Posted by: John Gerneth | March 9, 2011

11 Foot Snowstorms & Expensive Houses


I figured I hadn’t put a post on here for a while so I thought I should, I’ve been really busy lately and haven’t had time, but I have taken a lot of pictures since the last post.  These first pictures are from walking around in Tahoe City after a big snowstorm.  We got about 11 feet in 4 days, it was insane.

These next couple pictures are from hanging out at my friend’s house, playing some poker and getting prepared to go to Reno.  I didn’t take many pictures in Reno because I didn’t want to be walking around in the street drunk with my camera, but I did get one that pretty much sums it up.

Last Friday my boss took all the employees out to lunch for Sandbox’s 10 year anniversary.  We went to this great sushi place in Truckee, and afterwards he took me and two other guys who work there to Martis Camp.  Martis is an extremely rich neighborhood by Truckee that many of Sandbox’s clients now live in.  Sandbox has designed 11 houses in Martis Camp so far, and we are working on more right now.  It’s a crazy place, like the average cost of a home is about 3 mil.  They have all these amenities in this little neighborhood, its basically like you are a member of an extremely exclusive club if you live there.  These pictures are of some finished houses designed by Sandbox as well as some that are under construction.  I also took some pictures of the common buildings like the lodge and barn.  The barn is a 5 story tall rec room complete with restaurants, a bar, a full court basketball court, bowling alley, movie theater, art gallery, and countless other cool things to do.

These last pictures are from my favorite leisure activity in the world, snowboarding.  It has been so amazing here and I have been too nervous to take my expensive camera up on the mountain with me, but this past weekend I took it up when my friend Jared from high school came to visit.  It was a good choice.  I’m in the yellow jacket and my friend is in the grey one.  These pictures were taken at Squaw Valley and Homewood.

caution?  pshhhh

Posted by: John Gerneth | February 6, 2011

My Average Day


I decided for this blog post I’ll walk you through a day in the life of an intern living in Tahoe City, CA.  I wake up at about 8 am, take a shower and get ready for work, and walk to the bus stop.  The bus picks me up at Sunnyside Restaurant at 9:19 am.  Its about a 15 minute ride into Tahoe City, and the place I work is at the far end of town.  I get off at the Lighthouse Shopping Center and am usually walking into work at about 9:40.  Usually at work I am working at my desk on the computer, updating AutoCAD files or SketchUp models.  Occasionally I get to leave the office and go to a job site, for instance Jason, the engineer, and I went to a house last week to do some as builts, where we basically measure every wall, window, and door in a house and take pictures, then come back to the office and draft it up.  These are for new remodel projects that Sandbox is going to do.  I take my lunch break around 12 or 1 pm and either eat the lunch I brought with me outside or go somewhere to grab something.  All of the places in Tahoe City have excellent food, I recommend the cheesesteak from Rosie’s cafe or the french onion soup from Fat Cat Cafe, along with anything from Syd’s Bagelry.  After my one hour lunch break I go back to the office and finish up whatever it is I was working on that day.  I leave work at around 5:10 pm and walk back down to the bus stop, it picks me up at 5:30 from the other end of the town.  After the bus ride I get home around 6 and make some dinner, then watch TV or read or play computer games.  I usually don’t go out on the weekdays but on the weekends I like to.  Last night my two friends and I drove out to Reno, its pretty awesome its like a miniature Las Vegas, all the buildings are lit up with neon lights.  I went to the Peppermill casino and put some bets down on the Super Bowl, we ate at a fantastic all you can eat sushi bar, and saw the movie Sanctum.  It was good, a lot of people die and drown though but it’s really intense and the storyline is pretty cool.  I took some pictures of my walk to the bus stop and through town, check them out below.

my house.  i live on the right side and my landlord lives on the left.  she has a snow removal service where any time it snows a bulldozer comes and pushes the snow into that big pile.

the bear proof trash can..my street, chinquapin lane.

highway 89, the road to tahoe city.  the bus stop i get off in town.  a cool tree.

trees after a light snow last night.  walking up the street in tahoe city.

heritage plaza, a little scenic park to sit at and look at the lake.  too bad the benches are covered in snow.

walking down the side of the street next to the lake.

more from the same side, a foggy day on the lake.

Posted by: John Gerneth | January 22, 2011

Alpenglow at Lake Tahoe


As promised, here are some pictures I took yesterday from the docks behind my office.  I went outside at the perfect time, I caught what the lake looks like before sunset, during sunset, and slightly after it.  The ones during sunset you can see a pink glow coming off of the mountains, that is an optical phenomena called Alpenglow, similar to the northern lights in alaska.  The color of the sky at sunset reflects off the snowy peaks of the mountains and surrounds them in a pinkish glow.  Pretty cool, and after the sun has almost completely set the entire sky is pink and the mountains are reflecting a rich blue color, seen in the last couple photos.

Posted by: John Gerneth | January 15, 2011

First Week in Tahoe


Well I’ve been in Tahoe for almost a week now, and I think its the best possible place to be for the winter months.  There has been about 3 or 4 feet of snow on the ground all week, and the weather is either sunny and beautiful or snowy and beautiful.  I guess they are having some uncharacteristically high temperatures right now, its like 20 degrees warmer here than in Cincinnati!  I’d love to take some pictures and put them up here for you guys, but I have to go to the post office to pick up my camera and it won’t be open until Tuesday.

Tahoe City is a really nice little ski town, its pretty much one street with shops and restaurants on either side, and its right next to the lake.  I am working at an architecture firm called The Sandbox Studio.  It is right towards the end of town, a second story office space with excellent views out to the lake.  It’s a small firm and they are all sort of like a tight knit family.  The principal architect, Scott, runs the place with his wife, Maja, who handles the graphic design side of things.  Then there the draftsmen and model makers, Alex, Mylo, and myself.  Jason is the engineer, and Alex’s wife Amber is the receptionist and she works on the graphics side of things as well.  It’s pretty cool to work in a small firm and see how everything fits together, and they have so many projects they are working I don’t know how Scott handles it.  I’ve only worked there for a couple days but I can tell its going to be a great experience and I will learn a lot.

Probably the best thing about Tahoe is the skiing/snowboarding.  There are like 10 different ski resorts that I could possibly go to, one of them called Homewood is like a 5 minute bus ride, and I’ll probably be going there tomorrow.  Squaw Valley is also really close, and its like one of the best places to snowboard in the entire world.  The Winter Olympics were there in the 60s I think.  For you Cincinnati boarders, its like 15 Perfect Norths put together, with one entire side of the mountain filled with terrain parks.  I can’t wait to check it out, I bought a 152 Burton snowboard for the parks and my friend Alex just let me borrow his 161 for the powder days.

Like I said I don’t have my camera yet, but check back next week and there should be some tight pictures to look at.  Also I put some links on the right side of the blog, one of them is my portfolio website, you can check it out if your so inclined.  Pics next week peace.

Posted by: John Gerneth | September 3, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane


In two days I will be leaving paradise for the smog covered city of Cincinnati, Ohio.  No more being able to see the Milky Way, Venus, or being surrounded by beautiful blue ocean.  I haven’t updated the blog in a couple weeks so I have a lot of pictures this time around.  First we will start with the birthing pools.  Remember a couple posts ago I promised to go back to the birthing pools and take pictures?  Well I have delivered.

Through our travels here we have met some interesting people.  One of them is Matt, a party promoter who throws parties all over the island.  We helped him out with one in order to get in and drink for free.  We spent the next day with him in Lahaina checking out the other side of the island.  We even went to a local boat builder’s workshop and helped him with his next canoe.

The day after that was Snork ‘n Fork, and it turns out we went back to Lahaina.  This beach is at mile marker 14 on the highway to Lahaina, its really beautiful to snorkel in because there is a giant reef with canal-like passages through it, almost like an underwater road.

these are some pictures jim took and I meshed them together (click them and they get bigger)

A couple days ago Tom took us to his friend Bill Kohl’s house.  He is an architect who designed the most expensive restaurant on Maui, among other things.  He showed us around the restaurant and the owner’s house, which he also designed.  Both buildings were incredible, but the owner’s house was absolutely amazing.  The plaster work on the inside was impeccable, smooth white curves all around with heavily varnished wood.  He also took us to an abandoned sugar mill, built in 1876.  All that is left is ruins and graffiti, a very surreal place.  Here are some pictures.

This will be my last blog post from Hawaii, but I’ll probably still randomly put up things from back at school so keep checking it out.  Aloha!

Posted by: John Gerneth | August 13, 2010

Working Hard but Playing Too


The other day I realized I haven’t put up a new post in about 3 weeks, so I decided I would today.  I’ve been so busy and time has been going so fast it doesn’t seem like its been that long.  Recently Jim and I have completed some models and are now working on remodeling a bath house in between the two dwellings we are staying in.  So far we have poured another concrete slab to make the shower area larger, and we are in the process of building a trellis wall to surround the shower.  After that we are putting a new door in, painting everything, rescreening the windows, and adding a fascia to the roof.  Should be a cool project, its fun to design something and then actually build it instead of wish it would be built.  Jim’s sister and her boyfriend came to visit and we took another trip to Hana with them.  I jumped off of the tallest thing I ever have, about 45 feet.  I was seriously in the air for like 5 seconds.  There is so much to do on Tom’s property he could have architecture interns for years and still not accomplish what he wants to do.  I’ve got 3 more weeks out here, then back to school, but hopefully I’ll be coming back to help him out for another couple months.

thats what i jumped off :)

Posted by: John Gerneth | July 23, 2010

Hana Ho! The Most Beautiful Place on Earth


Jim, Jim’s friend Ricky, and I just got back from a place on the eastern coast of Maui called Hana.  It is a little town with a general store in the heart of the jungle right next to the ocean.  Absolutely incredible.  In order to get there from Haiku you have to drive down the Hana Highway, a famed road known for its extreme curves and views of the ocean.  It took about an hour to get there, even though we only went like 30 miles.  Once there we went snorkeling and jet skiing at Hana Bay with our friend Alfredo, some of the best snorkeling I’ve ever seen.  We climbed up on all sorts of rocks and got some great pictures.  After that we went to Red Sand Beach, a little cove like place that you have to walk down a long dirt trail to get to.  More climbing up rocks and jumping off high cliffs.  At Red Sand we jumped off a 15 foot cliff then climbed up this rock wall and jumped backwards from like 30 feet up.  Insane.  After that we went to Koki Beach, the most perfect beach in the world.  The sand was so soft and it stayed at about waist level for like 60 or 70 feet out.  The waves were the perfect size for boogie boarding and they came about one every 5 seconds.  Incredible beach.  That was yesterday, our first day.  We slept at a friends house in Hana and woke up this morning for another day.  Today we went to the Venus Pools, a beautiful tide pool where we jumped off another 30 something foot high rock.  After that we hiked to the bamboo forest, stopping a couple times to swim and jump off things.  At the end of the trail there was a gigantic waterfall, someone said like almost 300 feet.  I was in awe.  After the bamboo forest we packed up our stuff and headed back the Hana Highway for Haiku.  A fabolous two day adventure and break from work, but now its back to model making and designing additions.  Hope you like the pictures.

Ho’okipa Beach

Road to Hana

Hana Bay

Red Sand Beach

Koki Beach

Venus Pools

Bamboo Forest

at the end of the trail, a 400 foot waterfall

Posted by: John Gerneth | July 15, 2010

Hooray Pictures


Got the flash drive to work so here are some pictures.  We have been working with the New York Times taking pictures of an astrology group that meets on the roof of a hotel, the Times is doing a story on hotel astrology groups in the travel section apparently, and Tom was asked to take the pictures for it.  So if you see any of these pictures in the New York Times you know who took/edited them.  There are also some random pictures and some of Jim and I making the models.  And some of us messing around on paddleboards.  So as of now we just finished editing these pictures for the Times and tomorrow we are going to try to finish up some of the models, we are making one of Tom’s house, another of the studio, the rest of the Mana House, and another iteration of the addition to the Mana House.  fun fun.

<— money shot, hopefully on cover

Posted by: John Gerneth | July 11, 2010

Models of Additions


Well I’ve been having trouble getting pictures onto my computer because my jump drive stopped working, but I thought I would put another post up without pictures since I haven’t done one in a while.  This past week Jim and I have been making 1/2″-1′ scale models of Tom’s studio and one of the houses on his property.  1/2″-1′ means a foot in real life equals a half inch in the model.  They are looking really cool, and pictures will be uploaded when I can.  We are designing additions for both of the buildings.  The studio is a long rectangular structure with a pitched roof, and we are designing an addition that is a 30′ x 30′ cube on the side of it, almost twice as high as the existing building.  One wall will be entirely small pane windows, and there will be a spiral staircase leading up to the roof with some amazing views of the ocean.  On the Mana House, currently housing Michelle’s (tom’s wife) parents, I designed an addition for their bedroom to match the existing roofline.  It features clerestory windows on the eastern side to get great daylight in the morning.  It is nice to actually be designing for clients instead of myself like I do in school.  They give me a set of parameters and then I try to figure out the most efficient and practical things to do.  Like I said I’ll upload pictures of the models later, they are still a work in progress anyways.  Tomorrow the movie for movie night is a Monty Python flick, so that should be fun.  At Snork n’ Fork, Tom’s weekly snorkeling and lunch group, we went to Black Sand Beach.  It’s not just a clever name, the sand was actually black!  Pictures of that coming soon too.

Posted by: John Gerneth | July 4, 2010

Hana Highway Adventure


i just got back from going to a place called the birthing pool.  we hitchhiked from the end of tom’s road to the community center a couple miles down the street, then walked back this extremely long dirt road surrounded by sugar cane.  at the end we came to a clearing and a cliff that dropped down i’d say about 100 feet to the ocean.  we kept walking along the cliff and eventually got to a place where we could climb down.  at the bottom there were these little tide pools and one huge one like 15 feet deep, the birthing pool.  it is called that because there is a hole at the bottom u can swim through and come up into another pool, and in this process you are said to be “reborn.”  it was intense and probably one of the coolest things i have ever seen in my life.  also there were tons of beautiful fish, thank god i brought my snorkeling mask.  the one thing i didnt bring was a camera, but i will definitely go back there with one and put some pics up sometime. last night we went to a bar in the nearby town of paia to see some djs.  i must say hawaiian dubstep is a lot different than what it is on the mainland.  a lot more flowy and rhythmic and not such hard beats, but the people loved it and were dancing like crazy.  check out http://soundcloud.com/dubstep808 to hear some of it.  the last couple days jim and i have been completing the inventory of all of tom’s steel sculptural pieces.  we should be done with that in a day or so and then we can start designing the new bathroom.  a couple days ago we drove down the famed Hana Highway and stopped at random places and walked into the jungle.  it was cool the road is really curvy with minimal guardrails and the ocean is on one side and the jungle on the other.  there was a little waterfall, a bamboo forest, and some other places that you can see in the pictures below.  the first couple pictures are the existing outdoor shower and bathroom that we are going to be redesigning.  now i’m going to go drive the giant forklift and move around 2 ton pieces of steel.

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