP: Erik Stolz , left, of the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association, helps support tech Jack Snow, center, and Ben Schmatz, right, unload a sled carrying supplies at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. Scientists spending the winter in Gothic must travel on skis or snowshoes to get to and from their work sites, residences and buildings. Gothic usually gets over 300 inches of snow. BOTTOM: Frank Zurek, a scientist working on the SAIL research project, makes himself comfortable while riding in a sled pulled by Stolz. Skier Jeff Troyer is also hitching a ride after getting his turns down Snodgrass Mountain onto Gothic Road. Because of its remote location, CBMBA was given a special permit to use a snowmobile for the weekly resupply. (Dean Krakel, The Colorado Sun) 

Gothic “is near but far,” said Erik Hulm, director of strategic projects for the lab, known as RMBL, which rolls off locals’ tongues as “rumble.” “Crested Butte sits at the end of the road and Gothic is just a bit farther. You can see Crested Butte Mountain from Gothic but it’s not like you can just get there.”

Experience the best in Colorado news at a slower pace, with thoughtful articles, unique adventures and a reading list that’s a perfect fit for a Sunday morning.

Unlike other remote research sites scattered across the globe, RMBL has no support from snowcats, ships, helicopters or trucks. Hulm offers McMurdo Station in Antarctica as contrast. McMurdo has a harbor, land and sea landing strips, a helicopter pad, electricity, telephones, dormitories, clubs, warehouses, sewer and water lines and a fire station. There’s more, but you get the idea.

Gothic has “no spa or cafeteria,” Hulm said. “Researchers here are on their own. They cook their own meals, shovel their own snow from around residences and study sites. They have to constantly break trails to move between buildings and sometimes have to break miles of trail through deep snow to reach a work site. There is no repair facility to solve mechanical problems, nor a medical clinic for human repair.”

Everything, Hulm said, must be done by hand. Every piece of scientific equipment, large or small, from bolts to barrels to sample containers to cleaning supplies has to be brought in and taken out by someone or something. The personal needs of the scientists, enough clothing to make it through a long winter, every crumb of food they consume, even the laundry — all have to be brought in or carried out. 

There are no shortcuts. 

~~~ CONTINUE ~~~