favorite things (at least a few)


I have a hard time with choosing favorites, at least ones that I can state consistently.

What I can confidently say is that I tell my son frequently that HE is my favorite-favorite. Yes, he and my wife Amy are my most favorites of all in my life. That’s an easy answer, perhaps a cop-out, but in this case, they’re people and not things.

When it comes to favorite foods, colors, places, or things, I struggle since I appreciate variety and diversity. So let’s explore the things I really like and things that, as an architect, make my life just a little better and in some cases spoiled. What makes these things or places great is that they can be shared. Experiences are best when shared.

Moleskine sketchbooks and wood pencils – An occasional black pen and a fat lead holder works too.

2013-08-12 22.34.29

Simple architecture – In our world of “who can make the most outrageous building,” I just appreciate something that works and is beautiful. If the reason it’s beautiful has to do with how it works, then there’s little better than that.

IbarroRosano block house 02

Trendy coffee shops – I really enjoy my local coffee shop (White Rabbit Café) and I enjoy visiting other ones, especially ones that are independently owned. Sharing this with someone else is just the best.

white rabbit

Unique eateries – My wife and I really enjoy finding a special restaurant that has great food, atmosphere and people. This is where food, graphics and architecture come together to form the brand and identity.

vacation 2012 140

Main Street” architecture – I find it very enjoyable to travel and visit (smaller) cities that have trendy neighborhoods with turn of the century (20th that is) buildings that have been maintained, restored and cared for by local business owners.

05 029

Cadbury Flakes – Perhaps this is an acquired taste, but this British candy is some of the best chocolate you can get. Unfortunately it’s hard to get in the States. My Mum was English and she introduced us to this British favorite. It’s a simple, but unusual treat.


Pittsburgh Steelers and Pirates – Need I explain this one #SteelerNation, Go Bucs.


Minor league baseball – It’s all about the game and not about any one player. The stadiums and cities are small and manageable. It also relates back to many other items on this list.

Traveling with my family – Based on what I’ve shared so far, I can only truly relax when I get away from home, out of town and out of state. We have an unusual way to vacationing, but we find fun and relaxing things to do. Architecture plays into our trips but not as much as when both spouses are architects.

Diners – They’re part of my past – the more stainless steel the better.

vacation 2012 251

Eating outside (al fresco) – What’s better than combining travel, unique eateries, good food, warm weather and family or friends?

Bugs Bunny – the best of classic cartoons, this is his best cartoon

Meatball sandwiches – I’m half Italian and the best sandwich is a meatball sandwich. I can’t say I eat them often, but I was taught to cook Italian by my grandmother. Meatballs and sauce are essential foods to know how to make if you’re Italian.

Early CCM music (70’s90’s) – I was introduced to Christian music in college. It reminds me of so many good and meaningful memories. These artists built the foundation.

ccm logo

80’s music (high school) – I graduated high school in 1985. This music reminds me of those formative and carefree days.


70’s music (childhood) – This music reminds me of being a young kid when it was just my Mum, sister and me. We used to listen on transistor radios.

eagles greatest

Architectural details – For as much as I love to design the big picture and develop the grand scheme, I’ve always enjoyed the details. To me this is where a structure or space succeeds or fails. Architects get oversensitive about seeing these aspects built well because we know how much time we put into thinking about them, working them out and drawing them. This is architecture at a human scale – the way we can relate to it. They’re very important. I’ll take great details and simple architecture any day over much of what is done today.


Food, music, architecture, experience – I guess that’s it. Thank you for reading this and sharing my world today. Architecture is one of my favorite things – sharing it with others is even better.

Below are some of my favorite people and friends. Many of us have yet to meet in person, but I’m enjoying getting to know them. Please take time to read and interact with their posts today. #architalks

Bob Borson – Life of An Architect
My Favorite Things … again

Matthew Stanfield – FiELD9: architecture
9 Things i Like

“Marica McKeel – Studio MM
A Few of My Favorite Things

Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet
How I Get Through My Day: My Favorite Things

Mark R. LePage – Entrepreneur Architect
Six Simple Acts that Make My Day

Evan Troxel – Archispeak Podcast / TRXL
My Favorite Things

Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC
My Favorite Things: the pieces of my story

Cormac Phalen – Cormac Phalen
Favorite Things 

Nicholas Renard – Cote Renard Architecture
Favorite Things – Just a Few

Rosa Sheng – Equity by Design / The Missing 32% Project
When the Dog Bites and Bee Stings; Favorite Things

Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect
favorite things… a few of my favorite things…

Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC
These are a few of my favorite things..

Amy Kalar – ArchiMom
My 10 Favorite Things

Jeremiah Russel – ROGUE architecture
A few of my favorite things

favorite things (at least a few)

13 thoughts on “favorite things (at least a few)

  1. I too listened to a fair amount of CCM back in the day (through junior high). But it was not until i was in high school that my musical taste really started to take shape. Most of my favorites come of out of this late 80’s / early 90’s era. Though they are tied to the world of CCM, they do not really fit well into that categorization.

    Always a pleasure to read your posts.

Please leave a reply, and consider sharing this with a friend.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.