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The Bunker

Basic. You know, plain.
(He flashed on explaining to the pizza man standing in front of the brick oven:
Plain. Just red sauce and mozz.) Plain, as in open plan? he asked.
Yes, nothing fancy.
Doorknobs? He found her language vague.
Well, of course, doorknobs.
Toilets? Here was his chance. There was no room for design after all; a Duravit toilet for a grand.

An uncle had left her 6 acres near the sea a few hours drive from Manhattan, Alice never thought much about it until the day the skyline changed. When she looked out her 15th floor window, the familiar was now altered and misshapen.

On this brilliant day in late September, she stood facing south and waited. After awhile a small plane and then a larger one passed overhead

This piece of property could market for $700,000. It's an easy drive from Boston or New Haven even Manhattan. I think I can get 6 for you.

What if there was house on it? Alice questioned the agent.

You mean improve the property and then sell it?

Alice nodded. Well, I don't know. What kind of house were you are thinking about?

Oh, something simple. Basic, you know. Plain.

Another plane flew overhead.

Where are these planes coming from?

Logan. Small local airports like Green in Providence.

Alice Fox, a freelance stylist for fashion and advertising photographers lives in a post war modern building in NYC. Her apartment is filled with mid century modern furniture and objects scored on eBay. She had cornered the market on Georg Jensen Blue Shark stainless flatware and recently added an enormous 15" enamel bowl designed by Herbert Krenchel to her collection. Floor to ceiling windows provided an unobstructed tableau as one airplane then another accelerated into the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. She had been enjoying a coffee blend called Komodo Dragon purchased online after discovering it on a photo shoot in Maine. Her uncontrollable shaking had sent her Heath mug, another eBay collectible, crashing to the floor.

Driving up here I was looking at the barns. What if it was a barn?
How big?
Well, it's just me. Maybe some friends will visit. I have a niece and siblings. It would be nice to have them visit. How much will this cost?

Well that depends on the size and how it's made.
Henri Hammer (the architect was trained at the AA in London) finds most American's interest in historical replication strange, but he shares with Thomas Jefferson a passion for the landscape as the idealized Arcadian dream. Hammer met his wife, Kiki, a photographer and gallerist at an exhibit of photographs by Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Dia Foundation in Chelsea. She was sobbing uncontrollably in front of black and white images of water tanks. You're my Weeping Woman, he would say, cuddling her. Her eBay name-a line from a song by Nirvana-was well known among aficionados of the Japanese fashion designers. After selling a particularly desirable turn of the 20th century advertising poster by Adolph Hohenstein at Sotheby's, she spent the entire proceeds (nearly $10,000) on Internet auctions. It was online that she met Alice who was selling a skirt designed by Rei Kawakubo, the influential Japanese designer at comme des garçons.

How do you wear it? the buyer wrote the seller after receiving the asymmetrical pleated garment through priority mail. Many emails later they met for dinner at Lupa and Alice asked Henri to look at the property she had inherited.

Grapevines of the Westport Winery gave way to stone fences-a particularly formidable and precise example-graced by patches of yellow daylilies-stretched three tenths of a mile. The perfectly flat topstone fence "just past Bowers Brook on the right" led to an alfalfa field dotted with white plastic covered bales and surrounded by raspberry and honeysuckle vines. He offered her a bottle of the locally brewed Buzzard's Bay ale he purchased in a grocery store a few miles up the road.

What if I had a basic box that I could add on to?

What if it unfolded like a napkin?

What do you mean?

Say the house is different at different times based on how it's used.

I still don't know what you mean.

What I see in that landscape is a unitary structure made of wood. And then a lot of people show up and it's hot and you draw the fabric out of the interior onto the outside extending it into the landscape.

She looks up again. How many planes so far. Three?

We are in the flight path from Logan to NY. Just like those 2 planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers, isn't it? What about a bunker?
A what?

A bunker, a safe room.

Well sure, I guess. What for? I mean the bunker?

I need to feel safe. I just need to feel safe.

© Linda Lindroth 2002 Lindroth + Newick