Monmouth County, New Jersey
"Where do we get a taco around here?" - Chris
"Taco Bell." - Olaf
"They let you leave here for a taco?" - Chris
"Get clearance from my daughter and yes I am capable of purchasing a taco." - Olaf
I made a call to Beth his daughter, she was surprised the old fart was still meeting with me and gave us clearance to get a taco.
"Front seat of the car Olaf, no funny stuff old man. Hard taco or soft taco?" - Chris
"What the hell is a soft taco, who came up with that idea?" - Olaf
"A soft taco is not a taco; it might as well be a burrito." - Olaf
"Frank Gehry is a burrito. Look you have hot and cold, critical and projective, educated and intelligent, and so on with regards to architecture and tacos…so if I am allowed to make a taco-architecture analogy here…" - Chris
"No! Architecture is firmness, commodity, and delight! Why did you turn onto route 34? Taco Bell is in that direction!" - Olaf
"Taco Bells are all the same, globalization buddy. So hot architecture is critical and practiced by well educated people while cool is projective and practiced by intelligent people. Educated is what your generation and most ignorant people call intelligence." - Chris
"Intelligence is not a soft taco." - Olaf
"There is a Taco Bell about a half mile that direction pass all the strip malls. Intelligence in theory is a soft taco. You probably think gathering intelligence is intelligence which is actually education, memory or data storage based knowledge… Did you know many universities don’t even look at standardized tests anymore since many high schools educate the students to take the tests. Michael speaks somewhat suggests this in...." - Chris
"Michael who?" - Olaf
"Speaks." - Chris
"I know he speaks but what is his full name." - Olaf
"You are not intelligent, how many hard tacos you want? Michael also quotes Donald Rumsfeld discussing the 'terrorist organizations that mutate and transform themselves accordingly with regard to operation requirements by watching how the state is behaving and then alter and adjust themselves with relatively little costs, little time, little training in accordance to those global incremental changes our states make, and most importantly how these states do things'*." – Chris
"Rumsfeld, terrorists, this is architecture theory? I want five tacos and some potatoes with no cheese or sauce." - Olaf
"You can’t order that, it’s not on the menu.” - Chris
"I am being intelligent!" – Olaf
“No, no , no....'Intelligent cool and projective architecture opens itself up to being affected by the environment in which it lives and impacts the organization of its body by forcing it to readjust its resting speed, creating, in turn, a more complex, variable arrangement that enables it to become more adaptable and more competitive'*, like the fuckin’ soft taco man!” – Chris
“Ja, Ja…I’ll show you intelligent!” - Olaf
"Hey, Taco Bell can we get two bean burritos and a large Mountain Dew, five regular tacos, and a cheesy fiesta potato without the cheesy fiesta?" - Chris
4.3 second Pause
"Yes just potatoes..sour cream Olaf?....Ok, no sour cream just potatoes." - Chris
"I told you the other Taco Bell dim wit, they understand my creative custom order - critical regionalism." – Olaf
As I pulled up to the window to pay and get the order Olaf unbuckled himself, opened the door and took off running. I couldn't exactly open my door and I figured how far could that old man run anyway, so I paid the Taco Bell, plenty of hot sauces and pulled out of the drive thru and started driving in the direction of Olaf’s escape route.
Olaf had ran pass the Wireless Store, the chicken university, and the paint store and was making a beeline for the bowling alley. I couldn’t jump the grassy median with the car, lost a little time navigating between parking lots. When I caught up with Olaf at the movie theatre he jumped another grassy barrier between lots and had headed off towards the pharmacy. I then turned back onto 34 and made the right to the pharmacy. About the time I made the turn the crazy bastard jumped in front the car and ran across the street. I rolled down the window and shouted at him holding up the tacos “Hard Tacos!”.
Olaf found freedom in a sidewalk and took off running. I did a u-turn and tried to cut through the ATM drive thru at the bank, just to get stuck behind someone who obviously forgot their pin number. By the time I left the bank, Olaf was across the street running in my direction being chased down by what appeared to be a very overweight Burger Fat Food employee. I did another u-turn as Olaf ran by. When I made it to the diner on the park, no park anywhere, I decided to park and make it a footrace. The obscenely obese Burger employee had given-up and exclaimed "I don’t get paid enough for this shit!".
"I agree you don’t! What are the armed forces of Burger Fat World offering you kids these days?" - Chris
“A little money towards college, I’m studying communications. Hey, what is wrong with that old man?” – Fat Burger Employee
“Good luck with that. He’s an insane man…hey, look he is terrorizing McDonalds now! Send me the bill, that’s my car” - Chris
As I said this I could see Olaf hurling rocks at the McDonalds up the street. I yelled at him and he took off again towards the bus stop in front of a bank of America. As I arrived at the bus stop he jumped up, crossed route 34 and took off running across acres of parking lots in front of a large grocery store.
This was starting to get ridiculous all these grassy medians and vegetation parking barriers, who designed this shit? Christopher Alexander never had a rule for chasing crazy old bastards across the strip mall oasis.
They put a parking lot on a piece of land
Where the supermarket used to stand.
Before that they put up a bowling alley
On the site that used to be the local palais.
That's where the big bands used to come and play.
My sister went there on a Saturday.
Olaf had made it all the way across the lots and the next street arriving inside the other grocery store before I finally caught up with him. He had found the Dunkin’ Donuts within the store entrance next to a bank across from the jewelers and didn’t move when I approached.
“I decided I wanted a donut.” – Olaf
Whatever…I went outside and started sketching out the Kinks in my head, I didn’t care anymore.
All this property used to be apple orchards and that’s what it should be. I put all this crap into one tower surrounded by apple orchards and a palais or two....like that office tower and tree planting exercise McDonough did in Poland once.
(the photos are true, otherwise all fiction)
"Notes Around the Doppler Effect and other Moods of Modernism" by Robert Somol and Sarah Whiting, Perspecta 33 (2002)
"Design Intelligence Part 1: Introduction" by Michael Speaks, A+U (2002), p 10-18
(both essays above also found in "Constructing a New Agenda: Architectural Theory 1993-2009", A. Krista Sykes, editor
"A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, and Shlomo Angel, 1977
"Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture" translated by Morris Hickey Morgan,1960
"An American Prayer" by Jim Morrison, music by The Doors, 1995
* Integrated quotes and paraphrases from "Design Intelligence Part 1: Introduction"
**Qoutes from "Notes Around the Doppler Effect and other Moods of Modernism"
The following blogs are Interviews performed in the years of 13/14 with a man full of random thoughts and legendary type of architectural experiences. Olaf is his real first name. I knew his son Tom from my studies at University of Kansas and randomly ran into Tom in 2012 in NYC. We reminisced about all the great stories Tom had told me about his immigrant architect father. Given my boredom with the profession I requested an interview with this now insane man. Archifiction.