July 2007 Archives


Chapter 154: Kara and Crave


Another big thing this week was having a really cool gal from Studio Gang Architects in Chicago down here in the 'lox doing some revisions to their house for the Architecture for Humanity Biloxi Model Home Project. It was her last full day here so a bunch of us from the Center went to this brand new little po-boy place called Crave which is actually only a couple of blocks from my house and then went to the beach to eat. I had to try the "Fried Chicken Club" po-boy. It was delicious if not a little ridiculous.


Chapter 153: Crabs and 'Corps


When we showed up to work bright and early this morning, we were greeted by a little guard hanging out by the front door of the Center. This awesome guy just chilled for a bit so we got a chance to take a couple of pictures before he scampered away.


Also, every Tuesday and Friday our Americorps members that work at the center wear their official HOGC/Corps shirts... here they are all to happy to also not only chill for a bit, but bust a pose as well.






Chapter 147: Work and Recreation

I wanted to upload a picture or two that my friend and co-worker Shana Payne took while constructing a model of an Architecture for Humanity model home here in Biloxi the other day and to comment on the state of things here in Biloxi. First pictures, then social commentary.

The Nguyen's House done by MC^2 Architects (M-C-squared) out of Houston which is under construction now.

A view through one of Shana's squaring blocks to the beautiful Sarah Naughton and our outstanding new Americorps AFH member Nicole

Despite the fact that I've had car and phone problems, and now computer problems, the irony of having a 9-5 is my evenings are free with no way to coordinate or get to places. This has still left me with such an abundance of options that I have trouble deciding what to do sometimes. I still feel the anxiety of temporary living on the Coast which was drilled into me by all my short stints here. I always had to go back up north every month or so and the reality of actually living down here (while it is not a forever thing) is certainly permanent in almost every manner of being. So, in order to enlighten everyone, this is what I have been spending my time (and lack of money) doing.

Making a new Budget (getting paid is integral to that, but I think everything is squared away and I should be getting all my backpay next pay period)

Hanging out with the roomies (we watched Crank together the other night and it was highly enjoyable)

Re-reading the Harry Potter book series in a week because the 7th and final book comes out this Saturday at 12:01am (oh yes, I will be there)

Exploring the Coast on foot (this is the Church's Chicken that I really want to have turned into a drive through confessional for Father Steve and the Catholic community of East Biloxi. For the devout Christian on the go, I give you Church's... Church! "That will be 20 Hail Mary's, please pull around to the next window for your Communion". Sacrilicious.)

Playing ultimate frisbee with the Hands On team at the Salvation Army's Yankie Stadium field every Tuesday at 7:30-tired

Trying out the Hall of Fame Superstar mode on Madden '07 (that I got as a gift right before I left, thanks Mom!) on my house's huge TV! And to answer your question... Yes, the Vikings suck even on the Playstation.


At first look when you are rolling by John Henry Beck Park on Division Street (the arguable main drag of East Biloxi, it may look a bit foreboding. There is a tall black fence flanking the main gate on the north side which can be a bit of a visual deterrent, but once you get inside the park, there are a ton of opportunities for people of all ages. The GCCDS and Hands On have both had their part in the radical improvements in the park since the storm as well as many volunteer groups including people from the great state of Minnesota who created a shade structure for the playground (see below).


There are a couple of other great opportunities for the community to interact at the park, one of which is a set of plots for gardening that can be signed up for and tilled by residents and volunteers alike. An old structure dubbed the Red House on the grounds is being reinvigorated with the help of volunteer labor to become a community building to run programs out of in the park. There are basketball courts and small pavilions that are scattered around the park which bring ballers and grill masters to the park in the evenings and on weekends.


One of my projects currently is to work on a couple of new schemes for the park which is constantly evolving. They want to add a small concessions/lavatory building which has been designed by the Design Center's David Perkes and eventually a sort of outdoor market bay series which can act as shade structures, seating, and a venue for a farmer's market. Once I get some of that work done next week, I'll toss some sketches up and y'all can write nasty things about them :).

Anyhoo, that's about it for the park. More excitement to come tomorrow as I'll have a full rundown of the first ever Hands On- Americorps Olympics!

Rosetti 001.jpg

So this morning I took a break from sitting in front of the ol' computer this morning before lunch and stopped by to do some work on 145 Rosetti which is a project that was begun by a Design Corps team led by Sergio Palroni and Brian Bell and is now in the hands of the GCCDS. It's a hell of a house with some quirky design features. The biggest thing you'll notice is that it is in a major floodzone and therefore according to FEMA guidelines must be raised up 13' from grade. The height of the Sonotubes that they poured the footings in is pretty astounding. It's one of the first down here that I've seen go up that high without copping out and using CMUs (concrete block). Anyhow, we went over and framed the exterior walls of the larger bit on the left in the photograph before lunch and the rain hit today. It's a pretty basic dogtrot plan only jacked up 13' and having a pretty amazing entry stair in the airspace between the two pieces. Since the project is going to be a GCCDS project it wil give me an awesome opportunity to do a couple of afternoons or mornings each week with my co-worker Jason who is heading up the project now.

The weekend should be fun as I am going to see Harry Potter again with some other friends, being a judge for the Americorps Olympics in John Henry Beck Park, and having a Mississippi Mug Movie night with Sam now that he is back. Additionally, I'm going to start up a little "Get to Know the Coast" feature where I'll try to do a weekend update about a specific place/house/project/hot spot here and give you a picture and a little background. This weekend, I'll kick it off with the park since I'm going to be there for the Olympics. Hope you enjoy it!

Miss Creel Update of the Day:



So this past Tuesday and Today we have had a little event where the Americorps members of our staff and the rest of Hands On do a swap accompanying someone to work that usually works somewhere else. Although I missed a totally sweet swap on Tuesday due to illness, but today, Nadene brought Doug in for a day of Architectural learning. Doug is in his early 30's and is one of Hands On's grooviest Building Empire dudes straight out of Cali. Anyhow, they did a half day of Nadene showing Doug what we are doing and working out some details on the current things that she's working on. Anyhow, this weekend will be fraught with peril as I attempt to sort out my phone situation and car situation all without a phone or a car! I will give you all an update on Monday, but I suspect it will be a lot of waiting, waiting, and reading the Harry Potter books as I prepare for the next book and movie (which is coincidentally based on my favorite in the Potter series: Order of the Phoenix).

P.S. Woody stopped by today on his little stop over on the way back home to Scotland for a break for a month or so...