Karrie Jacobs


September 30, 2006

It's Like Dorothy Said…

Navy Yard pre fab.jpg

As you may know, I’ve been spending my time lately promoting my book, The Perfect $100,000 House. But occasionally I’m forced to do actual work. For instance, I write a monthly column for Metropolis Magazine that sometimes requires my attention. So, a week or so ago, I went on a little field trip to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to see low cost townhouses designed by architect Alexander Gorlin for the Nehemiah Housing Development Fund. Destined for a new development in outermost East New York, Brooklyn, the houses are being built in modular fashion in a WWII era foundry now occupied by the Capsys Corp. While touring the plant, where they’ve been turning out houses for a decade, I learned that the single family homes Alex designed will sell for $158,000. Okay, the houses are actually worth more like $202,000 but the city is subsidizing the project. And, yeah, the development is in East New York which is way over there, a good 40 minutes on the subway from my part of Brooklyn. And you have to win a lottery to buy one of the houses. But still, I thought, I drove 14,000 miles, all over America looking for the Perfect $100,000 House and here it is being pre-fabricated right in my own backyard.

There will be more on this subject in the November issue of Metropolis.

Meanwhile, it’s been an amazing and exhausting month. The highlight was a lovely, enjoyable book-signing and party last Thursday night at the Flatiron Design Within Reach store. Company founder Rob Forbes helped promote the event with a generous review of the book in the DWR Newsletter. I’m pretty sure that this is the first time that anyone has compared me to Nabakov. I suspect it might also be the last.

Now I’m about to do some touring. First a quick trip to Lawrence, Kansas and then a week on the road in the Pacific Northwest with stops in Seattle, Olympia, Vancouver, B.C., Seattle again, and Portland. All the public appearances are conveniently listed right here.